“There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”
Here is a song of restoration in the valley of trouble. God promises the nation that He will restore what had been taken, and in the valley of Achor (which means trouble) a door of hope will open. Like the Children of Israel being liberated from slavery in Egypt; where they though God had abandoned them, the nation would once again experience the deliverance of the God who remembers. What to remember when you’re in the valley of trouble? God has not forgotten you.
Hope in the Midst of Trouble
A literal rendering of the passage reads; “And I will give her vineyards from there and the valley of Achor for an entrance of hope…” With God, your troubles actually become your entrance into a hopeful future! While looking at the ruins of Jerusalem, Jeremiah stated “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). The word translated “compassions” is also rendered “mercies” elsewhere, and the word means both compassion and womb. Jeremiah trusted God’s great love, and knew that by turning to Him their valley of trouble would “give birth” to hope!
Like the manner appearing in the wilderness, God’s mercies are indeed new every morning. He still rescues those in trouble, heals the broken hearted and is the great restorer of hope. In your valley of trouble God would say to you; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“ (Jeremiah 29:11).
Called to a Living Hope
During troublesome times of persecution, Peter writes; “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:3-4). Hope is the spark that ignites your faith, maintaining your peace of mind in troublesome times. In reality, you would not bother to believe for something you thought was hopeless. Hope arises in your heart first; faith then enables you to be sure of those things you hope for.
God will never leave you or abandon you (see Deut.31:6, Joshua 1:5, Heb.13:5). Joshua was told to have the people erect memorial stones to remember the things that God had done for them. When you look back recalling past victories God has given you, your hope for a solution to your current situation comes alive, and builds your confidence to believe God for victories in the future, no matter how difficult that situation you’re facing today may be.
Having your own “Memorial Stones” will also help you learn to cope with and handle life’s great difficulties. You will become better equipped to deal with disappointments, and acquire grace and strength from above; to help you through the healing process after experiencing tragedies and loss. People process disappointments and grief in a variety of ways. So, recording your own “memorial stones” will help you have hope for the future and get you through those difficult times.
Hope is helped by Gratitude
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Having memorials to God’s provisions and protection, will cause you to pause and consider how faithful He has been to you in the past. Even in your darkest hours gratitude for His amazing grace will begin to overtake you. Calling on the Lord in your valley of trouble gives birth to hope, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Energized By Hope
Be grateful for past victories and place your confidence in God. State your case before Him using His promises and His faithfulness to you as the foundation your hopes are built upon. Declare that God will give you back your vineyards (fruitful peaceful life) from there, and make your valley of Achor (trouble) an entrance of hope…” Be steady in your resolve that He “plans to give you hope and a future,” Be grounded in His faithfulness, and Be Encouraged!-JSP