“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” Hosea 2:14-15 (NIV)
When you stop and think about it, this is one of God’s most unusual promises. It is not a promise most people have high-lighted in their Bibles and are claiming as their own. It was written by the prophet Hosea to the wayward northern kingdom of Israel during the period of time when it fell to the Assyrians. (722-721 BC) It reveals however a very important strategy that God uses to effect positive change in our lives.
The Valley of Achor to which Hosea is referring is not a place anyone would want to be. First off it was a hot, dry, dusty desert location. And secondly the Valley of Achor literally means the valley of “trouble.” It was the infamous place where the Israelites, led by Joshua, stoned Achan and his family for stealing the devoted things from the battle of Jericho. In Israeli history the Valley of Achor was a place of shame.
And yet in the wisdom and purposes of God there is really no better setting for God to extend His redemptive grace and change the heart of stubborn Israel. In God’s economy a desert location becomes the perfect spot for whispers of love and a valley of trouble turns into the timely circumstance to offer hope.
Troubling times can have a positive redemptive effect us if we respond appropriately. Troubles have a way of getting our attention and accelerating change like few other things in our lives. And more importantly, they should draw us closer to God as we seek His consolation and guidance.
From a divine perspective, a valley of trouble, as it was for Israel, just might be one of the best things that could happen to us. It forces us like nothing else to reprioritize are lives with regard to things, people and God.
So from God’s perspective here are five blessings of trouble.