A Door to Hope - The Crosswalk Devotional - March 24
The Crosswalk Devotional
By Jessica Van Roekel, Crosswalk.com
A Door to Hope
By Jessica Van Roekel
“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.” – Hosea 2:15
We wake up to a new day and hope and pray it is an easy day, but what happens when it brings troubles? We can wonder if blessings, hope, and God’s goodness are out of reach. And if we have too many days in a row that are the no good, awful, wish we hadn’t gotten up kind of day, we can wonder if hoping is worth the daily disappointment.
We think if we scoot through life with minimal trouble then our lives are blessed. We wrongly judge other people and ourselves by the number of troubles we face. Often, we determine our lack of obvious blessings justifies demanding good days more because we can’t see how troubles open the door to hope.
Hope is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it is a person, feeling, or thing. Hope as a verb means to look forward to something with reasonable confidence, to believe, desire, and trust. Hope sustains and gives life. It’s simultaneously tangible and out of reach.
When we use our circumstances as a litmus test for hope, we swing like a pendulum from hopeful to hopeless and back again. It can be exhausting and disheartening. If we look at our circumstances for hope, we miss out on the blessings our troubles teach us.
In this passage from Hosea, God planned to draw his people back to him. They had forgotten him once again and his mercy caused him to draw near to them. He did not run away from his people, the Israelites, but made a way to bring them back to him. He used their desert and troubles to open the door to hope in him.
The Israelites had lost their first love. The troubles of life, the temptations to do things their own way and to try and be like other people took them away from their love for God. We can relate. We know the rush of our first meeting with Jesus and God’s open arms to receive us. We revel in his love and love him back. But then the battle between our flesh and spirit begins. Our troubles remain. Worries take root.
We begin to look for our hope in the blessings God brings us, but hope is Jesus, a noun, and it’s trusting him, which is a verb. Hope takes us from despair to belief when we take our eyes off ourselves and our troubles. We fix our hope on God—who stays with us and guides us.
Our troubles can be a door to hope, and God can use them for our good. They become blessings because they become the catalyst that draw us nearer to God. Troubles can produce a humble heart because we cannot affect change in our own strength. Our personal valleys of Achor become doorways to hope because God gives us eyes to see him at work, and ears to hear his will, way, and voice.
Each new day is fresh with the promise of God’s presence. He offers hope, love, and joy. The greatest gift we can give ourselves today is to look at our valleys with fresh eyes. Our eyes can be opened to see God within the troubles, pointing the way through them, bringing peace within them, and creating beauty out of ashes.
Our greatest times of growth come from the valley where we feel the wind and drenching rain. At times, fire destroys everything in its path, but with the passage time, new growth appears and our hearts become a beautiful landscape of beautiful hope.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
When you allow God to lead you to valleys, they become a door to hope. Your day-to-day difficulties become the way to grow intimacy with God. Your hope blossoms in the face of small troubles and big ones. And then they become a testimony of God’s faithfulness where you can encourage others because you see them for what they were: the doorway through which your hope in God grew.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Aliaksandra Ivanova / EyeEm
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.
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