The Valley of Trouble

I’ve been talking a lot about failure recently – perhaps it is the teaching series we’re in or maybe it’s because I’ve had my fair share of experience with the subject. Yesterday’s topic was consequence. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” Consequence is inevitable. It is action’s result. Every action (intentional or unintentional) bears consequence. There’s a consequence for doing what’s right just as there is consequence for doing what’s wrong. Sometimes consequence is unpleasant or even trouble.

Consider a story of consequence – the journey of Hosea and Gomer. God instructed Hosea to take an unfaithful wife. Their bond would illustrate the relationship shared between God and Israel. Just as Gomer would chase the affection of another, Israel sought multiple suitors. The story’s theme: there is consequence in unfaithfulness. The first part of chapter two reveals punishment and discipline. The last half of the chapter speaks to restoration. God brings Israel to a place of complete dependence. He gives life again and the Valley of Achor will be as a door of hope. The word Achor actually means trouble. The valley got its name because of Achan’s actions and subsequent consequence. It was a season where Israel experienced defeat and trouble because of another’s actions. While the valley is a residence of consequence, it is also a door of hope. Read it for yourself:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. 15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. Hosea 2:14-15 

Life doesn’t end in the consequence. It actually begins. Are you walking through trouble right now? Are you living through consequence or discipline? Know God loves you. He disciplines those He loves. Look for the lessons in the discipline and persevere in the consequence. Know the valley of trouble actually serves as a door of hope. You will discover hope in your valley.