The Resurrection: A Door of Hope in a Valley of Trouble

by Tad Lindley

There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. (Hosea 2:15)

Achan gets greedy…

The Book of Joshua records the story of a man named Achan (Joshua 6-7). Remember the Battle of Jericho where the people of Israel marched around the city for seven days and then shouted and the walls came tumbling down? At the battle of Jericho, Achan stole some items out of the city (silver, gold, and an article of clothing) and hid them underneath his tent.

…and 36 men die

Because of his disobedience to God, thirty-six men lost their lives (Joshua 7:5). It was not long before Achan’s sin found him out. The Lord commanded a death sentence for Achan, his family, and his animals. Picture this, Achan, Mrs. Achan, their children and their animals surrounded by thousands of people armed with stones. There is no escape. In every direction there are people waiting to execute the judgment of God upon Achan. His situation is utterly hopeless. And then the stones began to fly at Achan, and when he lay dead and bleeding they turned on his wife and children and animals.

Valley of Achor

The place of Achan’s death is called the Valley of Achor. In the Hebrew language, Achor means “trouble”. Almost 700 years later, the Lord would speak this promise to his people through the prophet Hosea, “I will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.” We would ask, “How can God take the place of ultimate failure, defeat, and destruction and turn it into hope?” Over 700 years after the ministry of Hosea, God’s promise was fulfilled, and the Lord did make a door of hope in the Valley of Achor.

From the White House to the prison house

According to the Bible, we all stand to walk into the Valley of Achor, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23). Not only is every man guilty as was Achan, but we are all under a death sentence. From the White House to the prison house, from YKHC to YKCC, there is not a single person has never failed God. Sure, we can pat ourselves on the back and find someone else whose sin is worse in our eyes, but in God’s eyes our sin is still sin. Unfortunately for man, spiritual law is not subject to change by jury or legislature. In it, there is one sentence for disobedience to the Lord. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).

The door of hope

Don’t stop reading here. If it sounds like the Lord wants to strike us all down for our mistakes and our stumbling, read on. The Lord …is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Here is the good news; God has made a door in the Valley of Trouble! Where men and women would find themselves surrounded and defeated by troubles of our own making, Jesus has made a way out.

The purpose for God becoming a man was that he might bear our sin for us. Jesus Christ walked right into the place of destruction and was stricken in our place. At the cross, Jesus was entering into the Valley of Trouble. In burial He was making a doorway out of that valley, and in the resurrection He walked right on through that doorway!

Stepping through the door

It is not enough for us to merely know that there is a doorway of deliverance from death. We must walk through it if we would be saved. … If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it (Luke 9:23-24). How do we follow Jesus through the door? How do we lose our life to be saved?

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). When we die out to ourselves, and are baptized into Jesus Christ, we are entering the door of hope. Then we can be raised from certain defeat to walk in newness of life. If you happen to be reading this and feel defeated in life and as if everything is caving in upon you, do not give up, Jesus has made a way out for you. When the Jews who had called for the death of an innocent man asked Peter how to be delivered from their sin, Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). We must die out to ourselves (repent), be buried with Jesus in baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and we will rise to walk in newness of life when we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

If you are in a valley of trouble that is of your own making, there is a way out, take it!

Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.