Can anything good come from something bad? Hosea 2:15 records a beautiful statement that looks forward to how God will keep his promises and reveals God’s character: “I will transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.” The Valley of Trouble is the place where the armies of Israel lost a significant battle because of one man’s rebellion against God. That man (Achan) and his family lost their lives along with many of Israel’s soldiers in a bleak and hopeless defeat. However, in time, that defeat and loss led to a renewal of faith and a launching point for future victories.
Right now, many of us are feeling fearful and anxious because of the effects of COVID-19. We are concerned for our health and for those we love. We are mourning with those who are experiencing loss. We are worried about financial and employment decisions. We are trying to find new rhythms and routines in a disrupted life.
But, out of this bleak reality, we can also find unexpected opportunities. Reach out to a friend with a phone call, learn a new skill, begin or finish a project. But more than anything else, take a confident step from fear to faith. God is with us and will continue to be faithful to us. From his sermon “Our God is Able,” Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice still encourages us. “Only God is able. It is faith in him that we must rediscover. With this faith, we can transform bleak and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of joy and bring new light into the dark caverns of pessimism.”
Titus O’Bryant is executive pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Johnson City.