The writers of are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on, iTunes, and

NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Desert Journeys

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

You have just won an all expense paid trip to the desert! I don’t know about you, but those words wouldn’t be exciting to me. The desert is typically a wasteland, where survival is difficult at best. I would just as soon stay home!

However, God planned a desert journey for Israel. He said, 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. There she will sing as in the days of her youth (Hosea 2:14-15).

Why would God lead Israel into the desert? Israel was living in rebellion against God and His ways. God knew that until Israel was taken to a place where she was stripped of everything, she wouldn’t hear His voice. Deserts have a way of stripping everything from us.

God had a specific place in mind called the Valley of Achor. You and I have been there.  Achor means trouble. God was going to allow the Israelites to enter a time of trouble, so that they would begin to focus on Him and listen to His voice. This wouldn’t be a condemning voice, but God’s tender voice of love, as He sought to restore their relationship. Are you in the Valley of Trouble? Are you listening for the tender voice of God, who wants to strengthen and refine your relationship with Him? 

The Valley of Trouble wasn’t God’s final destination for Israel. It isn’t God’s final destination for you or me. The Valley of Trouble can become a door of hope. Awareness of God’s Presence in the midst of trouble opens the door of hope. Restoration of fellowship with God gives birth to singing! 

If you’re in the Valley of Trouble, listen carefully. You will hear God’s tender voice, drawing you and giving you hope!

Thank You, God, for transforming my Valley of Trouble into a door of hope!

Jan Burkhart

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