As the challenge to spend time with Jesus continues I have taken myself away from the busyness at home for a walk by the water (the perks of living in Oxford). In my walk as I prayed for Jesus to be the focus I was again reminded about the book of Joel.

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision!” (3:14)

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I was puzzled by what “the valley of decision” means. Having read a little more about it, it refers to the time when God will gather all nations to deal once and for all with the brokenness of the world. In this place God will judge the wickedness of the world. But in that fearful day “the Lord will be a refuge for his people”. (3:16)

What is clear is that God will put an end to wickedness and restore all things back to what he intended them to be. This fills me with hope and gratitude. Because I know that one day all of the sorrows we face will be dealt with by God.

Today someone asked me… what are the Good News we have to share with the world? The Good News is that because of the cross, because of what Jesus has done for us we have hope for tomorrow. But we also have hope for today! Jesus said that he came to give us life and and life in abundance. I believe this is not just for the future, but also for the now.

I feel challenged to live in a state of hope, in the knowledge that God will ultimately have victory over wickedness. I am learning to appropriate myself to a narrative of hope and to reshape my own life according to it. I am learning that good will prevail over bad, and that Jesus’s cross speaks a better word for my life now, and for the future.

Today you may be walking the darkest valley, you may be going through some really difficult stuff… but please remind yourself that God is good that he has your life in his hands.

“Lord, thank you for your promise to deal with our brokenness and with all the atrocities we see in our world. Please give us the faith to live in a state of hope, knowing that you are in control and that we can have hope today and tomorrow. Help us to live abundant lives of generosity and love. Amen.”

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