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The Valley of Praise

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 8:00 pm

The Valley of Praise

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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April 18, 2024 8:00 pm

Poet William Cowper struggled with depression much of his life. After a suicide attempt, he was committed to an asylum. But it was there through the care of a Christian physician that Cowper came to a warm, vital faith in Jesus. Soon afterwards Cowper became acquainted with pastor and hymnwriter John Newton, who encouraged him to collaborate on a hymnal for their church. Among the hymns Cowper wrote was “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” which contains these words pressed from the crucible of experience: “You fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds you so much dread, are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.”

Like Cowper, the people of Judah also met God’s kindness unexpectedly. As an alliance of armies invaded their nation, King Jehoshaphat gathered the people for prayer. As Judah’s army marched out, men in the front ranks praised God (2 Chronicles 20:21). The invading armies turned on themselves, and “no one . . . escaped. . . . There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it” (vv. 24-25).

On the fourth day, the very place where a hostile invading force gathered against God’s people was dubbed the Valley of Berakah—literally, “the valley of praise or blessing.” (v. 26). What a change! God’s mercy can turn even our most difficult valleys into places of praise as we give them to Him.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I wrote today's reading titled, The Valley of Praise.

I'm James Banks. Poet William Cooper struggled with depression much of his life. After a suicide attempt, he was committed to an asylum. But it was there through the care of a Christian physician that Cooper came to a warm, vital faith in Jesus. Soon afterwards, Cooper became acquainted with pastor and hymn writer John Newton, who encouraged him to collaborate on a hymnal for their church. Among the hymns Cooper wrote was God Moves in a Mysterious Way, which contains these words pressed from the crucible of experience.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take The clouds you so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head. Like Cooper, the people of Judah also met God's kindness unexpectedly. As an alliance of armies invaded their nation in 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat gathered the people for prayer. As Judah's army marched out, men in the front ranks praised God.

The invading armies turned on themselves and no one escaped. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day, the very place where a hostile invading force gathered against God's people was dubbed the Valley of Berakah, literally the valley of praise or blessing.

What a change. God's mercy can turn even our most difficult valleys into places of praise as we give them to him. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from 2 Chronicles 20 verses 21 through 26. After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever. As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground.

No one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value, more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day, they assembled in the Valley of Barakah where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Barakah to this day. Let's pray. We praise you, loving God, that no valley is deeper than your perfect love. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 21:24:42 / 2024-04-18 21:26:20 / 2

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