An encouraging word from a hike up a California mountain


Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT) is all about teaching the Bible in the context of the land of Israel and other biblical countries (Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy). We teach the historical geography of the Bible as well as archaeology, customs and culture of the land. We aim to make connections between  the Bible and the land in all that we do.

This is another session in the new series of teaching videos called “Devotions from Israel.” This brief five-minute devotional comes from a hike up a mountain in Southern California much like Mt. Hermon in northern Israel.


About the Devotional

Yes, Israel has a snow-capped mountain 4-5 months each year. On this mountain Israel even has a ski resort! Southern California has high mountains as well, and yes, with snow on the tops of these mountains. This devotional comes to you while I was hiking up a mountain within the San Bernardino range near Yucaipa. After teaching a BBL seminar here, I was able to enjoy a few hikes in this beautiful area!
As I was huffing and puffing up the trail (the elevation gain was about 2,000 on this hike), I noticed the close similarities this area has with the Mt. Hermon area in northern Israel. This is a mountain range that is mentioned in the Bible (i.e., Deuteronomy 4, Psalm 42, Psalm 133, among a few others). When leading certain trips to Israel, we take the ski chairlift up to the top and then hike down. We can see where the trail winds downward.
But on this mountain climb in California, the trail steeply ascended up and up. Because of the switchbacks, oftentimes I couldn’t see where the trail was heading more than 50 feet ahead of me.

“Sometimes life feels like a continual uphill climb. Oftentimes we don’t know where the journey may lead us. Yet we find encouragement in the God who gives us strength.”

Mt. Hermon
Life sometimes is like hiking on an uphill trail where you can’t see where it goes. We can find ourselves “out of breath” as we make our way on the challenging trails of life. These “trails” can easily turn into “trials,” causing worry and apprehension, especially if the trail we are on is new to us and we can’t see where it leads us!
Yet, we can find encouragement in life knowing that God walks with us on our uphill (and downhill) journeys of life. He is the one who gives us strength. He ultimately energizes us with an enduring fortitude that helps us reach the top. At the end of the hike He offers us His peace. What an encouragement to know we have a “trail helper!”
Before turning around and descending down the same trail (much easier, by the way), I took time to listen to a few songs that reminded me of who God is. He is not only the Creator of the beauty of the mountains around me, but He is the One who gives me strength and encouragement.
May you find joy in the Lord as He leads you up the mountains of life.
I hope you enjoy this video below. These five minute devotionals are produced on a regular basis. As you are encouraged by the video, please consider sharing this post with others for their encouragement as well.

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