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September 15, 2016, 12:00 PM

Hope


by Haley MaKenna Hardman

 

In light of recent events, I'm reminded of several passages in the Bible where the person we're reading about loses hope. I'm reminded of Elijah after he called down the fire (and rain) from heaven and then ran away in fear (1 Kings 18-19). I'm reminded of Jeremiah when he called out to the Lord to complain (Jeremiah 20:7-18). I'm reminded of David as he begged God not to abandon him (Psalm 38). I'm reminded of Job as he expressed his anguish (Job 7).  I'm reminded of Moses when he cried out to God in aggravation (Numbers 11:10-15). And I'm reminded of Jesus praying for the cup of suffering to be taken away from him as his friends slept (Matthew 26:36-44). I say all of that to explain that even the saints and the prophets got discouraged, angry and scared.

As we go through life, I believe that we have certain moments where we realize the kind of world we live in. When our country aches over loss of human life, it's really hard not to notice that our world is imperfect. It would be extremely easy to crawl up in a cave and starting whining to God about how awful it is down here like Elijah did. It would be simple to ask God to just kill us now, or to come quickly do that we can be out of here before the really bad stuff happens. But as God reminded Jonah in Jonah chapter 4:

 

Jonah 4:11 (NLT)

But Ninevah has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a city?

 

As the Christ followers of this age, we have a hope as an anchor for the souls (Hebrews 6:19). We have a peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). We have a glorious, inexpressible joy (1 Peter 1:8). We experience perfect love which casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). We posses true freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). We find all of this when we deepen our relationship with Jesus as we walk hand-in-hand with Him through this dark and broken world. So, shouldn't we feel sorry for such a great world that doesn't truly experience these things, but instead has to settle for dietary substitutes that taste nasty and leave them even more damaged than before?

 

"He works on us in all sorts of ways: not only through what we think our 'religious life.' He works through nature, through our own bodies, through books, sometimes through experience which seem (at the time) antiChristian. But above all, He works on us through each other." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

I am not convinced that God has abandoned us as a nation; I am not even convinced that God has abandoned this world. I know that God's ways and thoughts are much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9). Even though it may seem like all hope is lost, I know that God is working. I see Him every day in the sunset and sunrise. I see Him in the smile of my family members. I feel His love wrap around me when my heart is aching. Even in the eye of the storm, I know that He remains in control.

I feel sorry for the person that doesn't know that there is safety here in the Father's arms. I grieve with the family that has no hope for a better tomorrow. My heart breaks for the people out there who are consumed with fear and anxiety and can find no reliefs is there not a cause? If you're reading this and you have a personal relationship with God, and you know there is some hope left, don't you dare lose heart. Share what you know, what you have experienced, and how you have ended up where you are, with those that don't know Him. If no one had told you, where would you be? As 1 Peter 3:15 says, "...always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you..." And that is my challenge to you: be the light in the dark and share the hope that you have. If not you, then who?

 

- Haley


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