Friday, January 27, 2012

What Does Hope Look Like?

What does hope look like in today's world?

As you watch the news, read the headlines, follow leaders on Twitter, do you find yourself depressed about the future? As though the weight of the responsibilities of today and yesteryear - which have passed over to us - grows heavier and more crippling? Are you grieved? Discouraged? Apathetic that anything could ever improve or get better? Without hope?

I've had heart to heart conversations lately with a very dear friend. She sees the state of our world and culture as a mom, wife and concerned American citizen. I have realized that my perspective on the moment and the future as rare. The question arises - what is it that bridges her dispair to my hope?

I'm with her: things look discouraging! Our military is not being supported. Justice in our courts is not being accomplished. People are embracing corruption. Debt increases and corruption multiplies. When I mull through everything it's as though a cinder block of cement weighs on my heart. I totally get the perspectives of citizens like my friend.

I'm faced with a question: as a living human in the 21st century, who is experiencing the world that defines right as wrong and wrong as right, and is well aware of the disasters of mankind all over the world, I must answer this question: is there really no hope for us in saving America, our families and our freedoms? Or, do we believe that God is Who He says He is?

If I look deep into my own humanity, understanding, reality and cynicism, there is very little hope. And in fact, I'm not sure why I "try" to improve things at all, even one iota in fact!!

But the Spirit of God within me won't let that mulling stand very long. I choose the path of hope.

So many times in the Bible and in History we have faced giants. Moments when people of the same ilk and quality of you and me have been provided two choices: sit down, give up, and prepare to fail. Or, embrace His unchanging truths and move forward with hope.

- Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt: how dis-pairing it must have been to see the Red Sea ahead blocking their route to freedom. They were probably planning their own surrender to the Egyptians way before they reached the shore of this great water. But look how God delivered and the Jewish people have lived to thrive!
- The mother in the Bible who had given her son up for dead. Her life was already set mentally for having lonely years ahead. There was no hope, ambition or anticipation for joy. The journey was over in her mind and spirit. Yet, what hope God demonstrated when the boy came back to life!
- George Washington and his army of men at Valley Forge: they wanted to surrender, to be home in warm clothes and with their families but they were ultimately dedicated to freedom. At one point they were cornered and the escape came only because God provided fog to hide them as they slipped away without the enemy's attention. I'd say they probably faced many "hopeless" moments.
- Or during the recovery of the United States, after the clash of the states against one another during the Civil War - how many moments did people wonder: was all lost? Would anything get better? And yet now we enjoy a successful union of 50 different states.

These are only few examples.

Psalm 25:5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,

Psalm 33:20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 71:14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Psalm 37:9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

You see my friends, we must remind one another that God has been "dealing" with major crisis for thousands and thousands of years. Even in this hour in America, we can be optimistic because when we're out of hope, God is just getting started.