Where There is Hope
I’ve been writing, deleting, and rewriting this post more times than I can count. I have something I really want to say, and I can feel it on the tip of my tongue (or the end of my fingers) but I’m feeling incredibly inadequate in getting this out. I think I’m just going to go for it… no edits. If you make it to the end, I applaud your persistence.
- During Egypt’s protests last week, nearly 100 women were gang-raped in the town square.
- Human trafficking is at all-time high. And this is not happening in distant countries, its happening in our own backyards.
- In my county, the number of children living at poverty level or who are now homeless is on the rise.
One needs only to watch or read the news to see how messed up this life can be. There’s so much oppression, fear, hate, and hurt in the world. There’s pain… Saying goodbye to loved ones, losing a job, getting a divorce, burying a child, not getting to have a child, debt. Its hard, and its understandable that people feel hopeless when facing those trials. Its also no surprise that the US is facing the highest suicide rate in 15 years. That should tell us something. Life is hard, fewer people have no reason to hope. And in that place of no hope is a scary place.
This isn’t going to be a popular post. I can promise you that. Religion has been crammed down society’s throat so much that its being regurgitated at an alarming rate. Everyone is sick to death of religion. And I don’t blame them. I’m sick of religion.
There is a huge difference between faith and religion. And I want to talk to you about faith. Specifically my faith.
- I have faith that there is a heaven. And through Christ’s death and resurrection, I’m going to be there someday.
- I have faith that there is a God. And He is good, and loving, and faithful.
- I have faith that we were created for another place… a perfect place. This place (waves my hands around) is not my home.
- I have faith that we’re all put here for a purpose, to be the hands and feet of Christ.
- I have faith that God has given all of us a story to bring Him glory.
- I have faith that there is no one on this green earth that can love me the way that God does. He sees my every thought, my every action, my every sin. No one is more aware of my failings than I am. They are ugly, my friends. But His mercies are new every morning. And without His redeeming grace, it would be hard to wake up every morning to try again.
Yes, this world is hard. But there is hope. And where there is hope, there is meaning. There’s a reason to love, even in the face of hate. There’s a reason to extend forgiveness for the unforgiveable. There’s a reason to address the needs of our neighbors, our fellow man, even when the problem seems too big, too daunting for any one person to handle alone.
God promises over and over in the Bible that He will right ALL wrongs in heaven. He will wipe every tear cried here on earth. He will redeem the injustices of this world, in the next. He sees all, He hears all, He bears those same hurts. And He is going to redeem His children’s suffering!
I don’t know where you stand in your journey for truth or answers. But I ask for one thing. Consider that this could be THE truth. Perhaps you’ve felt a longing in your soul, and you’re too scared, or cynical, or bruised to explore it. But in order to start your soul searching, you must look beyond.
- Beyond the failings of man.
- Beyond the failings of organized religion.
- Beyond the failings of leaders.
- Beyond past hurts and experiences.
We have failed, we are failing, and we’re going to continue to fail each other. That is a certainty. Man is not perfect and human nature will always get in the way of best intentions. No one does this life or faith perfectly. We do our best, we fail, but we get to rise and start over again. Grace is pretty amazing like that. But this is not about someone else. This is about you. And the ONLY ONE who will never fail you. God.
You may ask for proof, you may want concrete evidence. But unfortunately, faith has to be based on the unknown and the unseen. Its looking to the Bible and taking note of every single promise He fulfilled in the past, in the present, and trusting He’ll take care of your future. Its taking Him at His word. He loves you. He wants you to experience true rest; true, everlasting, unconditional love. He created you for another world, not this one. He wants you to have hope. For where there is hope, there is a reason to live.