Synopsis of Hope in a Hopeless World
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We’re about to slice a piece of the bread of life, the Word or God. And today’s two slices come from:
ROM 15:4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises.
Psalms 38:7 Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.
Even the most dedicated followers of Christ is likely to experience moments or seasons of hopelessness. The Apostle Paul wrote about being burdened to the point of despairing even of life itself.. Yet he said that this happened for a good cause, so that he would learn to rely on God, rather than himself. The idea of finding hope in the middle of despair may sound self contradictory. So let’s continue in finding his meaning.
During the recent economic downturn, I became increasingly aware of how communities around the world were being affected by dreadful evaluations of a global crisis. I tried to listen carefully as the analysts forecasted troubled times for the foreseeable future. Like many others, I felt the emotional weight of problems that no one was able to solve.
And yet, when I was among fellow Christians, I became aware how much our fear and frustrations; and even our political polarization mirrored the outlook of the society around us. Sometimes I felt that our conversations and our moods had been scripted the broadcast and Internet financial reports. They mirrored the fearful and angry tones as that of those who do not share our faith. Hope seemed to be the missing ingredient. Likewise many of us seem to find our hopes and desires dangerously eroded by personal losses and anxieties.
I began to realize that the watching world would begin to think that our faith had been overcome by doubts about the future.
First, the doubt that an eternal future will be any better than the things we wish for here on earth, now. Second, the doubt that our present problems are really temporary and not eternal. Third, the doubt that God would ever forgive us for our spiritual failures and shortcomings.
It got me thinking of what such a loss of confidence says about our faith and hope. Are we entering a sort of Christian Atheism? We know that we have placed our faith in Christ. But why then do we feel as though the problems around us have left us without hope…. almost as though God doesn’t even exist. It is almost as we are claiming a personal relationship with the God of hope, and yet view life with a hopeless perspective.
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