What Ever Happened to Hope?
I’ve been taking an impromptu media fast from CNN, Fox News and all things political. Noticing some positive results: more hope, more possibilities in my thinking and in my perspectives of life. It’s amazing how much negative stuff spews out of the media outlets on a daily…hourly basis. As if good news doesn’t sell, only the tragic or horrific has value.
At first, that in itself bothered me… then I realized the opportunity it presents.
Hope is rare in our culture, and if you're a careful reader of history, it always has been. It’s the common, normal perspective that life is tragic, full of unintended consequence and fateful brooding loss. It’s easiest for us to see the bad, the negative, all the broken things in our world.
But what if I/we start to change that “normal” and to dare to believe our actions can and do help others rediscover hope? Wouldn’t that stand out, like a light in a very dark room?
Isn’t that the message of Christ in a nutshell? Good news is the what all the little four page, gospel tracts proclaim… but where is it really?
I mean reading the bible isn’t going to happen for most people, Christian or otherwise. Too busy, too tired, too wary of its message. Skeptical and divisive in its exclusivity for most post modern families to seriously consider. The Bible can’t be taken seriously if those who claim to read and believe it have no discernible change in their lives, no significant improvement in their happiness and live without hope like everyone else. It’s going to take people like us to bring the bible into their lives by living with renewed HOPE.
Especially true for our kids.
Imagine if we saw us as they do: hearing of this miracle-working Jesus who takes time to heal the sick and encourage the downtrodden, full of power and faith and resurrection every Church day, but puzzled by their parents who battle to get through their weekdays with any tangible sense of optimism or Hope.
It’s as if we forgot the power of our faith is real. Real enough to change the world.
Reducing the intake of negative-ness and increasing the antidote of hope that resides in the scriptures is the best and only way I know to find fresh perspective on our lives. If I’m only sucking down noxious-ness and starving out my joy, I’m going to fade and fall into the same pitfalls and patterns that those without faith suffer from every single second of their lives.
Nothing in my life would point substantially to hope. As a result, nothing would inspire others to even notice me, let alone “ask” me about what I was so optimistic about.
Our kids NEED to see us intentionally looking past the obvious negative pull of cultural gravity to start looking up at life’s troubling events with the vision of Jesus himself.
One proof of the faith walk in parenting is the ability to see hope when nothing seems hopeful.
Not a meta-physical exercise in positive thinking, instead I’m asking us to try and live with the reality of Christian faith; that God IS, that God has a plan, and that life is an adventure to be enjoyed and lived and each downturn is a chance to see the divine redeem the worst that life can throw at us.
That would grab attention. That would create interest. That would pave the way for others to follow and in doing so, it would inspire genuine hope. Your kids would be captivated and the world you live in would start to really change.
Just like the good book says…
Ephesians 1:18 from The Message Bible
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust (HOPE) you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
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