Hope is More Powerful
I will not be making a shocking statement to say that a vast majority of the world is without hope.
When you read of a girl age 14 who lives in an AIDS-ravaged country making dubious sexual choices because her friends said “sex is fun” and she has nothing else to look forward to, it breaks your heart. Something is wrong. Speaking to a pastor she said, “I decided to have as much sex as I can. Hopefully I’ll have AIDS by the time I’m fifteen and be dead by the time I’m twenty, and Pastor, I’m right on track.”
That’s a deep and abiding hopelessness that needs something real to counteract it. Empty platitudes aren’t going to cut it.
But this same pastor and church are making an amazing impact by taking care of the sick, educating, and sharing Jesus. They are transforming a culture.
That gives me hope. I can make a difference too. You can make a difference. Our hope just has to be expressed.
Richard Stearns in his book, The Hole in Our Gospel, pointed out that this is a defining moment for the Western church. He wonders if history will record
…a Church that had wealth to build great sanctuaries but lacked the will to build schools, hospitals, and clinics?
There certainly is a lingering question, but I have hope. I believe the heart of Jesus and His great compassion will not be denied. I believe many are being captivated and arrested with vision to see cultures, cities, and nations transformed. I believe th Church is waking up and expressing the hope to which we’ve been called.
Having hope and offering hope–that’s a powerful way to live.
As I consider all this, I remember that a call to hope is stronger than sharp criticism or condemning guilt. People with hope reach out. If we believe that Jesus can save, transform, heal, and deliver through our hands, giving, service, and love–the world won’t stay the same.
Do you have hope for the Church? What is our biggest need in expressing hope? How have you expressed hope lately?
This post is reworked from a discussion on The Hole in Our Gospel (disclosure).
Thanks for sharing your insights!