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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 Gospelpointed 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!

20 Comments

  1. This is along the same line of what I ministered on Sunday. The Father wants to restor hope in all of us! Good word Jason.

    • Amen! Thanks so much, Caleb. This world needs more living hope and not false hope built on temporal constructions. Time to offer the reality of this! Thanks again.

  2. My hope is best expressed in the telling and meditating in God’s awesome Power! Mostly his creation…
    If he can open the red sea.
    Make flowers bloom from the dirt.
    Make mountains tremble.
    Know each star by name.
    Then that is where my hope is…in HIS Power!
    that is the same yesterday, today and forever.
    Arny recently posted..LOST in Analogies: “You were Flawed!”My Profile

    • Yes and amen to that, Arny. It’s the experience of that life-saving and life-changing power that makes all the difference in ourselves and others. Great thoughts.

  3. I have hope. As I read blogs and speak with Christians who have their eyes fixed on God, I have hope.

    Throughout history the Church has played a major role in transforming the world. The Church is not perfect because imperfect people are in it- however it cannot be denied that the Church has given much to this world.

    Two great books on this topic are: “7 Tipping Points that saved the world” by Christ Stewart and Ted Steward. And “ye shall be as gods” by Larry Johnson.

    • I agree. When our eyes are open, we can see a passion and commitment to God and His holiness. Like David wisely said, “My eyes are on the faithful in the land.” That’s a key to maintaining hope. I’ll have to look those books up too. Thanks for the recommendation, TC.

  4. I’ve been studying and looking at the Apostle Paul I have hope we all know the hardships but the man had honor in Acts 24:17-27 describes the true manner of Paul helping and building things for Christ ! And when he got in trouble later on in the chapter verse 26 Felix wanted a bribe and he would wipe the charge away but Paul didn’t take the bait Than in Philemon 1:17-20 we see how Paul offered to take care of people’s debts just in case they do something foolish. The real hope that Paul brought to the earth is the charge Paul gave to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-21
    (The Message Bible)
    17-19Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.

    20-21And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.

    Overwhelming grace keep you!

    This is the hope I have as a business man for God !
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Yeah, the integrity and perseverance they displayed definitely speaks to us today. It reminds us that there is no wall of separation between business, family, God, etc. We live our lives to honor Him and we walk in integrity, wholeness, and freedom. It may be easier to compromise to get ahead, but it won’t last! Good stuff, Andrew. Thanks.

  5. Oh my word! Where did you read that horrific account of what the girl told her pastor and is doing.

    That just is so… oh, we must pray. I don’t have words and I just hope the Lord shows up and helps this girl.

    That book your leaving left me wrecked. But now that I’m done with it, I wonder, “What have I done about the hole in the gospel?”
    Duane Scott recently posted..it’s okay to not be okay sometimesMy Profile

    • That was an account from the book. So scary, huh? We have a lot of work to do. And that’s a good question to ask ourselves periodically because the hole in our gospel shows up in Africa as well as in our backyard, but we don’t have to live that way when we are “compelled by Christ’s love.” That’s what I want! Thanks DS.

  6. Our church meets in a junior high school. I don’t need to tell you how hot Houston summer are, and for 2 Sundays in a row we were without air conditioning. We got it fixed and now we have AC, but while I was sitting there being completely distracted because of the heat, I was reminded how C3 was able to build an entire church for a community in the Philippians for less than what we would pay for insurance and a loan payment on our own building. And their church doesn’t even have AC. We take so much for granted. I believe we express hope by heeding the Holy Spirit when he compels us towards people specifically.
    katdish recently posted..The clarity of lightMy Profile

    • We can certainly take things for granted. I gave a testimony a couple weeks ago that God prompted me to give $20 to a family I saw walking on the road. The next week a guy in our church told me that he had followed my example as God led him but this brother doesn’t even have a place to live right now. I was blown away. I may not have a lot extra, but I have more than this guy so why would I hesitate so often to do good? Giving and investing in people definitely releases hope. Thanks Kat.

  7. All I can think of is…

    Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27: 14

    Yes…I have hope…because I have Him.
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Target PracticeMy Profile

    • I believe the converse is what can be shocking to our system--when we realize that if we have no hope, somewhere we lost or left Him. We may be down or confused for a time, but those who truly know Him will know hope. He is the God of all hope. Thanks Jay.

  8. I think there is lot of people beginning to understand that “We are the Church”… not that building down the street. The building is just a place to facilitate the fellowship of the body.

    But we have called those buildings churches for so long, it’s hard to distinguish for some. We still use the phrase ‘going to church’…

    We are the Church. We are the reflection of His Hope for a lost and desperate world. We are His body, and we are to be about His purpose… sharing His Love, His Grace, His Hope.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Sin Is Without DegreesMy Profile

    • That really is huge for many people. It’s funny because I’ve been taught it so long that I forget some don’t understand it! God is opening our eyes though and hope is being expressed because we live and love and know Him! Thanks Dusty.

  9. I am so thankful that I have a hope that goes beyond the here and now! I am always thankful that same hope keeps me going in the here and now. :)
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..How to break the shackles of shameMy Profile

    • Absolutely! And that this hope we have is transferable to others--that’s amazing. Thanks so much, Kevin!

  10. Heart wrenching that a child would have that type of a world view. Also heart wrenching that the pastor is right about the churches that build monuments unto themselves… We got our priorities a bit messed up…

    • The motivation of our hearts is of extreme importance. That’s what the Father measures and weighs. If our hands aren’t open and reaching, there is a big problem. Thanks Floyd.