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Butts: Hope
Andy Butts

The world is a scary place. Just look at the news for the past month. There have been stories about earthquakes, hurricanes, threats of nuclear war, racial divide and that just scratches the surface. There is so much going on all the time. It is very easy to become bogged down by all of this. Sometimes the world just feels hopeless.

Hope is something I struggled with for a long time. I would get so beat down by all the hurt and horror of the world that I just stopped looking for hope. I was so tired of all the hurt and harm.               

Then one day while studying I found the answer. I call these moments, sucker punches from the Holy Spirit.  John 16:33 tells us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” This is Jesus telling his disciples that he was about to leave them (physically). I had to ask myself, “What does take heart mean?” It means to be courageous, or fell encouraged.

We can look at the world and just stop caring. That would be the least painful and possibly easiest solution. We could all say, “It’s not my problem.” or “Someone else can handle it.” We could do that but as followers of Christ we can’t. Giving up on hope is simply not an option. We must be courageous and face the world and whatever it brings every day. We have to put our trust in God. We have to remember that Jesus has overcome the world. We have to find our hope in Him.

I dragged on for so long without real hope. I was constantly let down by whomever or whatever I put my faith in at the time. I don’t know where you place your trust right now. Where is your hope found? We can say we believe that God has everything under control, but are we courageous to place all of our trust in that?

The English author G.K. Chesterson once said, “To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” To me, this is a call to action. We have to share our hope with others. We need to physically be there for people.

What does this look like? Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, visiting the prisoner, loving others no matter what. At first, it will be scary but we cannot be afraid. Will we get hurt? Probably. Will it be comfortable? Not all the time. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!