31 Days of Hope, Africa

HOPE {Day 1} We NEED Hope

Where to begin?  This is day 1 of a month long journey of intentionally looking at hope and I discovered something today. When you set out to focus intentionally on one thing, suddenly your eyes are opened to it everywhere.  I feel like I could fill 31 days of blogging about hope just from the thoughts, ideas, Bible verses, stories and more that went through my head today alone.  I’m not sure where to start but I guess if you boil all of my pondering down from today, I land on this one thought:

 

We NEED hope.

 

I remember my Musana kids and my trip in Uganda where I saw people who had nothing but where still able to live a joyful life because they had… hope.  That’s kind of what “Musana” even means… sunshine or ray of hope.

 

I think about the upcoming trip to Haiti at First Trinity and continue to hear stories from the earthquake last year and even before the earthquake, the need is so great in that country.  People simply are holding on and are able to make it through each day because they have hope.

 

I ponder what it would have been like to be one of those miners stuck in the ground for 69 days.  I heard today that they were down there 17 days before they  had any communication with anyone above ground.  Hope for rescue, I’m sure, played a crucial role in their survival.  I loved hearing that the camp they set up for the families of the miners was called, Camp Hope. 

 

It would be easy to say “of course those people need hope; they’re from countries that are poor and they don’t have anything else.  But I’d even venture to say that we almost are worse off here in America when it comes to lacking hope.  We get caught so easily in Satan’s lies thinking that “things” and “stuff” and “power” and “control” and “relationships” and….. and…. and…. will give us what we need.  But when the things break, the stuff gets old, we lose power and control, and that significant other walks away, we get caught in despair. 

 

WE NEED HOPE.

 

And we need to find hope in something that will never move or break or leave.  One of my favorite passages is from Lamentations 3.  After 2.5 chapters of lamenting how horrible life is, the author suddenly switches his mindset and states: 

 

YET this I call to mind and therefore I have HOPE:

BECAUSE OF THE LORD’S GREAT LOVE WE ARE NOT CONSUMED!”

Consumed.  I feel that’s a good description of what it might be like to not have hope… consumed.  But praise be to God that in a world that seems to be losing hope faster than the speed of light, we do not have to be consumed.  For we can trust in the truth that God’s love for us is GREAT!  Even if you have nothing else to hold on to, hold on to this fact:

 

YOUR GOD LOVES YOU!

 

That fact doesn’t instantly make everything better, and there still may be challenges to face, but what great HOPE is found in knowing that there is a God who is greater than this mess of a world we lives in and HE LOVES US!

 

Rest in that hope!

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