Charlie Brown says in a Peanuts comic strip, “I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time”. How many have puny dreams, little hope, no ambition, and faith is a memory?
People curl up and die for no reason other than they lost hope. “Without hope we give up—we lose our will to fight, to trust, to live”, says Thomas Pettepiece in “Visions of a World Hungry”. All over the world people have begun to lose hope. Some constantly hunger for life’s basic needs but see no relief. Some hammer away on problems for years. The lack of results over time can easily lead to hopelessness.
Where in the world, then, does one look for hope? Not for optimism, mind you, but for hope. On the basis of the biblical witness, one looks first to the places of suffering and of stress. Joseph lost his coat of many colors and found himself imprisoned in another country. Jesus struggled through the night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom as he sat behind bars in a South African prison is legend. Not so long ago airline pilots flying over Northern Ireland would say, “We are now approaching Belfast; please set your watches back 300 years”. In each case hope emerged out of suffering. Each of the above kept loving others, even their oppressors. None lost faith when God seemed mute and on vacation. They fought valiantly against the arms of darkness seeking to embrace their life.
Hope may be lost when it is disconnected from love and faith. God not only brings life, He is Life! He is love! Receive God’s love through faith, and the Holy Spirit will enable you to respond with hope to even the most complicated problems says Pettepiece.
Hoping in humans, technology, government or laws is insufficient. They are some of the tools profitably used to solve injustice and hunger. Nevertheless, only drilling a deep relationship with God provides a sufficient reservoir of hope to meet the longest and most difficult challenges life can shower upon us.
Have you lost hope? God has it in His lost and found. Trust in His love for you and ask for a speedy return. You won’t be disappointed.