When All Seems Hopeless, Keep on Hoping

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Last week the United States of America again experienced a terrorist attack. This time in Boston, Massachusetts. We Americans were reminded again that the thousands of miles of ocean between us and most of the rest of the world cannot prevent terrorists from reaching us. As with this latest attack, they are already here. Despite all the efforts of the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and state and local police forces, there are still holes in our security systems, through which the terrorists can and do reach us. I have no doubt that even now, some of these evil people are planning the next attacks. So I will not be surprised when the news media presents “breaking news” about another terrorist attack. I will not be surprised if before too much time goes by, you and I will be reading and hearing more bad news along these lines. Not just in the USA, but anywhere in the world.

Neither will I be surprised to hear about another mass shooting, such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, that is still on the minds of so many of us. And not only will I not be surprised, I am expecting tonight to hear the usual news report of another killing or two in nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And I will not be surprised to hear about another man-made or natural disaster – oil spill, “super” storm, earthquake, massive industrial explosion, etc. No, I will not be surprised about any of this bad news. And I suspect that is true of many of you who are reading this. And yes, as I hear of the latest bad news the thought will again cross my mind that we are living in a time of helplessness and hopelessness. And I suspect that you might also feel that way.

Yet, in the midst of all of this bad news, I also know that God will remind me that ultimately, there is always good news. In the midst of all this hopelessness, there is always hope. God reminds me of this in various ways. For example, while the bombing in Boston was all over the news, Joan and I went on a long awaited mini-vacation trip to see a show by Bill Gaither and his gospel group, The Gaither Vocal Band in Lancaster, PA. But it seemed we just couldn’t get away from the bad news. Over and over again, that’s all we could read or hear. Finally it was time to leave our hotel room and go to the theater.

As the show opened with a familiar song, I just couldn’t get all that bad news out of my mind. I wondered if I was really going to get anything out of this show. But God answered me right then and there. Bill Gaither announced the next song by saying they didn’t usually sing it on this tour, but he felt it would be an appropriate response to the bad news from Boston. You might know this song – I Pledge My Allegiance. The chorus goes like this: “ I Pledge my allegiance to the grand old flag and the promise of HOPE from sea to sea. Under God one nation, undivided we will stand, lift the banner of liberty!”

As they began to sing, the audience, including myself, began to stand and sing. God assured me that there was HOPE for this nation. Despite all the bad news of evil, hatred, and violence, HOPE will some day be fulfilled. HOPE for peace, love, and joy – in God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Not just in the USA, but everywhere and always.

Why do I believe that this is the truth? I believe this because as I read the Bible, much of the time I hear the writers complaining to God about what is wrong in their lives and in the world. They ask the same questions that people like me still ask. “How could you let this happen, God?”. “Why me, Lord”? “How long must I endure these troubles?” For the most part, they don’t get what I would call answers. To be honest, neither do I. They seem to lose hope. That’s the same pattern that people like me follow today. We complain about all that is wrong.

Sometimes there is so much that is wrong that we begin to lose hope for better days. But as I keep reading, I find that there is always good news. Those writers, about 2,000-3,000 years ago, expressed their faith and trust in God despite all that was wrong. They did so as they remembered how God had gotten them and others through troubled times before. They expressed their faith that God would again get them through it all. The people who wrote the Bible were not, as some people suggest, copying words dictated by God. They were writing because God inspired them to write, based on their experience with God – for their own benefit and for others. For people like you and me. So that we will also experience good news in the midst of bad news. And that we can hope for better lives and a better world, expecting that our God-inspired hopes will be fulfilled.

Every Sunday in the Christian Church, most of us pray what we have come to know as The Lord’s Prayer. Every part of the prayer has meaning and purpose. But what means the most to me are the words “…Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”. Just as the ancient writers of the Bible believed that their hopes for better lives and a better world would be fulfilled, I believe that God will answer that prayer. God will fulfill that hope. More than that, God will call each one of us to participate with him in the work of fulfilling that hope.

Grace and peace, Ray Gough

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

Patty and Ray

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Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.

May God be with you,

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This entry was posted in Bad News, Bible, Faith, Good News, Hope, Inspiration, Life Style, Spirituality, Terrorism, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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