Reminders: Finding Hope in a Troubled World
by Ardith Hoff
It’s easy to feel pessimistic if we listen to all of the horrific news reports that air constantly. It seems like all we hear about are the things that are going wrong in the world––from terrorist attacks and school shootings to local drug busts. It seems like things are getting worse and worse. When we allow ourselves to dwell on the bad news, we risk becoming cynical, and begin to think that there is no hope.
It has been said that an optimist hopes for the best and gets disappointed. A pessimist thinks the worst will come, and gets pleasantly surprised from time to time. An optimist might greet disappointment with something like, “Such is life! It’s time to move on to something better.” A pessimist might greet a pleasant surprise with something like, “Fine, but it’ll never last!”
If you are looking for lasting peace, look no further than a local church where the hope of eternal life offers the optimist a reason to celebrate that the gift of salvation is the ultimate reason to look forward to something better, including life after death. Even the hardened pessimist needs something to believe in.
It’s worth investigating the Biblical promises of peace found in John 14: 27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” And continues, “I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” Once we accept the truth of these promises, we can relax and know that no matter what happens in this world, there is a better life to come. The Bible presents us with a plan found in Philippians 4:6-7: “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds all understanding. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Learning to, “live in Christ Jesus” takes practice and some professional help from someone who has studied the Bible. What a great privilege and opportunity it is to experience the love and grace of God and the wonderful way of life Jesus exemplified for us.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:1