Bringing in hope
It’s officially campaign season. ¬†In a few short months Americans will go the polls and vote for those who will make decisions that effect the direction of the country, and while there are deep divides over political ideologies, there’s one thing that I’m sure we’ll all agree on by the time the election rolls around…we’ll all be fed up with campaign ads.
Campaign ads have a common theme…they’re selling fear. ¬†Can you hear the scary voice while terrifying images flash before your eyes? ¬†”Did you know that ¬†(insert candidate name here) is ACTUALLY a vampire/cannibal/hates puppies? ¬†Elect (Insert Name Here) or else you’ll lose everything!”
Fear sells. ¬†I’ve talked to lots of salespeople that sell fear. ¬†I’m not sure that they mean to do it, but it I’ve heard lots of sales pitches for all kinds of products that function mainly around fear. ¬†If you don’t buy this product, you MIGHT have trouble and you’re going to wish you had it!
Sometimes I think that the church has started selling fear. ¬†We tell people that about all the bad things that could happen to them if they don’t find Jesus. ¬†We ask threatening questions like “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d spend eternity?” ¬†We stage plays where people get dragged off to eternal damnation. ¬†We convince people that we’ll shut the doors unless they give and give generously. ¬†This is a problem.
I don’t know about you, but I get fed up with fear, and I’m pretty sure that we’ve got something better. ¬†In fact, I’m becoming convinced that we are to be a people who offer hope. ¬†We are to call people to a life where hope is something more than simply a wish, but where hope pervades our very beings ¬†The word “hope” in the New Testament speaks to a belief that something is going to happen…It’s not a wish, but it is a firm and complete belief that something better is coming. ¬†It’s a sense of joyful anticipation.
WE MUST OFFER HOPE.
We live in a world of fear, but we are a people of hope. ¬†We know that a better day is coming when every tear will be wiped away, when brokenness and violence lose, when death doesn’t get the final say. ¬†We are called to be ambassadors of God…people who live with the firm understanding that the pain and loss that is at work in the world isn’t all there is. ¬†We rejoice in the work of God, not with uncertainty, but with joyful anticipation. We know that the worst thing is never the last thing. ¬†We are a people of hope.
Who do you know that needs some hope? ¬†Who will you invite to experience the hope of a better day on the horizon?
1¬†Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.2¬†We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God‚Äôs glory.3¬†But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance,4¬†endurance produces character, and character produces hope.¬†5¬†This hope doesn‚Äôt put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.