Over the past years I have traveled to areas of the world and seen unimaginable poverty in many places.  I have been to countries where lives have been ripped apart by war. I have sat with sick and the dying.  At times life seems so unfair.  There are those born into much, and those born into the world who seem to not even have a chance to live.

I never want to forget how blessed I am to live in a country where we have freedom, resources, healthcare, and a social system.  I need to remain thankful that I do not live in fear of war and extreme prejudice.  I have often wondered am I hopeful because I live a blessed life? What if I lived somewhere else? What if I was born in another country without these blessings.

Many years ago while on a humanitarian trip which we were working with Haitian communities I ran into despair.  We were there with a group of young adults who were trying to help in the best way they knew how.  Every night, with the team, we discussed the days events and what changes they should cause in us.  We discussed ways how we could be promote change and improvement in lives of others.  These were all people full of life, who had plans, and were dreaming about the future.

The next day we were talking to some of the young people in the community. One particular girl there was asked what her dream was in life? This seemed like an easy question to us, because we dream. This girl, however, came from extreme poverty. She had been selling her body to the ‘wealthy’ North American men to make money to help her, and her family, survive. I can’t forget her response. It was nothing. It had never crossed her mind that life could be anything but her present circumstance. It was hopelessness. It is ugly.

Hope may be the best gift we can give to people. If all my faith in Jesus was just Hope, it would be worth living for.  It is when people give up, that lives really fall apart. It is not when we fail, but when we stop trying that life begins to crumble. Hope picks people up. Hope leads people out.

This is what is hope does. It give a future to the perishing. No matter how long your present life is, one hour or ninety years, their is hope that both are just the beginning of a greater existence.  The end is not the end, but rather a new beginning. Hope does not mean we don’t grieve, it means we face things knowing their is still something ahead.

Hope can change the attitude of the sick. Hope says you can be well. Hope in Jesus says healing can come. Hope says the worst the cancer or death can do to me is make me see Jesus face to face even sooner.

Hope for the broken says no matter how far you have fallen.  Whether you have you have failed in life, in marriage, in careers, in family relationships things can be redeemed. Hope pushes you to the possibility of restoration.

In the end we must always remember what the source of this Hope is. It is in the Spirit of Christ.  Jesus working in us makes hope grow.  Christ’s resurrection is the sign of Hope. It is the final display needed to show victory over everything, even death, is now possible.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.  And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.

1 Peter 1:3-6
Christ is the Hope of the world.  Beautiful Hope.

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