I am experiencing some writer’s block but I am going to attempt to write through it and see what comes out. I apologize if it is not good.
We all face trials and struggles everyday. The world we wake up and have to face is not always a nice world, at times it is downright cruel. And yet, we still must wake up and prepare ourselves to face the day. Sometimes, I bet a lot of times, we wonder what there is in this world to hope for. I know that I have asked myself this plenty of times. When it seems that evil and cruelty are taking over the world it is so hard for us to have hope. But deep down inside of us all there is something that still nurtures hope.
Friends, this world is not hopeless. Please remember this. I had to write a paper on hope just last week, when I was actually in what felt like a sea of hopelessness. And after writing that paper and struggling with what hope is and how important it is, I saw that distant glimmer and I felt that little tug deep inside–hope.
N. T. Wright, an incredible theologian, defines hope as “the settled, unwavering confidence that this God will not leave us or forsake us, but will always have more in store for us than we could ask or think.”
If this is the definition of hope than we can believe that this evil that is so present and so very real in our world today is not the final say. It will not have the last word and is not having the last world. We all hope for and believe in the day that God will come and make everything right in the world. There have even been times when I have hoped that day would come sooner than other days. But after writing this paper I realized there is still hope present in today’s world.
I have hope in people, I have hope in kindness, I have hope in love, I have hope that God is constantly at work and very present in this world–right now. You may wonder why or how can I have hope in these things. Last week I realized how I ought to live my life, how God wants me to live my life. If we, as Christians, look at Jesus as our example we have the secret to a successful and wonderful life. However, this path is not an easy one and the only person who was ever able and who will ever be able to make it a perfect reality is Jesus. But we should strive to at least try.
Jesus came into this world and he flipped everything upside down. Matthew 5:38-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not risk an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your coat as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to anyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of you Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This, my friends, is what Christ has called us all to do. This is not easy, and sometimes it may seem down right impossible. Trust me this is something I struggle with daily and most certainly fail for more times than I ever succeed–it is so hard to love those who are mean to us and who do us wrong. But I read a quote somewhere that said something along the lines of, don’t judge others because you don’t know what they are going through. We all have our own storms. Imagine what it would be like for those who we have been mean to were kind to us. Kindness goes a long way. Kindness can do so much for this world. I always remember my mother telling me to “kill them with kindness.” And as I have gotten older I realize how wise this really is. Show kindness and show love even when you think others don’t deserve it–remember we do not deserve God’s kindness, grace and love and yet it is still given to us. And maybe, just maybe, those enemies of yours need a little kindness and love thrown there way. No matter who they are and what they have done–they are still a Child of God, just as we are Children of God.
We are all just small specks on this world, but we are powerful. Imagine if we tried to be kind and loving to our enemies. Imagine if we tried to live our lives as Christ has called us to do. Think about the beauty that one tiny speck can add to the world. And think about those people who are already doing this. There is still beauty, love and kindness in the world. And sometimes it is hard to find–but it can begin with you.
As one of my wise professors told my class today: “When we open our hearts and arms to Divine love, that is when we begin to be capable of this type of love.” It will not be easy, and there will be times when we fail, and want to quit. But guess what God will forgive us and continue to work with us. We can help bring hope into this world. God wants us to be his hands and feet in this world–when we go we spread hope.
Be kind to one another, love one another–even when we don’t deserve it. Spread hope and when you feel hopeless look around you and you just might find someone else spreading hope. Just like love–I believe that hope is contagious. We can help make this a beautiful world.
1 John 4:7-21 (I will not type it all out here, but please please please go and look up this beautiful passage)
1 John 4:18-21
We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. (And from my pastor’s benediction: “May you see the face of Christ in everyone that you meet and may everyone that you meet see the face of Christ in you.”)