There is Hope
Turning to the new year most often comes with great optimism and excitement – hopefulness and enthusiasm about new beginnings run hot. This year, however, I’m hearing a lot of pessimism and foreboding looking forward.
The negative predictions are certainly understandable with this being a presidential election year that no doubt will be as negative and ugly as it can be. We fear the process and the potential outcomes of this election year.
On top of the political sewage ahead of us, the wars raging around the world along with the very real possibilities of them spreading globally shake us deeply. Even irreligious people ask questions about Armageddon and the end of the world in times like these.
We worry about the economy and whether we’ll be alright financially. I just read that 63% of American consumers have an overall negative economic outlook on 2024.
Could another pandemic, much more deadly than the 2020 version, pop up in 2024? Maybe.
The hostile cultural battle in the U.S. only seems to be intensifying; and we’re already battle weary.
So, what do we do with this state of affairs? Throw in the towel, curl up in a corner and just try to survive? Take up arms, or in some other way rage against the chaos? Should we join the international Debbie Downer club and just curmudgeon ourselves to death until we die and wish the next generation good luck?
No. We hope! And, we spread hope actively. I’m not talking about embracing wishful thinking, delusional hope; no, it’s time we anchor to real, actual, transformational hope. To have that hope, we have to look to the right source.
Our hope is not found within, it is found above.
We’ve endured decades of humanist nonsense directing us to look within ourselves for the key essentials of life. We’ve been told to look within to find meaning, truth, worth, purpose and hope. It’s in part why we’re in the state of mental-health crisis we’re in as a nation and world. Those core human essentials can’t satisfactorily be found within us. The good news for 2024 is that if we will look to the only logical source for the core needs of our souls and society, we’ll find hope overflowing in spite of nasty politics, diabolical global conflicts, or wavering economics.
So, looking above, let me offer you real hope.
Your life has purpose and meaning that transcends your mortality.
Evolution as an explanation of our existence is not only wildly speculative fiction at its worst, it leaves our souls and our society figuratively in the primordial swamp it claims our ancestors crawled out of however many millions of years ago. If our existence is the result of a meaningless random accident, then the only logical conclusion I can make is that my existence is purposeless and meaningless.
The truth is, God created mankind uniquely, for eternally significant purposes. King David of Israel knew it and recorded these words of thanks to God, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
God is not only knowable personally, He want us to walk in relationship with Him, following His lead, trusting His care, and accomplishing the eternally significant work of His kingdom in our lives and in His world.
You are not an accident. You were created intentionally by God. You were wonderfully designed by God to play an important part in His creation. Your life is eternally significant and valuable.
2.You can know you are eternally secure even in a crumbling world.
Humanistic evolution has wounded our souls deeply, only offering us a bottomless pit of insecurity. According to its explanations, we are pitifully fragile entities, dangling perilously over the fires of arbitrary, chaotic, and ruthless forces at every turn.
The truth is, God is in complete control. God is all-powerful and is ultimately sovereign over the universe. He created it and is accomplishing a beautiful and wonderful plan throughout its history, even though He is allowing the authors of evil, His enemies, to run loose among and/or over us temporarily.
He promises that anyone of us who will put our faith in Him, He will securely hold in His hands through this dark season of human history, into the sure glory of His eternal kingdom forever.
He says it this way, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.” Jesus, John 10:27-30
Any of us who come to Jesus in faith are held completely secure in the double-fisted grip of God the Father and God the Son, and nothing or nobody can remove us from His secure hold. A new world war, a new pandemic, a crumbling country or economy; nothing, none of it threatens our security.
Some of our ancestors who had learned to look upward not inward for their hope said this, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3 They were so sure of their ultimate security, that threats of the very earth beneath them giving way couldn’t shake them. As we look up, here at the start of an otherwise scary new year, we too can be encouraged and strengthened with real hope.
Hear God say to you, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
So, embrace hope, and spread hope. Feel free to share this article with anyone you want as a way of spreading that hope. Also, don’t hesitate to send me any of your questions or thoughts. Here’s to a great 2024, not matter what happens!