A Matter of Faith -- Finding Hope in a Broken World FeaturedWritten by Carol Round
By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – January 20, 2015) -- “There really is hope for you tomorrow. So your hope will not be cut off”—Proverbs 23:18 (NIRV).
How often do you hear the term “the good ole’ days?” What does that expression mean to you? For me, born in 1953, it refers to the following: the front doors of our homes—and many times the back door—left unlocked. There was no need for expensive alarm systems. We didn’t worry about burglaries. Instead, our greatest concern was a neighborhood child who might walk in without knocking and discover someone in a state of undress.
I long for “the good ole’ days” when children could leave the house after breakfast, play all day with neighborhood kids and return home just in time for supper. Parents didn’t worry that we’d be kidnapped. In those days, schoolyard arguments ended with “double dog dares,” instead of automatic weapons. A sense of peace and security prevailed. For me, those indeed were “the good ole’ days.”
While those “good ole’ days” weren’t perfect, I don’t think our world was in the current state of brokenness it’s in now. How can we find hope in this broken world?
While some constantly complain about the brokenness in our world, I’ve learned it does no good. We can’t change it but we can change our outlook on life when we place our hope in the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Renowned priest and author Henri Nouwen once said, “Our life is full of brokenness–broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives?”
Finding hope in the New Year means seeking His presence each morning. To view each day of the New Year with hope means having an open mind and heart to where the Lord may take us, knowing with full confidence He is always with us.
Being open to new possibilities, realizing that there’s no limit to what God can do in our lives, can open our hearts to renewed hope. Hope can also be found in this new season when we prayerfully consider God’s plans for us in 2015.
The New Year, full of hope, lies before us as we move ahead, trusting God always has a plan and purpose for what we will experience. Remember He has a reason for what He allows into our lives. Finding hope in the New Year when things look gloomy requires us to trust Him completely for each day’s provision. He knows what we need and He is always faithful to provide.
When we embrace a New Year, God will work in us and through us, stretching and growing us through new experiences and new lessons. However, whether good or bad, we must keep our eyes fixed on Christ. He’s our only hope in a broken world.
Photo: What made the ‘good old days’ so good? (Illustration: http://www.sodahead.com)