Wars, floods, hurricanes, famine, tornadoes, poverty, sickness and pain.
You can't follow the news without seeing a daily does of all of the
I have heard for years that in reference to the news: If it bleeds,
What we don't often hear though are the stories of hope.
"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." Jeremiah 29 :11
It may be hard to have hope in the midst of hardship, yet if you
look for it, you will find the stories of those who are looking to a
future beyond the suffering of the present.
At times during my teen years, hope was the only thing I had.
By the early 80's we were a middle class family. My Dad had his own
business, we owned our own home and though we had other problems,
poverty wasn't one of them.
My folks moved to Tennessee when I was 14 and we all gave our lives
to Christ within a few months. Within a couple years, the bottom
fell out of our middle class life.
My Dad's business wasn't doing well, then we lost our home. We
moved and moved again. Then we got behind on the rent, and our
electricity, and before long we were in a deep, deep hole.
The church we were attending wondered out loud what "sin" we had
committed to go through this suffering.
As for me, I found it a struggle to have joy. I tried to remain
upbeat but the continuous blow after blow began to take it's toll on
my faith. Where was God? Why did we suffer like this? Was there
any way our circumstances could change? Well change they did, as we
had to leave our most recent home and were driving around in our
van, homeless. We found a one room cabin for a month and then it
was on the road again looking for another home...and another.
At the lowest point, all I had left was the little glimpses of hope
God provided in the midst of the struggle.
Like the lady who offered to pay for me to go to Bible College. (I
didn't at the time.)
Like the fact that we always had a place to lay our head. Even if
that place wasn't our home.
Like the time God provided for me to go for a week to California to
volunteer at a missions base.
In the midst of all this, I saw God provide, one day at a time, day
Now, looking back on my life, I see how God was always there. He
never left me, even in the darkest hours.
He is a God of Hope!