What a year we have been through! While watching the news or looking at social media this past year, did you experience the feeling that your insides were churning at the reality of all that was happening? We turn on the TV and hearing, “Covid numbers soar” or other shocking news became as common as hearing the weather report.
We get that sinking feeling.
You know, the sensation of launching down a steep drop on a roller coaster. What does this mean now? What is next? Lockdown? When will things be normal again?
A mix of emotions begin to swirl in our heads like a whirlwind. Sadness, confusion, compassion, outrage, and anger each competing for our full attention.
Which emotion do we entertain?
If we choose to linger on one of these emotions, we can get stuck and begin to see everything through the lens of that emotion.
It can be tempting to view the world through a consistent lens of negativity, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or, it may be easier to lean into our anger and begin to assign blame.
In spite of recent events, the thought that kept going through my mind has been, “God is still good.”
That truth gave me hope.
God is still good, even when things are not.
God is still good, even when people are not.
God is still good, even when circumstances are not.
Although it may sound like a simple answer to a very complicated situation, I believe it is very profound. Over and over again, the Bible tells us that God is good. How do we hold on to that in the midst of tragedy or uncertainty?
Hold on to hope.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds… Hebrews 10:23-24
How do we apply this verse in the circumstances we face? Let’s take a look at this verse with an expanded definition from the Greek lexicon.
Let us hold fast, (keep secure, keep firm possession of) our hope without wavering (with a firm, expectation, and confidence we remain unmoved). Let us consider, (observe fully, behold, discover) how to stimulate (provoke unto love) good deeds (work, toil).
One way that we can hold on to our hope is to focus on the fact that God is faithful.
We can also observe the good work of others around us. My friend Elizabeth sent me this quote; I found it very encouraging.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” Fred Rogers
God sends those helpers. He empowers those responders, doctors, and nurses to care for the sick as well as the people who love them.
He nudges people to tend to the hearts around them; He equips those who help and provides healing for them afterward. He inspires generosity to strangers.
He comforts those who mourn and He uses people to encourage and come alongside others. He brings families and communities together. He uses the church to be a light in the midst of darkness and to introduce people to the hope of Christ.
Those are just a few examples of how God is good.
I do not believe that God causes bad things to happen. Rather, I believe that He is present and wants to bring healing in the midst of those circumstances. What you focus on, you empower. Let’s choose to focus on hope.
When you hold on to hope, the hope that you believe in begins to live in you.
Reclaiming Hope Together,