Hope Regardless of the Circumstances

I had something else planned to post today. It was something fairly light-hearted but hopefully still helpful as I just returned home from vacation. However, as I’ve watched the news the last few days and with the events in Baton Rouge on Sunday, I felt the need to share something different.

I don’t often comment on current events. My focus is on helping church leaders grow their churches and stay in ministry for the long haul. However, recent events (perhaps even more than usual) require the church to be the hands and feet of Christ.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but would like to offer a few observations:

#1 – Hope is not lost

As we’ve learned of so many tragic events happening in such a short period of time, it can feel overwhelming. With so many stories of lives lost and communities shattered, it’s easy to feel helpless and hopeless. We know that’s not true.

We serve the God of the universe who loves all of mankind and whom we can call upon for help. The stories of people who love and serve those who’ve been hurt remind us His nature is alive and well in us.

#2 – We have work to do

Those of us who call Jesus Christ our Savior are His body on this earth. We are His representatives and servants. When, and ideally before, tragic events happen we need to love and serve our communities. What that looks like from a practical perspective will vary based on the challenges your community faces. However, the church should be the first place people know they can turn to for hope, love, guidance, and help.

Your congregation likely is already taking action to serve your community.  I’d encourage you to keep serving and ask God to show you how you can make an impact.

#3 – Your congregation may be hurting

At the very least, if your community hasn’t been directly impacted by recent events, you have people wondering how to respond.

It’s painfully obvious we still live in a fallen world.

However, we also have a hope that does not disappoint.

Let’s remind our congregations and ourselves that we aren’t helpless. We do have a reason to hope and we can affect positive change in our communities.

It’s been a turbulent year both in the US and around the world. It hurts simply hearing about recent events, so I can’t even imagine what those who’re directly impacted are going through. If your church is in one of these communities, please let me know how I can pray more effectively for you. For now, my prayers are for wisdom, peace, comfort, and hope for all involved.

The phrase, “an ever-present help in time of need” came to mind as I was writing this post. I think that line is from a worship song, but as I looked up a verse that sounded similar I came across Psalm 46. I pray these verses minister to you as they reminded me of whom we serve and the hope we have in Christ.

God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,

And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,

Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,

The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;

God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;

He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

Who has made desolations in the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;

He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

-Psalm 46, NKJV