Monday, December 18

Where DO WE Begin TO Find Hope?

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WHERE DO WE BEGIN TO FIND HOPE?

It is the Christmas season, a season of hope and love and promise but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas with all the pain and suffering, the darkness, the gloom and doom, the fear, the anxiety that hangs over us.  Where do we begin to find hope, the change we need to make this world a better place?

All around the world there is a clamor for change.  This world is not a happy place. People are hungry, scared, living in fear, unable to care for their daily sustenance, going without the basic daily needs; they are at odds with each other and unknowing of themselves. Confusion reigns and a darkness engulfs us.  It seems that about the only thing the entire world agrees on is to disagree and that will never make a better or happy or safe world for any of us.  Even the most elite fall prey to such dissention. Where do we begin to find this change the entire world so longs for?

There is no doubt change is drastically needed. Many now live in fear of the destiny ahead of us whether it is our own personal problems, our individual physical, emotional or financial wellbeing, our family relationships; our jobs, education; our civil rights; we are worried about agriculture and the environment; religion and our religious rights and our government and the direction it is leaning. Anxiety is gripping us like a vise. We are a very worried world and justifiably so.

We all want things to be better but no one really seems to know how to fix it. Just about everyone is scrambling to find the answer, the answer to what is best for me and far too many care little to nothing about who they trample over to get what they personally want and think they need. We are a world of seekers, seekers of self-gratification, each looking out for good old number one first. Therein lays the bottom line, our problem. So what are we going to do about the mess we are in? Here is a thought and this thought includes me.

Before we can really see change, have things better; before we can have happier, more secure lives we need to first look in the mirror and we need to recognize and accept that we cannot change everyone and everything in the world to agree with our way of thinking.  Hope is found in the heart and change comes one person at a time and begins with me and with you.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. The one thing we can honestly change, the only thing, is our self, our own attitude and way of living. Our first and most important change does not need to come from our churches, our government, our economy or our environment.  The first change has to begin with the person we face in the mirror each morning and with a very simple rule; “Do unto others and you would have them do unto you.”  That rule, by the way, is not just a Christian principle.  You will find this teaching in most every social and religious philosophy in the world.

If we really seek change for the betterment of all humanity including our self, then change needs to come first to the heart of the people, each and every one of us. We need to dump the envy and the jealousy, the greed and the lust. We need to stop the finger pointing and playing the blame game. If we really want change it needs to begin with me and with you, with each of us individually. We need to ditch the apathy and the selfishness and learn to love each other as we love our self; do unto others as we would have them do unto us

We, meaning you and me, need to stop worrying about my rights and start worrying about our rights as a community, a nation, a world; what is good for all of us. We are all human and we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, having our daily needs, clean water, food, shelter, clothing and sufficient medical care when needed and we all need to do our part according to our ability, not just the few.

Here in America we claim to be a “Christian” Nation founded on the principles set forth in God’s Holy Word, the Bible. We claim to be “One Nation under God” and we are the most affluent and blest nation on Earth with an astounding amount of natural resources including its people, the most diverse of all Nations on Earth.

When a people are truly walking with God there is love and hope and unity. A bond of caring and truly sharing; there is a calm that alleviates traumatic stress. There is love, real love, there is no fear and worries are resolved. I don’t think the state of the American Nation, the world is reflected accurately in the survey I mentioned nor does the world, my nation as I see it today bear witness to its results. There is something very wrong with this picture and the situation America now finds itself in.

How far have we fallen from God’s grace? There are solutions to our problems. There is hope for those willing to truly make change and the first step on that road of change is to turn to God, back to God, the God in whom our nation was first founded, back to the Creator and His instruction book. God has not left us. We have instead turned our backs on Him. We no longer follow in His true way and are no longer being lead by His Spirit. We are being conned and deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing just as God said we would be. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:14-17

According to a survey I read not less than 75% of all Americans claim to be “Christian,” therefore, we should be living according to Christ instructions. This being the case, we should be living Christian lives, following Jesus instructions on how to live in Him. Jesus spelled it out clearly for us. (Read Matthew chap. 5-8 in the Bible)  Christians are followers of Jesus, the Christ and are lead by Holy Spirit to live their lives according to God’s will; God, Almighty God, the Alpha, the Omega, Creator of all things. Christians believe and try to follow all that Jesus, God’s Holy Son taught us and Christians do not, or should not twist, maim, change, distort God’s Word, His teachings and instructions to appease our own desires and way of thinking, to make our lives a little more convenient according to our will. We are followers of Jesus, the Christ. The key word is followers.

If we all did this I think we would very quickly know real hope, see real change, a wonderful change. I think we would have a whole lot less worry and anxiety. Certainly God is our all sufficiency and provides our every need. Here again, there is a gigantic difference between need and want. We, Americans in particular, are much too easily convinced that we need things we do not need and selfishly, greedily seek them, claim them any way we can yet as Christians we should know and trust that God Himself provides all we need according to His perfect will. (Matthew 7:7)

If we are truly a Christian nation and we truly seek change, real change, change that will bring peace, joy, sufficiency and eternal life then we need to look in the mirror. Change begins at home with you and with me, in the heart of mankind. We can have change one heart at a time reaching out to each other through Jesus, the Christ, our Lord. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life (light); no man cometh unto the Father except through me. If we really believe, really seek change then we need to turn our hearts, minds and souls back to God…”let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men”… Galatians 6:9-10 When we claim, “In God we trust,” do we really mean it?

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