My mentor, my pastor, and my good friend challenged me this week with two pieces of scripture.  Though whether he meant to challenge me or not is still in question, but he did it either way.  The first challenge was to hear God’s heart for the city we live in. My words from yesterday don’t answer that challenge, but they are a step on the journey.  The second challenge comes from 1 Peter 3:15 “And always be prepared to answer for the hope you have.”

Honestly I’m a little sad to live in the world in this season.  It seems like every time I turn around something horrible is going on.  The stock market is plummeting, unemployment is rocketing, poverty is rampant, all creation itself seems to lash out at humanity in violent rages.  Then, when you have Christians sharing the love of Christ, when you have men like Dan King, Andrew Marin, and Rob Morris building bridges and healing hearts, all you hear about are Fred Phelps and Pat Robertson (who I will NOT link to).  You hear about Christians prophesying the end of the world and how the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions are the result of a wrathful God.

And it makes me wonder how I can have a hope for anything beyond my little corner of the world.

“But I know the plans I have for you….plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.”

“Put your hope in God who richly provides”

“For in this hope we were saved”

It isn’t the hope of future salvation either.  It isn’t the hope that maybe someday, God will decide to make things better or the hope that Jesus is coming back some glorious day in the nebulous future.

It is the hope that comes from “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think.”  It is the hope that comes from serving a faithful God who will not leave us or forsake us.  It is the hope that comes from knowing that we have been saved for such a time as this.

The hope that comes from knowing Jesus is better than we can imagine, is bigger than we could ever pray for, and more wonderful than we can ever explain.