The world needs the hope we have.
In recent years, in fact, throughout all of history really, there have been some loud criticisms of Christianity. It seems that no one who calls themselves Christian is exempt from ridicule. Homeschoolers are considered backwoods and uneducated; Catholics are considered to have come from man-made tradition; megachurches are criticized for being all about the profit and not caring for people. Small churches in grocery store fronts and old buildings with ugly carpet are criticized for not being “with the times”.
Leaders of all denominations are criticized, belief in God is criticized, belief in the authority of Scripture is criticized. It’s easy to see all of these attacks, critiques, and accusations hurled at us while we’re “doomscrolling” through the news or through social media and feel conflicted or confused. Are we a part of something that’s eternal? Is the church a safe place? It may seem silly to list these questions, but when you’re bombarded from all sides with the latest “tell-all” books about how Christianity ruins lives, it’s not quite so silly. These are questions we must be solid on!
Here’s why: the world today lacks hope. Oh, how they lack hope. The sky is always falling, the whole world is against them, climate change is going to end life as we know it, they can never get ahead, etc., etc., etc. You know the only place I’ve ever found hope that was enough to sustain a weary heart and broken spirit? The Word of God. Here’s why it’s important that we ask the tough questions and strengthen our commitment to the Word of God: the world needs the hope we have. If we’re not sure about God’s ultimate goodness, His sovereignty and His grace, how can we share the hope?
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” Hebrews 6:19
When you see nay-sayers (and you will; we will always be in good company with the God-fearing men and women who’ve gone before us – there are always nay-sayers), don’t be discouraged into thinking that nobody wants this precious truth or that it’s not relevant anymore. Despite all of the claims that “religion” or belief in God is dead and His Word holds no authority, fear, depression, addiction and anxiety are still rampant and even increasing from year to year.
Friends, we need to get into the Word of God and be ready with an answer. Are classes for addiction good? Of course. Is fellowship with other believers good? Sure. Is reading books on faith and Christian living good? Sure. But there is NO substitute for that infallible, precious Word of God. NO substitute for the preached Word spoken under the unction of the Holy Ghost.
What we have in the church today is a treasure, and I hope we never lose sight of its value in the midst of these loud dissenters. There’s lots to say about the current trend of airing “church hurt” and dismantling belief systems (another topic for another time), but at the end of the day, there is a Truth that never changes. People will fail, the political climate will change, definitions will change, but this Truth has stood the test of time and will continue to stand. This is our ultimate hope!
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8