Contagious Hope Spreads throughout the World

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It’s Saturday morning and you’re settled in your favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and today’s newspaper. Or perhaps you’re scrolling through the daily news on your computer.

You wonder why you even bother to read the news. It’s so depressing. And yet, you begin your search with hope. Just this once, wouldn’t it be nice to read some good news? Unfortunately, what you find are items much like the following:

  • Since 1973, roughly 50 million legal induced abortions have been performed in the United States.
  • Nearly half of all first births in America are out of wedlock
  • Study shows marijuana and ecstasy use have Increased in the U.S.
  • 90,000 murders committed in U.S. last year. (2013)
  • In America today, sixty percent of all marriages are preceded by a period of cohabitation.
  • According to Psychology Today, some 15 million Americans battle depression.

The article goes on to claim that Americans are obsessed with happiness. And yet, people are increasingly depressed. Why is that, you wonder? Is it because we’re obsessed with the wrong thing? Although that makes sense, what you read next shocks you beyond belief.

  • The dominant faith in the world today is materialism. This new religion has at least 1 billion followers around the world, thus making it the most important and dominant faith today. This popular religion that disregards moral standards affects people’s daily lives everywhere.

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Discouraged, you put aside the news of the day and reach for your Bible. By this time, your coffee is cold and so is your heart. “God, what is wrong with our world?” you ask. “Is there no hope for us? Is there no good news?”  

You turn to Colossians where Paul is encouraging his faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. You realize his words are not time sensitive. Paul is praying for you, as well. He is writing to all who need to be reminded that no matter how bad it gets, there is good news for all.

With hope renewed, you reheat your coffee and join Paul in Colosse.

“We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.”

You stop and reflect on the time you first heard the good news of Christ’ love and forgiveness. And you revel in the fact if you were the only person who ever lived besides Christ, He would have died for you.

You return to Paul’s words and are held captive by his commitment to pray for the faithful.

“So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you grow as you learn to know God better and better.”

Your heart soars as you read how Paul prays for the faithful who are discouraged by the darkness of their world.

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.  He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Colossians 1:1-14 (NLT)

No wonder people are depressed. Materialism is not the answer. Nor is any other philosophy or religion. Relationship is the key. Our hope to overcome the darkness of the world is found in a personal relationship with the living God. That is Good News! Flooded with peace, you sit back in wonder. In your mind, you see a headline written across the sky.

Contagious Hope Spreads throughout the World Changing Lives

Overwhelmed, you fall on your knees and pray, “Whether it’s next door or around the world, here I am, God. Send me.”

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What is God saying to you about your part in spreading contagious hope in your world?

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