Outcomes: Hope

July 14, 2013

HOPE –Beyond Optimism

I believe that Thoreau was right when he wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”  If we, as leaders and friends of children, have even an inkling that it might be true, we must do whatever we can to instill hope into the lives of the children we encounter; and we can let them get the song out.

This is especially true if we truly believe that Jesus is who he said he is.

Some may think that kids lead lives of fun, that they live only for the moment; that they never think about the future.  But was your childhood like that?  Mine wasn’t.  I had two parents at home.  With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce (sadly the statistics are not better for Christian families), I think Thoreau could amend his sentence to read “Most people, including children…”  Add to the broken homes bullying, add to bullying, peer pressure, and to peer pressure any one of a hundred things, and you have a generation of children, desperate for something to hold onto.

Whether or not they know it, what kids really  want to take hold of, and to then hold on tenaciously, is the abundant life that God has promised.   And those of us who love children can share what God has promised:

  • Leviticus 25:19 (CEV) – “If you obey my laws and teachings, you will live safely in the land and enjoy its abundant crops.”
  • Psalm 31:19 (NIV) – “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”
  • Jeremiah 33:6 (NIV) – ‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.’
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV) – “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
  • John 10:10 (NIV) – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Same verse in the ASV, “The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”
  • Romans 5:1-3 (NIV) – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”

And let’s wrap up today’s post with this thought from Hebrews…If we have anything worth sharing with the children in our life, we must share our HOPE.

  • Hebrews 6:19  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 

We can help children be the exception to Thoreau’s grim perception; we can help them lead lives that go beyond desperate optimism, and toward lives of true hope.

 

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