Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hope on the Rise ; Adapted from an Article in the Christian Science Sentinel

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Hope on the Rise ; Adapted from an Article in the Christian Science Sentinel

Article excerpt

A friend called me recently with bleak news. She had received an unfavorable medical diagnosis, and, on top of that, her marriage was in trouble. Like a climber losing hold on a slippery bank, she was grasping for hope.

I did the only thing that came to me, which was to assure her with as much conviction as I could that God's love was holding her and would not fail.

Then she said, "May I ask you a personal question?" She wanted to know how I got my conviction and whether I'd seen great examples of God's power in my life. The Bible says to be always ready to answer anyone who asks you the reason for your hope (see I Pet. 3:15). And it was on the tip of my tongue to say that I'd seen remarkable recoveries from serious illness through prayer, as well as cases of better relationships restored.

But something made me pause, and a different answer came out. I told her that preserving hope is something I have to work at every day, and that affirming God's power and goodness often - even when things look bleak - helps me feel more hopeful and convinced of it.

Hearing about all kinds of problems resolved through prayer has been a tremendous source of hope for me over the years. Still, it's only human to wonder sometimes whether I will find help in some particular trouble. The doubts come. Maybe I'm not good enough to deserve God's help. What about people who have prayed and apparently not been delivered?

In a current documentary about Israeli and Palestinian children, the camera catches a poignant moment when two Jewish boys ask their grandfather, a holocaust survivor, whether he believes in God. He stares silently and makes no reply.

Examples of good experiences don't always give hope that every trouble will be solved. Maybe that's why I answered my friend's question the way I did that day. Yet hope is vital to moving forward in life. It's important, then, to know that hope can arise even without specific experiences to inspire it. Simple unselfish love can give rise to hope.

There's a wonderful example of love-inspired hope in the story of Molly Craig and Daisy Craig Kadibil, Australian Aborigines, who were among thousands of half-caste children forcibly removed from their families over many decades in the 20th century. …

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