Recently in our city – Lorain, OH – there have been two teen deaths that have touched the lives of some of the young people in our youth group. As I was speaking with a man about one of these deaths he made a statement, “There is no hope!”
Now, I do not believe he meant that as definitive as it sounds. I believe he was saying that many of the teens have no hope. If they have no hope – which is evident by the staggering numbers of teen suicides, teens dealing with depression, teens addicted to drugs and alcohol, etc. – then what can be done? When I was in Bible college one of my fellow students would often go through a list of how long one can live without things like food, water, air; but at the end she would say, “But you can’t live one second without hope.”
Is there hope?
There is hope, but it cannot be found in a bottle, syringe, or in suicide. Hope in friends is fickle. Hope in parents or family can deteriorate. But there is hope. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, chapter 5, verse 5 that there is a hope that will never disappoint! That hope is found in Jesus.
How can I, how can you, lead others to this hope?
1 Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
The context of this verse is dealing with persecution and dealing with accusations. But there is a great principle evident here: when we live a life that has been changed by the power of the cross there will be opportunity to show why we have hope and how others can find it.
In all honesty, you can tell people until your breath runs dry where to go for hope; but the choice is up to them if they run there. I do know this, if you are living your faith through life’s circumstances, others are taking notice. They will see there is a hope inside of you that they do not have, and they will be drawn toward that. So how do we lead them to hope? By being the church. By being the people God has called us to be. By not allowing our lives to be dictated by the world around us and the circumstances going on in our lives. We can lead them to the hope that is our anchor (Hebrews 6:19) by living by faith, by being who we are supposed to be. What that means is the only way we can lead them to hope is by really possessing hope, leaning on that hope, living in that hope, and being an expression of that hope.
Pray for opportunities to help someone find hope. Let God lead you to those opportunities. Then follow through. We most likely can’t save every life, but we can save one at a time. There is hope!