Faith Produces Hope In Hopeless Situations

One of my favorite activities each year is my participation in the annual Memorial Day parade. As I prepared for this again a few days ago, I thought about the meaning of this holiday and this parade, It’s one of the ways in which we remember and honor those who fought and died in the military forces of the United States of America, going all the way back to the American Revolution in 1776. 

As I study the history of the wars in which the USA has been involved, I realize that we have often found ourselves facing what seemed to be hopeless situations. For example, during the first year in which the USA was involved in World War II there seemed to be little reason for hope. The allied forces were losing the war in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Our west coast was in danger of invasion from the enemy. It was protected by only four aircraft carriers, two cruisers, and support ships. The rest of the 6th Fleet had been destroyed or seriously damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor. But in spite of all this bad news, there was a sense of hope.

During this time a popular song was often heard, When the Lights Go On Again, All Over the World. It was a song of hope. There was another song of hope, which we still hear and sing today, God Bless America. A prayer asking that God will cause things to be as God wants them to be in and for our nation. A song of faith. Where there is faith there is hope. More precisely, where there is faith in the God the Bible reveals to us as the one and only true God. When the things hoped for are what God wants, then that hope will some day become a reality. God keeps his promises. In those dark days, Americans had hope because most of them really did have faith in God.

I believe the reason that so many Americans are losing hope in our ability to win the war on terrorism today, is that too many Americans, over the past 50 years or so, have lost faith in God. And when you lose faith in God you lose hope. We’ve been so busy trying to be our own god. Trying to create our own good news, instead of  hearing and experiencing God’s good news  – salvation through faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. So we just hear the bad news and live without hope.

That was the problem with Jesus’ disciples (read Mark 8:31-38). They were sure that when he got to Jerusalem he was going to become the king of Israel. And now he tells them that they are wrong. Jesus will suffer, be rejected, and killed. His disciples didn’t want to hear this. It didn’t take Peter long to figure out what the death of Jesus would mean for him. Instead of becoming Jesus’ number one man in the royal court, it would be back to fishing in Galilee. No Jesus. No hope. But they missed something. Jesus also said that he would rise again. Death would result in life. With Jesus, hopelessness would be turned into hope.

Paul understood that when he wrote his letter to the church in Rome at a time when many were becoming disillusioned about the Christian faith they had adopted. The more they tried to live as Christians the more difficult life became for them. They were beginning to lose hope. In his letter Paul gave them a message of truth (Romans 4:17-21).With God there is always hope. No  matter what things look like. God promises that Abraham will be a source of blessing for all of humanity. That meant that Abraham would have descendants. But this seems to be a promise with no hope of being fulfilled. Because, as Paul says, Abraham was “as good as dead, 99 years old”. But Abraham accepts God’s promise in faith. He believes that God’s promise will become a reality. And it does, because God’s promises are always kept. 

This year, in the midst of a war which too many Americans see as hopeless, is the 71st  anniversary of the victory of the allied forces, which ended World War II. The world was saved from the evils of the Nazis and their allies. Because that was God’s will. God saw to it that the hope of the American people was not in vein. We need to remember that in these times, the War aginst terrorism continues. A different kind of war. A war without front lines. A war in which any place and every place can be a battlefield. A war against terrorism. A war which former President George W. Bush explained is not going to be won on a specific date, with a formal ceasing of hostilities, and the signing of a peace treaty. That’s because the terrorists do not represent any nation. They are themselves an evil nation without territory or borders, intent on conquering  and imposing their evil will on the world.

This is a time to remember that God gave us the victory in World War II because we were a nation which acted as though we really believed that God had been blessing America all along. We were a nation which believed God’s Word in Ecclesiastes. There is a time to tear down and to build up. A time for peace and a time for war. We believed that Biblical wisdom, which could be heard in another popular song, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition, and We’ll All Stay Free.

As the war against terrorism continues, I believe we need to remember and believe what God told the Israelites as they prepared to cross the Jordan River into the promised land. They too , experienced fear and hopelessness. So God, upon the death of Moses, spoke through Joshua, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you may go. (Joshua 1:9).

I believe that God created the USA for the purpose of shining a light in the world- the light of Jesus. I believe that God created the USA to lead in keeping God’s order in the world, so that the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can be proclaimed. We need to do that around the world. We also need to do that here at home. When we have faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God will give us reason to have hope that in this war on terrorism, we will prevail. God will see to it, because that is the will of God.

Grace  and  peace,  Ray


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This entry was posted in Bible, Discernment, Enlightenment, Faith, Faith, God's grace, God's Will, Good News, Hope, Jesus, Joshua, Memorial Day, Trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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