Our culture loves despair. We ignore the facts and choose lamentation.
Listen to an hour of the news and you’ll hear how dangerous our country is. (Crime is down significantly over the past 30 years) You’ll hear how horrible the economy is. (The image above shows the NASDAQ Index the past two years.) Public school stink. (In fact, most major metropolitan school systems have seen test scores steadily increase over the past decade.)
Find a slow news and the media just goes back to the wheel of despair news stories that you love. Teen pregnancy, homelessness, violence in schools, date rape, sexting… you know the list. They go back to that wheel of despair because YOU LOVE THAT NEWS! Our culture is sick, twisted, and upside down.
We love to point to examples of bad news and apply them to our entire culture. Gang violence up 2% in Chicago? People in Arizona will go buy a handgun, just in case it spreads. A school in the district is struggling? Pull financial support, start a private school, all the kids with means will go there.
We’re all going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing you can do about it. Armageddon is on the horizon, cope and deal baby!
That’s our culture of despair.
I reject despair for a posture of hope
I refuse to be defined, to think of myself, or to allow myself to be manipulated by an evil system which loves despair. Jesus did not die so I could live a life of despair. He subjected himself, even to death, so that I could live life to full. (John 10:10)
- My project is faced with impossible odds? I like my odds of winning.
- Life biggest challenges afoot? I smile at the opportunity.
- Less than 5% of our neighborhood attends a church? Let’s get to work loving our neighbors.
- One of my students lives in ruin because of bad decisions? Today can be the next chapter in an amazing story of redemption.
- 1.5 million people left homeless after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince? Well, let’s feed this 5,000. It’s a start.
- The church cut the budget, staff let go, initiatives put on ice? Time for some soft innovation.
- Everything that could have gone wrong today did? Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s learn from this and move forward.
I choose to fear God alone and allow Him to have dominion over what He’s asked me to do. He’s not surprised by my circumstance. He’s never let me down. And He takes great pleasure when I put my faith and trust in Him despite the odds.
The only story Americans like more than despair? A comeback. Your comeback can begin right here and right now. But you have to put on hope. You have to wear it like a jacket. You have to allow hope to define you.
Hope goes beyond and attitude and a forced smile.
It is a posture I choose to carry in all areas.
If you don’t like hope. You won’t like me.
Join me. Reject despair.
Assume a posture of hope.