Hope is Not Lost; The Meaning is

AmyW_blogimgby Amy Williams

The world defines hope as a possibility, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” But our faith defines it as a sure thing. Hope in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Our hope is in the God of promises, the God of compassion and the God of knowledge.

• A mother in Chicago buries her 4th and last child to gun violence…

• Another mother visits 1 of her 4 children who are currently locked up behind bars…

• A sister watches her baby brother get beat by their dad for dropping a fork on the floor…

• A father waits in the hospital waiting area as his teen daughter gives birth – again…

For every young person we help leave the gang life, 10 more join…

For every young person who graduates high school, 25 more drop out…

For every young person who recovers from an addiction, 15 more overdose…

We often find ourselves, like Job, asking “…where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me [them]?” (Job 17:15)

…and yet God, constantly and consistently, commands us to have Hope in Him…to “fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Am I the only one who sometimes shakes her head, squints her eyes and tightens her forehead and says “Really Lord?

REALLY.” He says back with compassion, tenderness, maybe even a chuckle as He shakes his head.

Many of the situations and conditions we find our youth drowning in are disheartening, devastating and downright depressing. We see injustice happening every day in one form or another. It can be incredibly overwhelming and at times, seem hopeless. We wonder, how can we ever make a dent in this darkness?

One Word: HOPE.

The world defines hope as a possibility, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best1. But our faith defines it as a sure thing. Hope in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Our hope is in the God of promises, the God of compassion and the God of knowledge.

Where we fall short is having more hope in ourselves and our ability to change things than in having hope in the God who doesn’t understand the word “impossible.” We tend to define success based on outcomes more than how these situations can give God the most Glory and give us the most growth. We tend to try to find hope in the situation rather than seeing hope in the God who knows the beginning from the end.

His promise to us in Isaiah 41:10 says “I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” We can find hope in Isaiah 42:4, “He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth…” We serve a God who is the Author and Finisher of our lives and the lives of our young people. He is a God of justice. He is fighting for our young people. He sees them…and He sees your loving and, often hurting, heart for them too.

We must be humble and bold like Job and say “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.” We must sing the Psalm “Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” (119:116)

We have the incredible responsibility to be beacons of hope in the midst of hopeless looking situations, always pointing our youth the God of Hope…and how can you answer to the question of having hope in impossible circumstances if young people don’t see it in your life? 1 Dictionary.com

[ About the Author ]
AMY L. WILLIAMS, a 19 year youth ministry veteran, follows her call to minister to male teens involved in gangs, on probation/parole and those in the juvenile justice system – at the core of which mentoring is her key strategy. In addition, she heard God’s call to move into a gang neighborhood in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community to be a “Hope Dealer” doing street outreach. Amy has pursued her calling as a Youth Pastor, Reentry Coordinator for paroled youth and Mentor trainer/coordinator. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Ministry at Bakke Graduate University with a focus on urban youth and gang culture. A Devos Urban Leadership alumni, Amy trains and mentors other leaders across the country sharing her passion to reach as many youth with the message of HOPE through Jesus Christ.

2 Responses to “Hope is Not Lost; The Meaning is”

  1. Alexis Lowell 03/05/2015 at 7:33 am #

    I love it Amy!!! Thanks for sharing, can;t wait to here you speak in LA this summer!

  2. Janessa 11/10/2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Thanks. You wrote it long ago, but I needed to read it tonight.

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