In a small Texas Panhandle town, the farm business was booming. It was the 70’s and the government had stepped in with incentivized loans at low interest rates, giving the farmers a much needed break and the money they needed to grow their businesses.
But the 80’s came roaring in with crippling inflation and soaring interest rates leaving the farmers unable to pay their loans or their bills. The vast majority of them lost everything.
It was known as the “Farming Crisis” of the mid-1980’s.
Sadly, that little town never recovered. The once thriving community with busy roads and blooming businesses is now barren and boarded up.
Today, we have a crisis of hope.
It doesn’t only affect small towns and rural communities. It’s not just about financial downfalls and the lack of food.
It’s a crisis that leaves hearts hurting, homes in havoc, communities in fear and countries at odds.
The daily headlines, the hostility and constant contention, the flagrant disregard for truth and morality and the utter betrayal of right and wrong have our heads spinning and our hearts longing for hope in the midst of these seemingly hopeless situations.
The problem is, it’s oh-so easy to get sucked into these every day circumstances and we neglect to turn to God and to God’s Word for the hope we need and the hope that can only be found in Him.
The once thriving little Texas town slipped out of existence because it put all its hope in something the government offered.
This isn’t about the role of government in the lives of communities. This is about putting all our hope in the wrong proverbial basket.
Governments are important. They can be helpful. But they can also be destructive. And they certainly can’t be counted on for hope.
Today, in a world where everything is politicized, truth is “fact-checked” as false and humanity has lost civility and its ability to discern right from wrong…
I want to encourage you to redirect your attention to Jesus.
Like a sponge ~ the more we fill our minds and hearts with headlines and hostility ~ the more saturated we become with all the turmoil and angst.
Sometimes, we need to squeeze out our intake of the daily events of this world and begin to regularly absorb the Word of God and fill our hearts and minds with HOPE… by meditating on His Word and seeking His face in prayer.
WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE OUR LIVES IN TURMOIL WHEN HOPE IS AN EVER-PRESENT GIFT THAT GOD OFFERS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US.
Be intentional. Don’t let the world determine the status of your heart and mind. Make some important choices to access the HOPE that God offers you and that Jesus died to give you.
- CHOOSE TO EAT FROM THE WORD OF GOD BEFORE YOU EAT BREAKFAST.
- CHOOSE TO SEEK HIS FACE BEFORE YOU SEEK WHAT’S GOING ON ON FACEBOOK.
- CHOOSE TO READ THE GOOD NEWS BEFORE YOU TURN ON THE NEWS
- CHOOSE TO HEAR HIS VOICE BEFORE YOU LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF THE WORLD.
- Get up early and read God’s Word.
- Anticipate hearing God speak to your heart. Ask God to speak to you from His Word. (1 Samuel 3:10)
- Not sure where to start? Start with the Gospel of John and read the Psalms.
- Not sure how long? Set a timer if you have to. But it’s good to start with 15 to 30 minutes a day reading the Word. Remember, we spend hours filling our minds with everything this world throws our way. 15 to 30 minutes in the Word may seem like a lot, but it’s just a smidge of time in your day compared to how much time you’re heart is bombarded each day with the cares of this world.
- Set aside time to pray too. Talk to God. Cry out to Him for help. Surrender your will and your day to Him. Worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Thank Him for the multitude of blessings He has bestowed upon you. Focus on His love, His mercy an His goodness. Turn your attention to Him and let Him and His Word be the filter for what you see and hear throughout the day.
- Cast your care upon Him for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) (We’ll talk more about what this means in the next post.)
- Meditate on God’s Word. Specifically focus on His promises, His character and what He shows you each day. (Psalm 119:148)
- Listen to worship music instead of scrolling through social media or turning on the news.
It’s funny how we long for hope but don’t push pause long enough to grab hold of it.
What we long for is not elusive. It’s there for the taking. But it’s not found in any thing the world has to offer. It can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Let your heart hope again. Make choices that fill your heart with hope instead of the hostility of this world. You won’t regret reprioritizing your life to focus on Christ. But you will regret it if you don’t.
How about you?