SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER // Hope for our World
Hope is one of the scarcest commodities on the planet, yet it is a crucial element of human existence. It is a perspective, attitude and practice that must be cultivated. We can play a unique and vital role in equipping those around us with the skills of hope, of anticipating and participating in creating a future that is better than the present.
Pope Frances has talked extensively on how to teach people how to remain full of hope. Here are some of the key thoughts:
— Enemy No. 1 is not out there somewhere, but inside oneself. "Don't make room for bitter or dark thoughts."
— "Believe in the existence of the most noble and beautiful truths" and trust that God, through the Holy Spirit, is ushering everything toward the good, toward "Christ's embrace."
— Never believe the struggles here on earth are "useless." God never disappoints, and he wants that seed he planted in everyone to bloom. "God made us to flower, too."
— “Wherever you are, build!”
— When life gets hard, and "you have fallen, get up. Never stay down. Get up and let people help you to your feet."
— "If you're bored stiff, crush (boredom) with good works. "If you're sitting, start walking!" Start the journey.”
— "If you feel empty and demoralized, ask if the Holy Spirit may newly replenish" that void.
— Work for peace among people, don't listen to those "who spread hatred and division."
— Ask God for courage every day. "Remember Jesus conquered fear for us" and "not even our most treacherous enemy can do anything against faith."
— Love people. Respect everyone's journey — whether it be troubled or down the straight and narrow because everyone has a story behind them.
— "Jesus has given us a light that shines in the darkness; defend it, protect it. This unique light is the greatest richness entrusted to your life."
— Dream of a world still not seen, but will certainly come one day. Think of those who sailed oceans, scaled mountains, conquered slavery or made life better for people on earth.
— Be responsible: "Every injustice against someone poor is an open wound" and countless generations will come after you have lived.
— Spend time with people who have kept a child-like heart. "Learn from splendour, nurture amazement."
— "Live, love, believe, and with God's grace, never despair."
— Be courageous in speaking the truth, but never forget, "you are not above anyone." Even if one feels certain that he or she is the last person on earth who holds to the truth, "do not spurn the company of human beings for this" reason.
— Hold onto ideals and live for something greater than yourself, even if it comes at a high price.
Which one of these statements resonates with you? Take notice of what you notice.
Read: Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses).
Isaiah 8:17 (NIV)
I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.
Pray: Thank God for his faithfulness and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the assurance for the things you hope for. Know that even in the waiting when it feels like you may be alone, God is with you and you can put your trust in Him. Ask for the courage to extend hope to the world around you.
Respond: On your Advent calendar colour in today’s bauble, you might also like to include a scripture reference or note what God is speaking to you about