DEALERS IN HOPE
John Maxwell says that leaders are “dealers in hope.” In these distressing times, I am confronted with this pivotal responsibility. All about us, it seems like things are coming unglued. The government is spending us into oblivion. Terrorism is still a clear and present danger. American Christianity is in decline while those of other faiths and the strident anti-faith storm troopers are in the ascendancy. Along with the moral freefall and economic downturn, it seems reasonable to feel like Custer at Little Big Horn.
“What then shall we say to these things?” We join the Apostle Paul in asking that vexing question. Yet, we dare not neglect the confident assertion that follows, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Facing a seemingly impossible task and intractable foes, this little Jew marched out and took the message of hope and change (REAL hope and change—not empty political promises) to the nations and the world has never been the same! Beaten, burdened, broke and besmirched, this faithful servant of Christ met each obstacle as an opportunity and with the dawn of every day drank in the sunshine of hope, and went about dispensing it to all the thirsty souls he encountered in his travels.
We are not like the goofy Alfred E. Newman of MAD magazine fame—a fictional figure of epic naïveté whose favorite expression is, “What, me worry?” Neither are we Glumm the Lilliputian cartoon character in The Adventures of Gulliver who met each difficulty by saying, “We’re doomed! We’ll never make it!” Our feet are firmly planted in reality, while our faith is grounded in revelation—God’s sure and steadfast promises! Jesus presented this balance when He stated, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Child of God, you have every reason to be filled with hope! Not wishful thinking—not hope so, maybe so kind of stuff—but, hope that is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19a). When all that is of this world is shaky, we need not be shaken, recognizing God is just sifting out the dirt until all that remains is pure gold of eternal quality. My prayer for each of you is, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV). What else would you expect me to say? It’s my job! I am a dealer in hope.