No Hope, But the Living Hope

“There are six things the LORD hates—

no, seven things he detests:

haughty eyes,

a lying tongue,

hands that kill the innocent,

a heart that plots evil,

feet that race to do wrong,

a false witness who pours out lies,

a person who sows discord in a family.” – Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT)

Whenever I see news of rape, murder, and hate crimes, one can’t help but think: is this who we really are?

Yes, it is. The Bible’s assessment of humanity is accurate and bleak.

Jeremiah observed:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

Yet, in God we have our hope despite the depravity of all humanity.

“But I, the LORD, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10 NLT)

Therefore, Jeremiah goes on to say:

“O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
if you save me, I will be truly saved.
My praises are for you alone!” (Jeremiah 17:14 NLT)

In this world, when we deal with the actions of others and the trauma resulting from abuse and neglect, we do not feel safe. But I want you to know and experience the peace God gives. His peace is not the same as what we would think it would be. The peace of God is not dependent on any circumstances or the losses we suffered (John 14:27).

The peace of God has been paid for by Christ and given to all who believe – no matter where they are, what they do, and no matter how great our suffering.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

When you wonder: what can I do? Is the problem too great for anyone to solve? How can I even start?

I will leave with you the truth He has reassured me with:

““I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” (John 14:12-21 NLT)

My hope and prayer is that as we grow to understand and exemplify God’s love, we will never lose hope (1 Timothy 4:10).

I also strongly advise people to begin training in martial arts and learn how to handle weapons (Krav Maga, BJJ, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, just to name a few – this list is not exhaustive). Marital art schools are a great resource for learning how to defend yourself and others.

I also recommend people to search for local community resources. Some places have organized volunteer walks, where volunteers walk with people to help them feel safe in the street. You may request to volunteer or to ask for volunteers to walk with you.

Be alert, be aware, and may you be prepared but not live in fear.

Finally:

“Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?”

“No,” they replied.

 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.” (Luke 22:35-37 NLT)

This surge in violence against a particular ethnic group is not new. People of various ethnicities and backgrounds have faced violence and threats of violence, some being more persecuted than others. We live in a world that’s full of every kind of greed and evil. Evil people prosper when godly people do nothing.

Let’s be prepared for hardships, be ready to help others in need, but don’t give up hope, and do not give up in doing good. It will be worth it in the end.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

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