During times that I am tired or having an "Eeyore Day," I sometimes have a brief, negative outlook for our nation.
I sometimes ponder what is going on around the world with people engaged in war, genocide, human trafficking, or drug trafficking, and wonder why people treat others the way they do.
This causes me to stop and lift prayers to God for healing: for the ills of society, for the hatred and cruelty people express toward others, and for those who are beaten down by a sense of failure.
My time of pessimism is short-lived. Strength is renewed through prayer, and life comes back into focus once again. This happens because of the hope I place in God. It is a hope that continuously puts matters into proper perspective.
The kind of hope I am referring to is not the hope some have about winning the lottery, or gaining more power, or for their favorite team to make it all the way to the championships. I am referring to the kind of hope that is connected, not to worldly matters, but to God.
Hope has been defined as an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.
Placing hope in our living God and in Jesus Christ provides the kind of perspective that makes life worth living. It enables us to look toward the future — not with dread, but with joyful anticipation.
We are called to put our hope in God. Psalm 37:7 says, "And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you."
Our true yearning in life is deeply spiritual. When we trust and hope in God, we find happiness, as in Psalm 146:5: "Joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God."
As Christians, our hope in God's activity, justice, grace, and love comes from our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
We are called to look at life differently; not through eyes that dread tomorrow or fear what lies ahead. We are to place our trust in the Lord because he said he is with us, "even to the close of the age."
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.