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A Witness of HopeSarah Wise

Sarah Wise

August 2013

 

I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:19-24

 

I was awakened by the sound of a new text message on my phone this week. A friend was desperately seeking prayer for her heartbreaking circumstances. After praying I began to read the world news on my phone. Most of the headlines documented even more devastating circumstances. More than 1000 civilians killed in July alone in Iraq due to sectarian violence. In my nation, evil perpetuated on innocent girls in Philadelphia came to a conclusion in a courtroom with a lack of remorse from the aggressor.

 

These stories and more shed light on the real presence of darkness and evil in the world. It is a reality we face on a daily basis. The saddest part is, for the majority of the population, this evil and hurt have the final word. These daily doses of darkness produce the destructive cycle of hopelessness.

 

Lamentations is a book that bears witness to a world engulfed in darkness. The author had seen his home destroyed, his countrymen killed or sold into slavery, and his way of life forever altered. Jerusalem was destroyed and the people of Israel had been sent off into captivity. The author does not pretend that these things had not occurred, or that they had not hurt him emotionally, physically and spiritually. He is raw with the pain in his present situation, but this is not the end of the story.

 

One impact of God’s presence in our lives is our ability to hold onto a greater truth outside our temporary circumstances. Although the author of Lamentations was hurting and surrounded by devastation, his heart could hope in God’s faithfulness. His words are a witness of Hope for the lost and hurting people of Israel.

 

As Christ’s followers, we understand that evil is not the master of this world. It is a temporary dictator falsely promoting its superiority. Because evil, and the evil one, have been defeated by the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have hope. This hope is not necessarily related to our personal set of dreams and aspirations like riches, power, or acclaim. We can have hope because God has a larger story for our lives. We can have hope because the evil that touched our lives can be redeemed. This redemption and hope become a powerful witness for God’s people to share with others.

 

Not unlike the witness of the author of Lamentations, we are called to be a witness of hope for the lost and hurting people of our world. By living in hope in the face of evil we share the reality of Christ with unbelievers. Hundreds of millions are trapped and devastated by hopelessness. Our hope in the face of darkness can be a powerful voice to let them know that there is another way. There is hope because there is a God who is faithful, just, and loving. The Lord God can prevent darkness and evil from being the final word.

 

In order to be witnesses of hope we must be people of hope. May we live transparent lives so that people can see our pain and trials as well as the hope we maintain by God’s grace. May we be a people who look for God’s faithfulness in all situations. May we be a people who are present with others going through darkness so that they may see Jesus, the Hope of the world, as the alternative to hopelessness.

 

May we be witnesses of hope.

 

Sarah Wise graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor of public administration, a bachelor of history, and a certificate of nonprofit management. She served for three years as the missions and outreach coordinator at the Central Florida Wesley Foundation. She is currently working on a master of divinity degree with a focus in church history at Asbury Seminary. She is an intern at FollowOne this summer, and in September she will become our communications director and shepherd for Friends4One. Sarah and her husband, Kris, live in Orlando where they are avid outdoor enthusiasts, self-proclaimed technology nerds and deliciously experimental cooks. They are passionate Christ followers and advocates for international ministry.

 

A Word From James

Brokenness, alienation, fear, injustice, disappointment. These are common to human existence regardless of where God plants us on this planet due the “fallen state” of humankind. The Good News is that Christ makes it possible for us to live in this darkness as children of Light. We may suffer and grieve, but not as those who have no hope. I am thankful for Sarah’s call for us to embrace our brokenness as opportunities to be witnesses to others who hurt. Is there some way FollowOne can help you, your parents, your children and your church take new steps in response to God’s call to serve lost and hurting people?

 

Cruciform Music — This Month's Featured Song

This month’s featured song is Unlock My Roar by Daniel Bashta. Listen and purchase here.

 

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