Being Hope

I got a call recently from some friends who’s kids were in my first youth ministry.  They were in Jackson, MS, where I live, helping with recovery from the recent flooding.  We had a great time catching up and reconnecting.  The ministry they help with is Eight Days of Hope.  This ministry has a unique call.  They go into areas after hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes and assist with clean up as a ministry.  Everyone who works is a volunteer who gives their time to help.  After we ate and visited some, the group had a small service and I saw some amazing things that I think can help us with our daily attitudes.

Hope Takes Sacrifice

  • All the people I saw in the room last night were volunteers who came to MS to help with recovery.  They gave their own time and some of their own expenses to come give serve others.  People were from all over the county and were smiling and happy to serve.  They had worked all day in people’s houses cleaning out debris and helping to rebuild.  It was exhausting work and they did it willingly.

  • If we want to bring hope to others, we must be willing to sacrifice. Giving hope takes sacrifice because we must come alongside others and creatively serve them.  Many people offer pity instead because it is easier.  Pity motivates us to just give money and feel better, but hope takes a personal sacrifice.  We have to get involved to give hope because relationships connect us.

Hope Involves Relationships

  • The room last night was filled with different people, from different parts of the nation, with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  However, they came together to give hope.  Giving hope is not a denial of the differences, but a willingness to look past differences to find common ground. This is happening all across the country, even though we often do not see it.

  • We need to start believing in people more than we believe the news.  Often the news will divide us, but hope can bring us together.  When you build a relationship with someone by serving them and giving them hope, the differences melt away.  Last night there were a group of men who surrounded one of the men they helped and they were all hugging and crying together.  These were tough construction type guys who don’t cry easily, but their relationship with the man they helped brought out a new compassion.

Instead of seeing what is wrong in society and letting the 24hr news cycle get you angry, why not find ways to give hope to others.  I wouldn’t have known this was happening if my friends hadn’t invited me to catch up with them last night.  Maybe there are opportunities for you to give hope to others and you just need to open your eyes and look for them.  I think many of our “divisions” across the country are manufactured to serve someone’s agenda.  Let’s break those down by finding others to serve.

Are you letting the news control your attitude, or are you a hope agent to your world?

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