Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

20 October 2008

Hope Dispensers

I don't know much that is more powerful than hope. After spending a weekend thinking about the "Darwin's Nightmare" documentary, I led a discussion about social justice for our Hot Topics segment at Freedom House yesterday. I've had some fascinating reactions to hearing this story of despicable abuse, both in blog world and at Freedom House yesterday. But the prevailing sentiment from both the "I can't even listen to this it's so disturbing" crowd AND the "I'm diving in with two feet forward" crowd is that...

"it's discouraging... the world's problems are huge and seem unsolvable. What can I do?"
Most of us

Yup... me too. But then along comes hope.

The term "hope dispenser" has been popping up in my spirit again and again lately. I didn't used to like the word hope because it wasn't as "solid" as redemption. When you're redeemed... you're REDEEMED. Even prayer indicates an actual tangible conversation. But HOPE is a little bit more illusive because there is far more of an intangible component.

Dictionary.com's 1st definition of hope is:

1. "The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. "

It's NEVER easy to believe that the injustice that you see around you can be fixed. It's IMPOSSIBLE without hope. It's interesting to look at the 4th definition of hope
4. "A person or thing in which expectations are centered"

So HOPE is something that can be embodied. Something can BE hope. That makes Psalms 130:7 a very powerful verse.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.

What a powerful progression here. We are asked to CHOOSE to put our hope in the Lord because He IS ("big I" is) unfailing love... and the redemption that we're all clamoring for comes with putting our hope in the Lord. FULL redemption. It's such a powerful process.

You see because God DOES care about people in tragic situations... you'll almost always find people on the ground sharing Jesus with those who are suffering. In "Darwin's Nightmare" there were interviews with a Pastor and a school teacher who were serving a community being ravaged by injustice. They were in terrible situations being "hope dispensers". And they need your prayers. Your encouragement. Because as "hope dispensers" yourself... you can spur your brother on to "love and good deeds"... and prayer matters.

Trick is that you can't dispense hope... if you don't have it.

So how do you get hope? My advice is check out Brian's podcast of his teaching about the "Good Samaritan" on the Freedom House Blog. The highlight being Jesus instruction to us to "Go be a neighbor". Like God when God said this to Moses in Exodus 4: 2-3

Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied. The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."

God began to use what Moses had "in his hand".
Why? Because it was in his hand.

Let me show you just how this hope dispensing can work. And this is just in the last couple of days! I've been blogging about random acts of kindness for a bit now and after a post last week about "living the good life" ... my amazing friend Keith who is driving across the western hemisphere wrote me:

Your making me home sick Dave. God told me to clean up the side walk of a block in Philadelphia, and now I try to do some everywhere I stop. Good life.

Wow! Nice. Then this morning my friend amazing friend Ashely who is YWAMing in Australia wrote me:

"i was challenged and inspired by the one about RAK attack. I was in a 24 hr McDonalds this weekend at 5am in Sydney... vomit and garbage EVERYWHERE. these poor teens job was to come in and wash the walls and mop up vomit. i helped them clean up garbage (after reading your post.. thanks for opening my eyes!) its not always "someone else's job"


Do you know what has stirred in my spirit when I read that? Hope.

And you know what I plan on doing with it? Spilling it out on others.

And you know what will happen? Other people with have hope that "The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best."

And you know what that can do?

Change the world.

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