It has been said, “the opposite of hope is despair,” and while at some levels this is probably true, I am convinced, that more often than not, the opposite of hope is instead fear.
When we say the word “hope” it can mean many different things. Often times it can be compared to “wishing” for something to happen. When we “hope” for this or that, we are communicating “a desired outcome or a feeling of expectation.” In the recent past, politicians have successfully used the concept of hope as a means of unifying different groups of people around their platform. Hope can be alluring, it can draw you in.
In a very real sense, hope points us to the best possible future, in contrast, fear draws us toward the worst possible future.
As we see and hear the daily news reports about the brokenness of our world, it is understandable if fear grips us. From a number of vantage points it is debatable whether or not we are moving toward the best or worst possible futures.
It is easy to become overwhelmed. The Sexual Revolution’s effort to redefine both marriage and norms for sexuality can leave us to question if there is any way we can stop the erosion of the traditional Christian sexual ethic. To many of us, these sexual standards are self-evident, with little room for alternate perspectives. Yet arguments pointing to what has traditionally been perceived as what is “right” and what is “wrong” seem to hold little sway. In our own backyard of Greater Spokane there is a growing awareness of the existence of human sex trafficking, child sex predators, and registered sex offenders in our neighborhoods. People are broken, and their brokenness leads to creating more brokenness.
Pastor and author, Russell Moore points to the reality that the Sexual Revolution in our culture has created a growing number of what he calls “Sexual Revolution refugees.” Moore challenges the Christian church to “prepare for [these] Sexual Revolution refugees.” As we think about these refugees of the Sexual Revolution, we each have a choice to make, we can choose whether to engage the future with a posture of fear, or a posture of hope. As Christ’s disciples, we like Timothy need to be reminded, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7 NLT).”
At the same time, as Christians, the optimism of grace points to a different kind of hope. It is a “Radical Hope” that believes that as co-laborers with Christ, God can work through us to make a difference in the world. This “Radical Hope” is the foundation of all the work of Life Services iCHOICE and Project Six19 as we shine light into what may otherwise seem like hope-less situations.
This Radical Hope is contagious. At the same time, Radical hope is the result of a deep faith, as Paul described it, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1 NIV). Admittedly, it can be easy to look around us and say “I don’t see it…I don’t see a reason for hope.”
Radical Hope looks at problems and sees possibilities. Radical Hope is comfortable wading into the brokenness around us, believing that God can somehow use you and me to make an impact. Radical Hope draws us toward the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
To this end, in 2016 we launched our Radical Hope Initiative, which is three things: First, it is an event, a gathering to learn what God is doing and learn more about what we believe God is calling us to do. Second, it is an effort to unify and bring like-minded ministries together in one place. Lastly, it is a declaration to our community that through Christ we can, and already are, making a positive social impact.
Radical Hope takes the posture that in Christ the best possible future is attainable.
Please plan to join us to hear more about how you can be a part of making a difference in our community; making a difference for life, a difference through Christ, and a difference for both today and eternity. To learn more about our upcoming event, and to save a spot through free registration, visit www.lifeservices.org/events