Our hearts were created to be filled with rising hope. For each of us in this New Year, hope is a choice. Will we be hopeful or hopeless, thankful or thankless, joyful or joyless? The late Billy Graham said that people in the most affluent societies are feeling this sense of despair and hopelessness.
William Barclay memorably said that there are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them. After the fall of France to Nazi Germany, Britain stood alone. Winston Churchill said to his cabinet: “Gentlemen, I find it rather inspiring.” There is something in hope that not all the shadows can quench. Emily Dickinson wrote: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” Alexander Pope in his famous Essay on Man memorably stated “Hope springs eternal in the human breast, Man never is, but always to be blest”
For many people, hope has become equivalent to wishful thinking. The term ‘I hope so’ often means ‘don’t count on it’. Real Hope however doesn’t mean maybe, could be, or possibly. It is an assurance of what is to come. Hope is rising expectation of good things right around the corner.
Dr McNair Wilson the famous cardiologist said in his autobiography Doctor’s Progress: “Hope is the medicine that I use more than any other – hope can cure nearly anything.” Dr. Harold Wolff, Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, commented: “Hope, like faith and a purpose in life, is medicinal. It is not exactly a statement of belief, but a conclusion proved by meticulous controlled scientific experiment.” You can take rising hope to the bank in terms of its practical impact on our lives.
In John Bunyan’s bestseller Pilgrim’s Progress, it was Hopeful who comforted Christian in Doubting Castle. We are called to be a people of Hope. As one song puts it, hope is a candle, a light in the window, showing the heart how to come home. With God, all things are possible. Billy Graham, who recently turned 98, said: “I’ve become an old man now, and I’ve preached all around the world. The older I get, the more I cling to that hope that I started with many years ago.” Faith, he commented, points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.
Dr. George Johnson of Harvest City Church said that 2017 will be the greatest year that we’ve ever experienced. There are so many good things to look forward to, including Vancouver Missionsfest and the July 1st Canada Day Voices Together Celebration. In just two months, there will be a Festival of Hope at Rogers Arena. The Billy Graham team, including his son Franklin Graham, will be there, sharing a message of rising hope and encouragement over the three nights. I was privileged two years ago to attend the well-attended Greater Toronto Festival of Hope. The music was impressive with top bands and local musicians involved. The spiritual hunger especially among the young people was significant. I have served over the past two years to serve as a representative on the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope Executive. You are invited to come on March 3rd to 5th and experience a rising of hope in 2017.
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.