There is hope
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling back to Tybee Island and the Bar Church. I stayed at my favorite “Bluebird cottage” on the marsh side of the island and enjoyed the quietness and solitude that I find there. After the tide goes out and the sun begins to fade, the mussels begin their “clacking” out in the marsh mud and the other dusk-time island critters come out to join in the chorus of music. It is a healing place. It is the place where one can go and find grounding for their life and feel the presence of God all around.
When I was trying to decide what to share with the church, I thought about the one thing that everyone seems to need these days. Hope. Personally speaking, at times I have felt a loss of hope in the future of our city, county, state and country. I don’t feel a lot of hope for the future of our world, in general. More and more people are out of work, living on the streets or in less than quality housing and their children are not receiving the opportunities that children need to have. Primarily, love and hope for the future. The “great American dream” now seems to be impossible to reach for so many people.
So, I shared my heart with the folks in the Bar Church that morning, just as I share with you now. Many times we don’t feel hope, because we feel like we have no control. We are fearful of what tomorrow will bring. Will there be enough money to pay the bills? And, perhaps, put a little something in savings? Will my job be there next week? And, will I be a part of it? Will I get some disease I heard about on the news? Will I be a victim of a crime or a terrorist attack? There is so much of life that we cannot control and that’s what scares us and can keep us from having hope.
Well, as I shared last week, and don’t tune me out at this point, if you don’t have God in your life and in your heart, there will be no hope for you to find. I’m not saying that you can’t be happy and have a good life; I’m just saying that you can’t have the hope and peace that you want and need.
During times of worry and fear, and as I have grown older, I have learned how wonderful and hopeful it is to have God, the Creator, the One who loves me just as I am (even when I totally mess up things), to go to for help and assurance. All throughout the scriptures, are the promises that God has made to me and to you of hope and strength in times of worry and fear.
“This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7)
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
For those of you (us) who have God in our hearts, we have no cause to worry and be afraid. We have the Hope that only God can bring us.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of “Being God’s” and “Staying God’s,” both available at Amazon.com.