DayBreaks for 8/06/18: A Painful, Unasked Question
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
1 Peter 3:15a (NIV) – But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…
I must admit that I’m troubled. I have been forced to look more closely into the mirror lately, and I am distressed by what I see. I’m not talking about gray hair and wrinkly skin. I’m talking about myself – the real me that hides somewhere inside this “fleshly tent” as Scripture so aptly put it.
I like to think of myself as a fairly upbeat, hopeful, cheerful and fun-loving person. Who doesn’t want to think of themselves in those terms? Have you ever known anyone who had a goal in life to be downcast, hopeless about everything, sad and determined to remain miserable all their life? I don’t know anyone who set out with those life goals and I doubt that you do either. I know some people who seem to have many of those negative characteristics much of the time – but it was never their great desire to be that way. Somehow, life beat the tar out of them (or so is their perception of what life has done to them) and they are just that way now. It is really sad.
But here’s what’s really bothering me: Peter seems to suggest that people will ask me (and you if you are a believer) about the hope that they see and observe in us, in our lives. Here’s the painful question-that-never-is-asked: Why has no one asked me about the hope in me? When is the last time someone actually came up to you and said, “Wow. I don’t know what it is that makes you so positive, hopeful and upbeat. What is it? Can you tell me?” Have you EVER had anyone ask you that question? I don’t know that I have – and that really bothers me because it is contrary to the image I want to hold of myself.
Could it be that we don’t know what it is to have hope? Have we as believers surrendered our hope to the malaise and discontent and despair that flows through our world like a mighty ocean? Or, if we do have hope, why is it not visible, why is it not causing people to ask the question that Peter alluded to? Somehow, I believe Peter WAS asked that question, and I’ll bet he had the answer ready.
Will you join me in a pact to be more hopeful? To let your hope show like brilliant rays of sunlight through the tall trees of despair? It’s time that people asked us the question: “Why are you so hopeful?”
PRAYER: Oh, Lord, I am deeply distressed that no one asks me the question! Reveal to us, Lord, where our hearts and hope needs to change so that people feel that they can’t NOT ask us about our hope. Fill us with undying hope for we have an undying future! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.