Faith and Family

Lynn Jones: Hungering for hope

By Lynn Jones

Long-time pastor Paul Powell saw a church sign with an arrow pointing down a country road. The sign said, “Little Hope Baptist Church.” Powell said that if he were pastor of the Little Hope Baptist Church his first action would be to start a movement to change its name.

Loss of hope is a problem in our day. One of the real environmental problems in the Midwest and in the Northeast is the problem of “acid rain.” Pollution in the air, when mixed with the rain that falls, produces a kind of acid that eats away at the fabric of the land. Virginia Owens has written that we have another problem that is akin to that. She said, “The acid rains of despair fall upon our land.” This despair corrodes the spirit and eats away at hope and purpose in life.

We are called to offer a word of hope in our world. People can hear many words of doom and gloom today, but they seldom hear a word of hope. One woman worked exhausting hours but barely made ends meet in supporting herself and her children. Despite that, she frequently used some of her money to buy a lottery ticket. When asked why she would spend two dollars of her hard-earned money for a lottery ticket, she said, “Two dollars is not too much to pay for 24 hours of hope.”

Lynn Jones

The people of God have a surge of hope to share than that. Earnest Campbell said, “Believers are the foot soldiers of hope.” In the long difficult stretches of life, we are the people with a word of hope to share with our world. That hope is found in the good news of the gospel.

We can’t just talk about hope, but we must also demonstrate hope in how we live our lives. We need to practice what we preach. A sundial is a perfectly good way of telling the time, but it has one major drawback. A sundial will work only when the sun is shining. When it comes to our faith, too many of us are like a sundial—we work only when the sun is shining—only when things are going well. We must do better. 

The action in a car race is governed by flags—green flag for start, checkered flag for finish, and, whenever there has been an accident on the track, the yellow flag for caution. When the yellow flag comes out, the cars that have been racing at full speed now move cautiously around the track. They cannot change positions. And some people always move through life under the caution flag. They never travel by faith or with hope. God is calling us to a hope-full life. Hope energizes life and gives it purpose and meaning.  Hope is crucial for an effective witness in our world.

Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at:   

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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