Hope

There is real hope for the kingdom of God in North America.

The outward signs are bleak – declining church attendance, closing churches, many young people abandoning the faith.

But I see the Holy Spirit moving here and there throughout the continent.  I believe this will lead to a renewal of faith in a very secular world.

A week ago, I listened to a 19-year-old woman who has the gifts of evangelism and healing.  She talked about being led by the Spirit to pray over people with emotional and physical problems and seeing them touched by God and healed.

She is a young Christian – a believer for only two years.  But she is excited about what God is doing.

She is one of a number of young people I know who are keen believers and reaching out to others for Jesus.

Indeed, as I look around at our children and many of their friends, I can see the same commitment to God.  Like Joshua, they are telling the world: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Looking at the broader world, I am heartened by what I see in the missional church movement.

Like Jesus, people in these churches love others by praying for them, serving them, spending time with them, and sharing the good news of Christ with them. In other words, they get outside the four walls of their churches and meet people where they live – at work and in the neighbourhood.

Our own church is providing food and clothes – and a listening ear – to the students at an alternate school – basically, young people going through a hard time in life.  Some of them have been kicked out of their homes and they are trying to get a high school education on their own.

These are steps to revealing Jesus to young people with hurting hearts – and, one hopes, to sharing why Jesus loves them.

Small groups in another area church incorporate monthly meals with non-Christian friends and joint projects such as help to needy families.  Over time, some of these friends become seekers and join the small groups to learn more about Jesus.

 

It is easy for us to be come discouraged like the prophet Elijah who complained to God that the king of Israel had killed all the prophets and he was the only one left to uphold the word of God (1 Kings 19).

God’s reply to Elijah is something we need to remember.  He said there were 7,000 people in Israel who were standing stalwart for the Lord and he had plans to continue Elijah’s work through another prophet, Elisha.

Sometimes we need to see the world through God’s eyes.

With God at work, we should always hope.

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