By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
I was reading a novel recently and saw these words: “Where there is life, there is hope.”
That sounds good and it works — for fiction. But in real life, hope is available only through Jesus Christ.
We live in a fallen, sin-filled world. Turn on the news every day and you will be depressed within the first five minutes, if not sooner. Just last week in Nashville, there was at least one homicide a day for three days in a row. During my recent recovery from knee surgery I had to spend a few days at home doing nothing but resting and staying off my knee. In between reading and napping, I watched television reruns of shows such as “Dateline” and others that show investigations of people who have been murdered in a variety of ways. Talk about depravity and a fallen world. Those shows are supposedly based on real events.
In addition, everyone of us faces problems and circumstances — whether it be illness, loss of a friend or loved one, loss of a job, wayward child, you name it — that cause us to wonder, at times: Is there hope?
I’m sure residents of Gatlinburg and other affected areas in the Smoky Mountains have asked that question numerous times in the days since the fire, especially those families who were directly impacted with the loss of a home or family member.
As Christians, we know the answer is a resounding “yes” and that hope is found in Jesus Christ. But even Christians allow Satan, at times, to cause doubts to creep into our minds. We let him convince us that there is no hope. We have to be constantly on guard against Satan’s intrusion into our thoughts.
One of my favorite verses that I rely on is found in John 16:33, HCSB: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
Jesus Himself tells us that we will have problems in this world. Bad things will happen to us and to those we love. Run from anyone who tells you differently. But I love the promise and hope found in the second part of the verse. Jesus basically tells us we have nothing to worry about. He has conquered the world. What a promise! That’s hope in a nutshell.
We have hope because Jesus provides that hope.
As Christians who have given our lives to Jesus Christ, it’s our responsibility to share His hope with the millions upon millions of people who do not know Him. It is not complicated. Build relationships. Allow people to see Christ in you. More likely than not, they will ask you questions.
As we observe the birth of Jesus this Christmas, let’s resolve to share His hope and His love with people who do not know Him as Lord and Savior. In Tennessee alone, there are an estimated 3.65 million people who have no relationship with Jesus Christ.
They desperately need the hope that only He can provide.
As we draw to the end of 2016, I want to thank our faithful readers, those who read us in print, online, or both. Our print subscriptions help us to offer a vastly improved website and more things are in store for next year. Encourage friends and other church members to subscribe to our print version, or better yet, buy them a gift subscription for Christmas. More information on this page.
May God bless each of you during this Christmas season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!