I recently had a candid conversation with friends that covered some heavy topics including religion and current events. My friends are not believers, however, I’m very open about my faith in Christ with them. As we spoke about current events, one friend expressed hopelessness. “It’s never going to get better because people are awful.”
Another friend, more optimistic, said, “We can’t lose hope. I believe things will change with our children. There will be great leaders who emerge from their generation to help make this world better.”
The two debated back and forth, and I listened before sharing my thoughts. “I agree with parts of what both of you have shared. People are awful because we’re sinful. We’re broken and messed up. And I agree that we can’t lose hope, and we do have a responsibility and opportunity to teach our children to do better.”
However, I concluded with this: “But our hope can’t be in mankind because history shows us we will get it wrong again and again. Jesus, who died for the sins of man, is the only way. My hope is in Him because He’s the only One who can change us and that’s where real change can begin.”
They were willing to hear me, willing to listen as I shared more on this, but not quite ready to jump on board.
And maybe the reality is there are many of us struggling to believe this as well. Maybe we find ourselves putting our hope and faith in the things of man – strong leadership, a revolution, reformed policies, a vaccine, our children’s future and their success. We think if we’re smart enough, work hard enough, put our minds together and promote unity and love, we can make right what is wrong and figure out a solution to all the world’s problems.
But the root problem isn’t what’s around us. It’s what’s inside each and every one of us. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the problem we need to address first and foremost, and it doesn’t start with someone else’s but our very own. And when we take a deep, honest look, it won’t be pretty. Yet we can praise God He doesn’t leave us to rot and be doomed by our sin. Romans 3:24 goes on to say, “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Our loving Father put a rescue plan in place for us: His Son, Jesus, entered into our brokenness and our messiness and took our sins and punishment upon Himself. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
God provided a solution to our problem of sin. He has given us new life in Christ! This reality of God’s grace and mercy should overwhelm us. And when it does, it will change us and overflow through us. Brothers and sisters, this is the reality I pray will be true of me and true of all of us who proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Lord, do Your work in us! Change us from the inside out, and let Your people be the hands, feet, and voice that profess the great hope we have in You! We long to see the healing power of Your redemptive work in our lives and in this world!
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Rachel Sang is the Assistant Director of Children’s Ministry.