Where Has All the Hope Gone?
For the audio version of this blog, click here.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but depression rates are out the roof and the number of people contemplating suicide is mind-blowing, and in the midst of it all, there seems to be a desperate search for significance that often gets placed in something destructive to the soul. I don’t have the answers, but I do wonder something, and it’s what I want to talk about today. All of these things have a common denominator: a lack of hope. But as a society, where has our hope gone? Why the sudden spike of these things in recent years? I believe it’s possible that our society has accidentally bred this lack of hope by infiltrating our generations with beliefs that seem harmless but actually turn out to be destructive.
I have a question for you. Do you think there is such a thing as absolute truth? Because today’s culture will tell you there’s no such thing as absolute truth. Therefore, we can’t really have a firm foundation on anything because everything is debatable. This stance allows them to make claims that go something like this: “That may be right for you, but not for me” or “That may be true for you, but not for me.” Everyone is left following their heart into hopelessness and destruction, which is where every heart not centered on Christ leads you eventually.
When we try to say there is only one way to heaven, through Jesus, we often get slapped with something along the lines of how we don’t need to teach that because it’s not “tolerant” and we should let everyone choose their own morals and beliefs because what is right and true is different for everybody.
If you believe truth is all relative, think about this for a second. The statement “There is no such thing as absolute truth” is self-refuting, because it’s an absolute truth claim itself. It’s basically saying: The absolute truth is there’s no such thing as absolute truth. But if they believe there’s no such thing as absolute truth then their claim can’t be true by their own standards. They don’t want ANYONE teaching absolute truth claims (like Jesus is the only way to the Father), yet they allow themselves to teach absolute truth claims like “There are no absolute truths (except my absolute truth of course).”
But the problem with this new age mentality we are experiencing is: IT DOESN’T WORK IN ANY OTHER AREA OF LIFE!! I’ll give you an example in a minute, but first, just note that our beliefs are the most important thing about us. Our beliefs effect everything we are, everything we do, and everything we become. The mind controls the body. So if this mentality doesn’t work in any other area of life, ABOVE ALL it shouldn’t be allowed to work in the area of our beliefs.
Here’s an example of why this mentality doesn’t work in any area of life: Let’s say a woman goes into the grocery store and fill up her cart. She gets to the checkout, a lady rings her up, and says, “Ok, that will be $227.” The woman hands her monopoly money and smiles courteously. The checker says, “Ma’am, that’s not real money.” And the woman responds, “Well, that may be true for you, but not for me. Now be tolerant and take my money.”
THIS MENTALITY DOESN’T WORK! Why? Because there ARE absolute truths. Money is either authentic or it’s not. It can’t be in-between. It’s one or the other. The same goes for God. Either God exists or He doesn’t. There’s no in-between. He can’t exist for some people and not exist for others at the same time. He either exists or He doesn’t. What we decide to believe doesn’t change reality – God exists whether we want him to or not.
This mentality has infiltrated people, even some Christians, with this idea that you can live however you want and if you want a sidenote of God, great! But if you don’t, that’s great, too! So we keep him in our pocket for when we need a miracle, like when we have a health scare or something. And our flesh loves the idea that all roads lead to your destiny because it lets us be our own god and commander-in-chief. But that’s not the path that leads to real hope and life.
Does the Bible say there is an absolute right way and wrong way? Or a wrong road and a right road? Yes. But it can get confusing if you listen to your heart when it has been tainted by the world.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Christian Standard Bible)
But Matthew 7:14 says there IS a way that leads to life – “How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (CSB)
So there are other ways to live life, there just aren’t other right ways. It’s like a race. You can run the race any way you choose and take all the short cuts you want, but if you don’t run the marked path and run by the rules of the race, you will be disqualified in the end. Who gets to set the rules? The owner of the universe.
Ok so, what is the way? Well Thomas asked Jesus this very question in John 14. He asked, “How can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know the Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:5-6, CSB). Jesus is the way.
But here’s the verse that has been stirring around in my mind. It’s from Hebrews 6:19 – “We have this HOPE as an ANCHOR for the soul, firm and secure.” In the words surrounding this verse, we find that the “hope” being spoken of in this verse is referring to Jesus. He is the hope that is an ANCHOR for our soul. What does an anchor do? It holds a boat in place when the storms and waves come crashing all around us. When life throws waves at you, do you find yourself clinging to the anchor? Or do you find yourself feeling overwhelming anxiety and fear as youre being tossed all around. That feeling of being out of control can feel like torcher. But if we have Jesus, who we know has mastery over the wind and the waves, we can hold tight to him knowing He only allows that which will be for our good ultimately. Anything else, he will command to cease as we hold tight through it.
I think as Christians, we can teach this and show that Jesus gives us the peace that goes beyond all understanding in the midst of the trials of life. IT doesn’t mean we wont cry or fall at his feet at times in despair, but the key is, we run to him...not to drugs...not to our pocketbook…not to manipulation. We run to HIM. If I didn’t have anyone to run to who I felt had any control over the situations of life, I would be one anxious woman, feeling like everything was all on me. But I know whose hand I hold and He’s looking out for me. I have a little sign sitting on my dresser that my friend Rita made for me. It says, “If His eye is on the sparrow, I know He watches me.” His eye is most certainly on the sparrow (Matthew 10:29), so you can trust He watches you…waiting on your hand to slip into his for safety.
People say, “Eh, Jesus. I mean I’m ok with there being a god, but I just don’t know about the Bible, Jesus, and all of that.” Do you think Jesus and the Bible can’t ultimately stand under the most critical eye? Then maybe you should talk to one of the many angry and stanch athiests who set out to DISPROVE Christ and the Bible and ended up realizing through their search that it was the truth. Let me just name a few you might have heard of: C.S. Lewis, Francis Collins, Jonathan Edwards, Galileo, Copernicus, Pascal, Rosaria Butterfield, Francis Schaeffer…. And this is just a microscopic portion of the true number. It should also be noted that this small list includes some great thinkers and Harvard graduates. They weren’t the kind of people that were going to take the Bible as the Truth and Jesus as the only Way very easily. But at the end of their search for truth, Christianity was their answer.
Jesus and the Bible can handle being challenged…it’s just when we truly set out to find Truth with all biases aside, we eventually find it in the trinitarian God of Christianity. And thankfully so. Because Frank Turek and Norman Geisler say that the answers to all of the major questions of life like “Where did we come from,” “Who am i?” “Why am I here?” “How should I live?” and “Where am I going when I die?” ALL DEPEND ON THEN EXISTENCE OF GOD. Turek and Geisler say, “If God exists, then there is ultimate meaning and purpose to you life. If there’s a real purpose to your life, then there’s a real right and wrong way to live it. Choices you make now not only affect you here but will affect you in eternity. On the other hand, if there is no God, then your life ultimately means nothing. Since there is no enduring purpose in life, there is no right or wrong way to live it. And if it doesn’t matter how you live or what you believe, then your destiny is dust.”
In other words, what they’re saying is if there is no God, life is meaningless. If there is no God then you have to believe that we got here by chance, we’re going to die by chance, and so how we live and who we are doesn’t matter. We have no significance in this world. And yet, we KNOW life isn’t meaningless. Something in our souls tells us this. It’s why we cry at hallmark movies or when we see a koala run from a burning forest fire into the arms of a human who rescues it and gives their time and money to heal its wounds. It’s why we cry when someone tells us how much it has mean to them to have us in their lives. Meaning is everywhere. When we, as a society, tell people that God is just something that can be here if you want or not if you don’t want, we are stealing truth and hope from people. He exists, whether we harden ourselves to him or not. He’s the one that has placed the need for meaning and purpose inside of you so you might reach out and find him as the answer to a greater meaning and purpose this world could ever offer you. If no one has told you, let me tell you today. YOU HAVE PURPOSE AND MEANING HERE ON THIS EARTH WITH CHRIST. Don’t quit early. Grab his hand.
You know, every human being innately or instinctively searches for meaning and purpose. In every tribe and tongue of people, no matter how removed from society, we find people searching for God and instituting religion (even if they don’t even know what religion is). And this concept about God being innate to all unless we suppress Him, perfectly lines up with Romans 1:18-25 which says, “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.”
I’m afraid society has exchanged the truth about God for a lie. And the consequence is the generations are quickly losing all hope, meaning, and purpose. Let’s share hope in the midst of the darkness in the world today. You might get called intolerant, but it’ll be okay… Go rescue the perishing.
 Scott Sauls, “Harvard Athiests and Agnostics…Turned Christian?” November 18, 2014, https://scottsauls.com/blog/2014/11/18/harvard-atheists-agnostics-turned-christian/
 Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2004), 20.