I don’t have to tell you that we are living in difficult times. It is enough to bring you to despair. We have all been through other difficult times. I saw combat in the Navy in 2000. I have officiated at about 200 funerals in my 24 years in the ministry. I have been a listening ear for people going through the challenges of life.
The Bible says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 ESV)
The dictionary defines hope, “Hope (noun): 1. The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. 2. A person or thing in which expectations are centered.” (Dictionary.com)
A life lived without hope is like a life lived without love. It would be a miserable existence indeed. Hope sustains us through the difficult times we experience. Hope doesn’t exist by itself. Hope needs an object. What person or thing is your hope centered in? If we place our hope in persons or things, we can lose hope, when people let us down or things don’t go according to plan.
Pull a dollar out of your wallet and see what is written on it, “In God we Trust.” The Bible also encourages us to put our hope and trust in God and His promises to us. As we navigate a pandemic and social unrest, we can do so with the hope we have in Jesus.
To learn more about this hope, visit one of the many area churches listed here in the paper.
Rev. Andy Carlson, M.Div. Pastor Carlson grew up with 22 siblings in a log cabin in the back woods of Alaska (120 miles from the Arctic Circle). He has served 24 years in the parish (five of those years were as a Navy/Marine chaplain). He is a Gulf War Veteran. He has served Funny River Community Lutheran Church since 2015. Sunday services are at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch that everyone is invited to. The church is located at 15-mile Funny River Road. (Take a right on Rabbit Run and go a ¼ mile to the church). The church website is www.funnyriverlutheran.org
• By Rev. Andy Carlson, M.Div. Pastor Carlson, For the Peninsula Clarion