What is hope to you?
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    Soul Rythem

    Overcoming with hope and prayer

    Today, I am thinking about hope and praying for the families of the 22 Navy Seals and eight U.S. military personnel who died this weekend in Afghanistan. News reports about the Dow spiraling downward, about ramifications of the debt ceiling vote, about famine and drought here and in East Africa also are grabbing my attention.

    Amid all of this and more, including a friend’s chronic health issues, hope forces its way to the forefront of my thoughts. I listened to the Today Show’s interview of Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn’s family with sadness that was lifted when his parents and wife talked about his love for Jesus and his country.

    “I’m most proud of Aaron’s humility and nobility, but more than anything I’m most proud of the way he loved God and how important his faith was to him,’’ his mother said.

    When I heard that, I immediately thought of I Thessalonians 4:13, which is repeated often at funerals to comfort relatives:

    “But we do not want you to be ignorant,.. about those who have died, so that you may not grieve like other people who have no hope.”

    Hope is difficult to muster when tragedy is so raw, but it is also so absolutely necessary at that precise time. I have come to believe in hope as a weapon against despair, as a guard against depression, as a shield against doubt. As I have put my trust in the living God, hope has moved in my mind from being some wishy-squishy kind of concept to my heart where it rooted and strengthen by my dependence on a sure and steady God.

    I pray that kind of strong, confident hope for the military families of those who died this weekend and protection for our military personnel everywhere who are in harm’s way.

    I pray for God’s wisdom and His grace for our President and national leaders who must make tough decisions involving other people’s lives. May they stand firm in the hope that comes from God. May they seek after God with their whole hearts and open their minds to hearing from Him.

    In the words of Psalm 31:24:

    “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.”


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