Is lasting hope realistic? Or is hope fleeting by nature, leaving disappointment in its wake? Given the complexities of global challenges, and even the day-to-day routine, I've found that to be kind of a trick question. It's tough to gauge hope's efficacy by measuring shifting sands. I think it all depends on where our faith is anchored.

This week's expanded issue of the Sentinel explores the many facets of hope and its link to the things of Spirit, God. We took a look at some of the areas where challenges can seem so big that they feel beyond hope—whether they involve "forgotten" places, illness, or tough financial situations. Carl Taylor, a professor of sociology and youth advocate, speaks about the city of Detroit and what he sees as the key to supporting its resurrection. In a reprint of "Prayer about cancer," a spirituality.com chat, Michelle Nanouche shares ideas on meeting dire health predictions with fearless prayer. Melissa Lande's healing of an incurable condition and Elaine Jarvis's financial turnaround add to the cover section.

And in the lead article, Nate Talbot addresses the specific loss of hope that sometimes confronts even the most faithful—Christian Scientists and other seekers alike. He highlights the significance of the Comforter that Jesus promised, the "renewed appearing of the Christ," and shows how our prayers can handle opposition to this revelation: "Any unresolved issue may be the carnal mind's rejection of Jesus' promise—accusing Jesus of failing in his prayer. The accuser may be saying, 'At least here is one issue where the Comforter isn't able to teach you what's needed for a solution.' We can stand up to such an accusation" (see p. 9).

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

January 18, 2010

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