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The hope within us all
Originally published in The Christian Science Monitor, April 18, 2016.
The success of sanctions often comes from relying on a hopeful view of people’s willingness to change (see editorial on the facing page). But where does this hope come from and how can we support and invigorate hope in people during difficulties?
The Apostle Paul prayed for the Roman Christians: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, New International Version). The hope to which Paul referred is sourced in God. God, as Holy Spirit, cares for His creation—including you and me—through His bestowals of spiritual good. And we can rely on God’s goodness, which brings us ready help and protection from harm. Giving the reason for his hope, a Bible psalmist sang, “Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle” (Psalms 140:7, NIV).
When people struggle under punitive sanctions, finding hope in God for relief and progress serves as a starting point for positive change in their lives. As divine Spirit, God, is better understood to be humanity’s strong deliverer from the heat of life’s most difficult challenges, hidden resources within us of courage, forbearance, and enlightened faith strengthen us and enable us to labor on—even under extraordinary pressures—until the restrictions lift. And when hope is based on an understanding of God’s promise of redemption and salvation for all humanity, not just a select portion, individual hope can extend to encourage and inspire others who may be trembling on the brink.
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Participation not required
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Photograph by Peter Anderson
The key hope in sanctions
The Monitor’s Editorial Board
The hope within us all
Michelle Boccanfuso Nanouche
Real reform now!
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