World Conference 2023

Choose Hope

20 May 2023

By Karen Anne Smith of Ludington, Michigan, USA

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

“I choose to believe,” a good friend once said to me. Sometimes faith is strained. It’s not that God has distanced himself, but sometimes we become discouraged, feel defeated. There are times when life throws us into a tailspin. We lose a job. We lose a loved one. We feel alone and hurt. We rage against heaven with clenched fist, reddened face, and puffy eyes. We may even scream, “If there is a God...”

In times like these, choose to believe. Let your feelings out; then make the conscious decision to choose to believe. Or not. The choice is yours. But as you cry yourself out and your last ounce of energy drains, if you choose to open your heart to God and be honest, tell God exactly why you hurt. Ask for God’s guidance and healing; then you will be ready to receive blessings. God will be able to guide you back into the light.

When my son, Alex, was little, and the understanding of autism was new, I played the typical guilt games, as parents do, believing I may have caused my child’s affliction. It was fruitless, I know, but we all play the guilt game. One night was especially rough, as I knelt on my kitchen floor, and the tears flowed as freely as a summer rain. I let it all out to God—every guilty feeling, every desperate need for guidance, every wish for my child’s welfare.

I don’t have the words to describe what happened; a power, an energy, a hope washed through me from head to toe. I felt cleansed. I felt loved. I was assured that as I continue to do the best that I know how to do, God will be with me, and all of us, on our journey. And He is.

Choose to believe. Choose hope.

Prayer Phrase

Today, how will I courageously walk with Jesus, the peaceful One?

Spiritual Practice

Discerning Future Leadership

Pray: Prayerfully explore the church’s current situation and the world in which leadership will occur. Consider the question from your context while also being mindful of the church’s global context. What are the most significant situations, opportunities, or challenges that a prophetic leader will need to address? 

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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