Abubakar Shekau  of Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram

I have a hard time separating myself and my thoughts from my friends in Africa and terrifying things that are going on over there as I speak.  The Nigerian girls are in my prayers and the families of all the boys that have been killed as well.  We have a rescue center in Kenya that I have been told has been closed because of many issues, one of which is Muslim unrest.  I look at all these things and think to myself that it is crazy.

Christ died and rose again that we might live with Him and rise with Him on the last day.  That knowledge gives us hope in when things seem hopeless.

Martin Sharlemann made a marvelous observation a long time ago .  He remarked that “some one witnessing a riot shouted out – “This is crazy!” It’s not crazy at all. It is the kind of thing one must expect were a measure of might is still available to the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) news outbreaks of disorder are evidences of the rift that runs through man’s heart.  Such violence often turns out to be something of an incarnation of man’s rebellion against his Creator.”
We need to look at Christian hope as it really is. We need to look at the world around us with a steely eyes and a realistic glare, and not through rose colored glasses. We don’t go spouting the cliché that “God is in his heaven and all is right with the world!”  We can’t get too overly optimistic, and we certainly don’t need an enthusiastic binge of self intoxication. Christian hope is marked by an intense realism, a highly sober appraisal the increasing evil of this present world. A knowledge that our hope and efforts won’t be appreciated but arouse vehement opposition on the part of the world simply by virtue of what it is. Christian hope is a manifestation of God’s grace.  It is the understanding that because of who we are, we have been permitted to glimpse enough of the glory behind the veil to realize the firmness of our Christian hope’s foundation. We allow it to exercise itself in joyful expectation, and a calm patience that has learned that it can afford to wait.  As Oswald Bayer has written, Christians living in hope are “not bound to success”.