Looking for Hope?

A couple years ago there was a pretty cool McDonald’s commercial that featured some children looking for something new inside their happy meals.  The new addition was hope received from donations made from the purchase of every happy meal.  Hope in a “happy” meal!  What a cool concept.  I mean, where else would you find hope and in what better package could you have happiness?  Recently, I re-viewed the video and was reminded of an extremely funny exchange.  One child said the word hope as if he had never heard of it.  Another child stated “I don’t see any hope in here” while they turned their empty box upside down on their head.

Like these children we too can walk through the course of life spending a whole lot of our time looking for hope in places and things that don’t really contain it.  The desire for a lucrative career, finding security in the future value of a retirement plan, the satisfaction that can be felt within the comforts of a fulfilling relationship, or even focusing all our efforts within the small confines…of happiness in a box.

Ok, I must admit, these things sound pretty nice, if you have them.  And in themselves they can appear to offer some significant stability in our lives.  But I have often wondered, through the different seasons of life, is it possible to attain more? Are the material and emotional fulfillments of this world the place where true hope is found?

Romans 15:4 says “everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

According to God, true hope is to be found in the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures.  What would life look like if we made it our aim not to pursue money, or find our fulfillment in earthly relationships?  What if we could be inspired, reassured?  What if we could receive help and have our entire mood lifted because of our interaction with the Bible?

Well, next week, over 1,700 individuals from different parts of the world, will encounter a similar search for hope.  But unlike the children who could not see any hope in an empty box some people will be on the brink of intense exposure to the only true hope that will never pass away.  At the Faith Community Center in Lafayette, Indiana we get the privilege of hosting part of the 2013 Biblical Counseling Training Conference (BCTC).

In a world where the truth of God’s word is needed more than ever the necessity of the Biblical instruction that will be offered at the BCTC is truly invaluable.  How awesome is it that God may choose to use the community center to be a unified beacon of God’s grace.  Equipping those in attendance to learn where to find true hope and then to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within them.

Andre' Ballard