As a writer and speaker, I’m familiar with the ongoing challenge of finding the right words to communicate with others. Even my best attempt to convey meaning with words can fall short.
People who know me – those who’ve spent time with me and have observed my personality – have a better chance of accurately reading or hearing my words. But even then, it’s not always a guarantee.
I sincerely want to ignite hope in people so that they can experience freedom and reflect hope to others. That’s why I write, speak, and offer spiritual care to pastors and church leaders.
However, as heartfelt as my desire is, even my best words are inadequate to awaken hope in others unless they are graced with God’s power.
The Apostle Paul recognized this reality. He desires to point the Corinthians to the author of hope (God). I love the way that his words have been contemporized in the Message:
“You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s masterstroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
For those around us who wonder if there is any hope for our world, they need words infused with God’s power, not human wisdom. Strength is discovered – not in polished speeches or a new philosophy, but in the modest and plain message that reveals who Jesus is and what he did for us.
My prayer today – and always – is that our words (yours and mine) will be graced and energized by God’s power, to inspire hope in those who sense hopelessness.
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