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  • Writer's pictureDwight Smith

Ontology, Meaning And Hope

I recently returned from another trip to the Middle East. The political reality on the ground is not easy…for anyone. The conflict of peoples is not likely to change, and will draw many people into suffering, poverty and dismay. This is especially so for those who are Christians.

Yet, there are many amazing things happening in and through the Church throughout the region. But, the cost can be high. This cost drives some to seek out safety at any cost. But, where the cost is measured or even ignored, others live the Christ life in faith, and more importantly, declare the Gospel.

We all discover that there are more people prepared by the Holy Spirit to respond than we might have otherwise expected in this part of the world. What is a key to this willingness to receive all of the implications of this Gospel? I see three things, things that we are looking for anywhere we go.

One, an “instinctive” response to the question, “who am I?” As the Psalmist says, “It is he who made us, and we are his;” (Psalm 100:3). Many have found comfort in this “ownership” by God, for they understand the warmth of the invitation.

“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

candle in darkness

Second, a wiling recognition and embrace of why I am here. “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2). Understanding the cost, and navigating the declaration of the Gospel with wisdom, these emboldened ones obey the very nature of God’s revelation: to make Him and message known.

Where we find these two convictions operating in Christ’s people, we also find ….hope! The natural human response to threat is fear. But, these who inspire us with their hope, remind us that having experienced the love of God, fear is rejected. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

Where we find this fearlessness, we are inspired, built up in our own faith, and expectant of more to come from the declaration of the Gospel, than many would have expected.


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