Can you feel it? The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pull towards despair. Because we are so media-conscious, inundated with every bad story imaginable, it is easy to be drawn into an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
We try to keep an optimistic outlook, but stark reality unnerves us.
So we immerse ourselves in projects, activities and pursuits — or movies, alcohol and lottery tickets — hoping for some breakthrough or lifting of the pressure.
We’re still left, though, with the gnawing in the pit of our stomach.
The disease in our souls. Is there more than this? Is there a future? Is there hope?
This isn’t a concern unique to this age. For millenia people have attempted to find meaning in the stuff of this life all the while knowing that the “big questions” can’t be answered with that stuff. The big questions can only be addressed with faith.
Consider the lyrics of the 1960’s Impressions single popularized by Bob Dylan:
People get ready
Theres a train a-coming
You don’t need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Dont need no ticket
You just thank the Lord
The train of life.
The train of the future.
The train of eternity is coming. And the only way to get on board is by faith.
The God of all hope continues to reach out to us, longing to bring us peace, security and meaning.
But it takes the step of faith to believe in Him.
It takes letting go of the false security of the stuff of this life to receive His offer of hope.
Jesus said “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me,” and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
When all our attempts to numb reality or establish meaning and purpose fall short, it’s time to take a step of faith.
There is freedom from despair.
There is a hope and a future. It’s found in relationship with Jesus.
There’s a train a-coming … just get on board.
— Brian Robertson is pastor at the Christian Fellowship Centre in Qualicum Beach