by Dr. Charles Stanley
Holding On To Our Hope
Bob was a Christian with a secular job who labored daily beside an atheist. To avoid contention, Bob began witnessing only when the atheist opened the conversation to Bob’s beliefs or to God.
But there was an undercurrent in their relationship: Bob’s co-worker was always negative. The atheist launched his criticism constantly–about everybody and everything.
Bob held up well against his co-worker’s attitude for a while. But over time Bob began compromising. The co-worker had criticized Bob and his beliefs so often that Bob was losing sight of the legitimate hopes and dreams Christ had placed in his heart. Eventually, Bob became increasingly critical. Finally, it was difficult for their fellow workers to see much difference between Bob and the atheist.
Criticism is a hope-stealer. It sometimes comes even from well-meaning believers. Yet we always should keep our focus on God. We should give weight to the opinions of others only rarely–and then only when convinced the person giving counsel is godly and walking closely with Jesus.Hannah’s response to her nagging rival was appropriate and God-honoring. She never lost hope, never gave in to her rival’s ways. Instead, she earnestly prayed to her heavenly Father and trusted in His perfect answer and timing.
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