Where's Our Hope?
- Thursday, May 14, 2009
Information is not knowledge.
— Albert Einstein
My name is Cliff, and I am a recovering information-aholic. It started with just reading the paper, listening to the radio, and watching the news to stay informed; however with access to cable news, the Internet and mobile computing, it has become a 24/7 routine to know everything that is going on in the world.
It’s not that I have the desire to be inundated with every event of every country, every Washington battle, every Hollywood relationship, every state and local tragedy and every minute by minute happening (a.k.a. Twitter). I personally have enough to think about.
Besides, most of the information I receive seems to be rather negative, or discouraging. Millions have lost their jobs, billions of dollars have been lost in the stock market, hundreds of thousands of homes have been foreclosed, countries are warring against each other, homicides are occurring every minute, and trillions of dollars of our future have been spent.
A Gallup-Healthways poll started last year, taken every day, surveys people’s mood swings. The survey produces the Emotional Health Index (EHI)—a measure that weighs negatives such as depression, worry and stress against the positive feelings a person experienced the day before the survey.
It is no wonder we have a sense of pessimism about our lives and the world listening to polls like this and to massive amounts of dispiriting information. What we commonly accept as knowledge and truth (from the media) is only information, oftentimes distorted in order to support or establish a viewpoint.
Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
— T.S. Eliot
A couple of months ago, my church underwent a week-long church-wide “Daniel” fast, http://www.gotquestions.org/Daniel-fast.html. I decided to give up “information” (i.e. television, news, etc.) along with the fast. Although there were a couple of programs and sporting events I missed, there was one thing I noticed more than anything lacking in my life that week: a sense of negativity, hopelessness and despair.
I rediscovered that my hope (and happiness) is not dependent upon the news I receive from the media and others. My hope is in Jesus and the knowledge I have in Him and the wisdom he provides to those who believe.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
There were many believers who, under more extreme circumstances than I, lived this out as an example to us.
Abraham was told by God to do something no parent could ever imagine: sacrifice his son.
Take your son, your only son…whom you love so much…Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2).
Abraham didn’t lose hope, complain to his friends, ask for advice, rip his cloak or cry out to God. The Bible says Abraham got up early the next morning (probably having not slept much the night before) and took his son up to the place God told him.
Nobody would have blamed Abraham for wrestling with or questioning God; yet Abraham feared and obeyed Him and, as a result, God released Isaac and Abraham was richly blessed.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (Psalm 33:18).
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