For the last year and half, Jen and I have been volunteering as coaches at an Orange County High School. Once a week, a group of students spend an hour with us going through a curriculum that teaches life skills and principles designed to help students experience greater success in pursuing their goals and ambitions.
To be honest, these groups are a real challenge. Many of these students are unmotivated and have been hardened by the circumstances of life.
Some have had close friends killed as a result of gang violence. Others have relatives who have been in and out of jail. Some have witnessed shootings. For many, there is a feeling of hopelessness.
Dictionary.com defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” But what do you do when events don’t turn out the way you wanted or life delivers unexpected hardships?
Our twins are in the middle of their senior year and they’ve been thinking and dreaming about life after high school. Their hope is to attend a military academy and they’ve been working diligently for the last several years to put themselves in a position to achieve that goal. But obtaining an appointment to any of the service academies is incredibly competitive. It might not work out the way they’ve planned.
There is a tremendous amount of hopelessness in our culture these days, especially among Millennials. Many are discouraged by the political system and by how polarized we seem to be on many issues. Others are discouraged by the high cost of education and the amount of indebtedness they’ve incurred. For some, the job market is not as promising as they had hoped and the American dream seems elusive.
The Bible has a lot to say about hope. The author of Hebrews says that “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” The hope being spoken of is that God cannot lie, and therefore we can trust in His promises. The author says that Jesus is our High Priest who has gone into the inner sanctuary to make atonement for our sin, and as a result, we can run to God and take refuge.
In other words, we can know God and we can come into His presence. He will not deny us no matter what we’ve done or we might be feeling about ourselves.
Jesus is the only one who can be an anchor of hope for our souls. Everything else will either let us down or is ultimately fleeting. We cannot put our hope in our job or in the political system or the college we want to attend. None of those things can provide ultimate meaning and purpose for our lives. Only Jesus can do that.
Thanks for your partnership with us in helping Young Professionals find meaning and purpose in Jesus, the hope of glory!