A recent commencement address to the University of Texas by Admiral William McRaven, Commander of Special Operations, a Navy Seal, inspired me that hope can change lives and those lives can change the world. The Admiral talked about having the graduating seniors change the world for the better.

He starts telling of going through Navy Seal training and the importance of making one’s bed each and every morning. He described how important it was when in a boat everyone had to paddle together. Your physical stature was not as important as the size of your heart. To be successful you must be willing to get over pain and failure and keep on going. To become a Seal they must be willing to take on problems head on and confront them. You must learn to be calm and be your best during the darkest moments. He tells of a time when they were up to their necks in mud and had to stay that way for 18 hours. After ten hours when it would have been easy to give up, one person started singing and then everyone joined in. It was the signing together that gave them the hope to stick it out. Finally, he said that to change the world it would take a willingness to take extreme risks, work outside the box and develop the ability to never give up. Their Seal class started with 150 members and ended up with 42. My four years in the Navy I would have been one of those to quit. I have a problem with heights.

This was a story of what seal training was like. It reminded me of Biblical stories. Faith and hope in God and Christ being the Messiah can change anyone’s life. Our greatest hope, the one that can change everything, can come from God and Scripture having faith and trusting what they say and teach is truthful.

According to Webster HOPE means “The feeling that what is wanted can be had”. The Bible gives a definition: Hebrews 11:1 – ‘Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.’ NLT

We are living in a changing world but it has not been changing for the better. Years ago Americans’ rights came from God. Today our rights come from BIG GOVERNMENT. Slowly God is being replaced. As I read the Old Testament, America is on the same path as Israel was in Bible times. We are rejecting God and His ways just as Israel did. Look what kind of an America we are leaving for our grandchildren.

Daily I thank God that I was born in America. What other nation, over the years, has had the hope and the American dream we have been blessed with? We need to be more dedicated and persistent in our personal spreading the message of Jesus Christ that all men were created equally with God given rights. My greatest hope is to get America back to being a Christian nation. Think what we could do.

Christ took twelve men and spent three years with them and gave them a commission to spread what he taught them to the world. Those twelve, according to Center for the Study of Global Christianity, estimate by 2020 there will be 2.6 billion Christians. This is an example of how “FAITH” and “HOPE” can change the world.

My greatest example of living a positive life, with faith and hope, is the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul was beaten, stoned and left for dead, jailed without cause and yet lived with peace, joy and love. What made him so strong was his eternal hope? II Corinthians 12:2 – 4 – “I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.” NLT

I would image that if any of us had the experience of going to heaven and seeing what Paul saw would give us the same hope that we could handle any situation no matter how tragic. Doesn’t this example tell us the closer we get to God, the more thoroughly we will understand Scripture, the greater our FAITH will be and the more HOPE we will have? This is why Philippians 4:19 is so vital that every Christian should have it memorized. And this same God who takes care of a Christian will supply all their needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

We must remember that faith is not a desire that something may take place in the future. True faith is an absolute certainty, often of things that the world considers unreal and impossible. Man’s natural response is to trust his physical senses and put his faith in things he can see, hear, taste and feel. As Christians we must trust in something we may not be able to experience with our senses. Our faith must be such that we are willing to put up with life’s struggles or pain knowing that we shall receive our reward in the future. Earth is God’s laboratory where we all are preparing for the future. What happens in the “now” determines where we will be in eternity.

All through the New Testament one word stands out and that is HOPE. I wonder how many realize how great of a motivator that can be. I normally do not watch Reality TV shows. I have read material and heard reports on TV. I believe people will do about anything for money, power or fame. Ask professional athletes how hard they train in order to become their very best. Many have goals to be the best, earn millions of dollars and enter the “Hall of Fame”. One thing you will find common in each one of these individuals is their hope and confidence that they can be a winner. Without faith and hope they would not spend the many hours each day training to perfect their abilities.

People worldwide are going through some very trying economical times. The greatest problem that has become apparent is a lack of confidence and hope in governments most everywhere. Government over the past number of years has unconsciously substituted themselves for God. Scripture says God will meet our need and governments say: “No, they will meet everyone’s need”. What governments have promised in the past can no longer be fulfilled. What God promises can be fulfilled? Americans who used to depend on God were deceived into believing the government could do what God had promised. Therefore, their dependence on God, they thought, was no longer necessary and the Bible, morality and respect became unimportant. That’s when the morality of the American people slowly degenerated. America today can be described by the nations in the Old Testament that rejected God and His Commandments and were severely punished. They all had a false hope in the future and government leaders let them down!

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1 Comment

  1. keijo leppioja

     /  June 20, 2014

    Yes by faith we can find Christ and the Fathers heart in joy with amazing contact with the Holy Spirit with heavenly vision and love from God with peace and evelasting life by Jesus blood and the Holy Spirit will help us and be our thanksgivng to quard us and heal us in Jesus name ,thanks and bless,keijo sweden


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