Have Hope

Sometimes it’s difficult to find evidence for hope in God’s world; in God’s Word, in God’s church, in God’s people, yes, there are signs aplenty – including in that which is imperfect.  But in God’s world – a place so chaotic, so corrupted, so flawed, divided and secularized?  Where do we look to remember that the Great Creator is still in control?

For me, often that place is Mother Nature.  In this blog entry, I’ve lifted some powerful quotes from a recent article by Dr. Jane Goodall, co-authored with Heather Templeton-Dill, philanthropist.  Jane Goodall, 87, ethologist, primatologist, activist, and conservationist, has devoted her life to the natural world and to what it teaches us about our own humanity.  She has said:

“What I felt in the forest was a spiritual force that seemed to me to be in every living thing around me…”

Following are excerpts from the co-authors’ USA Today article Jane Goodall: Have Hope, including embedded links.  They write:

“Despite today’s challenges and our current crises, we should have hope. Hope does not deny difficulty, but strengthens our determination to overcome…

Though being hopeful seems an increasingly impossible stance, nevertheless even today we see powerful scientific and spiritual reasons to hope. Hope is as essential to humans as oxygen. It is a crucial survival trait that has sustained our species in the face of danger since the Stone Age. Hope is powerful.

But what is hope really? Is it just a feeling? Where does it come from? Can it be measured? Can we develop it? Instill it? Real hope is not a passive feeling: It’s a positive force that motivates action. Hope and action mutually reinforce each other – you won’t be active unless you hope your action will make a difference. You need hope to get you going, but then by taking action it helps you generate more hope. It’s a feedback loop…

Real hope does not exclude fear, anger or frustration – it harnesses them. Hope does not deny all the difficulty and all the danger that exist but strengthens our determination to overcome them.

When 2013 Templeton Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was once asked why he was optimistic, he said he was not optimistic but was a prisoner of hope. ‘Hope,’ he said, ‘is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.’”

Jane Goodall is the winner of the 2021 Templeton Prize and co-author of Reason for Hope (1999), Seeds of Hope (2013) and The Book of Hope (2021).

Heather Templeton-Dill is president of the John Templeton Foundation, a major funder of research on hope, optimism, resilience, and character development.

Jane Goodall has just published The Book of Hope:  A Survival Guide for Trying Times, detailingher reasons to be hopeful during dark times in a troubled world.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Shared by Karla Hendrick

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