It has been decades since so many uncertainties existed in America. Today there are adults who have not experienced uncertainty. The depression was experienced by their great-grandparents. World War II was experienced by their grandparents. The Viet Nam conflict was experienced by their parents. However, their world has been a time of prosperity, of education, of planning for the future, of tomorrows that were improved versions of today, and of living "the American dream."

Yet, the past few months produced times of increasing uncertainty: shrinking job markets, economic down turns, questionable futures, educational preparations that are slow to produce opportunity, $1.50+ gasoline, the activity of terrorists in America, and forced family separations without predictable reunions.

Pessimism is not my aim. Hope is my aim. Yet, if hope is to be real, it must be based on certainty. It is too human to invest hope in present desires rather than enduring intangibles. Christians urgently need to focus clearly on God's enduring intangibles.

Constantly I am reminded that anything physical has a short lifespan. Each morning my body gives me that reminder. Trials and struggles reinforce that reminder. When joyful promises of radiant tomorrows turn into bitter disappointments, these reminders become reality. Sickness and death declare anything physical is weak and uncertain.

Then, where is the hope? Depressions cannot eliminate God's mercy. Wars cannot destroy Jesus' death. Bad economic realities cannot neutralize God's forgiveness. Trials and struggles cannot cancel redemption. Death cannot prevent resurrection.

If our hope is produced by leaning on the physical, it will break and pierce us. If our hope is produced by leaning on God's love reflected in Jesus Christ and His Spirit, it will be our reality in eternity. Christians are not made for the world of wickedness. We are made for the world of the righteous. Remember 2 Peter 3:13?

"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Whatever happens, Jesus still died for us. That eternally declares God's love and mercy. Those intangibles are God's changeless certainties. May they be the foundation of our changeless certainties.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 23 March 2003

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