firefighter nsw bushfire

Despite daily turmoil and trepidation of living in a shattered and hurting world, Christians everywhere have unshakeable hope, writes Caleb Stephen.

I write this piece as out of control bushfires rage in NSW and QLD meanwhile the hot topic of the day is linking this devastation to climate change.

I am mindful that hundreds upon hundreds of people have been displaced or tragically lost homes. And sadly too, there are families right now grieving the loss of loved ones.

And as if that stuff isn’t heavy enough, this globe continues to turn and for every morning that we wake up, we flick on the TV, scroll through our social media feeds or read through the newspaper and the cold hard reality of the fractured world that we live in hits home hard.

Constant attacks on religious freedom, faith, family values and the sanctity of human life only results in our further disconcertment, disillusionment and depression.

Everywhere we look we see bleakness; we see darkness looming. Hardly a bright and hopeful future ahead… or so it seems.

As an organisation, FamilyVoice Australia is daily at the forefront of repelling attacks from those who seek to undermine the Christian faith - which has been the cornerstone of Western Civilization for the last millennium.

We do what we can as servants of God attempting to fulfil our calling in the Kingdom of God to be loving agents of grace, delivering “salt and light” to the world around us.

And yes, there are definitely times when our efforts feel less than enough. Less than effective. Less than important.

After all, we’re only human and try as we might, cannot solve all the problems of this world. Whether they’re social, political, spiritual or physical, without Jesus, we are ultimately powerless.

“Where is the hope in all of this?” it is only natural to ask.

In trying times like this, I find it comforting to fall back on my faith in God. It’s the one place in which I can find answers when everywhere else I can find none.

In the book of Matthew 8 and in verse 23 we read of Jesus and his disciples entering a boat on the sea of Galilee and a storm arising which caused waves to actually start sweeping over that boat.

Jesus was fast asleep and the disciples who by that point were panicking yelled at Jesus saying: “save us, we’re going to drown!”

And I love this part of the passage. In verse 26 He replied: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” 

Then He rebuked the raging wind and the crashing waves and ushered in calmness.

I think at times it is so easy to forget the presence and power of God in the moments in life that are really dark. And as I go through life, I realise there are a lot of those.

While the darkness increases and the storm rages around us, we can rest assured that God is ultimately in control and above all these things.

Romans 5 talks about suffering producing important character qualities, one of those being hope.

Verse 5 goes on to say that “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

The bottom line is that despite daily turmoil and trepidation of living in a shattered and hurting world, Christians everywhere have unshakeable hopeLiving hope. Unashamed hope. Comforting hope.

It doesn’t matter how thick the darkness, how crushing the despair or how agonizing the desperation. Jesus gives Hope. Jesus gives Life. None of these things are too big for Him.

And this is why it is crucial to have faith and that we need to let our faith be strengthened in the hardest moments of life.

So, in the middle of these storms, let me conclude by saying this: lean into Jesus, draw close to Him and find your hope for the future in Him when everywhere else seems to be void of it.