hopeWhy am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!

-Psalm 43:5 (New Living Translation)

These are troubling times. I try to keep a glass-half-full outlook, but it’s a constant battle to keep that glass from springing a leak. Thankfully, the verse above came to mind today as I was listening to some gloomy news on the radio. I realized that if my hope is in money and worldly security, then there is reason to despair. But if my hope is in God, I have every reason to rejoice.

Jesus told his disciples:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

– Luke 12:22-22 (NIV)

Kelley and I have both been moved to consider how well our priorities are aligned with the verses above. It’s encouraging to think that God may use these “troubling” times to free us from the worries of the world and to draw us closer to him.