Hope

The Thanksgiving season is upon us and in preparation for that I have been posting onto my Facebook page something that I am thankful for, and it is not always easy. There days when I really have to think hard to find something specific of which to be thankful. And I have used things like my kids, my parents, even indoor plumbing. While doing this everyday, there have been terrible things going on in the world. Events that can cause people to be fearful or even angry, which in face of so much bad news it can be difficult to resist those feelings.
A friend of mine posted on to his Facebook yesterday, about how he is having trouble staying positive in the midst of all the violence and heartache. This got me to thinking about Psalm 112:7 which says, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” To me this verse means, good will win even when it seems that evil has the advantage. Which it often times does, but in the end good wins, even if it takes a little while. And of course, when Jesus returns the ultimate good will win.

On the show Once Upon a Time, Snow White/Mary Margaret often speaks about good winning, and one time even states, “..just as it always does.” She also encourages the others to have hope, because hope is powerful thing. Hope speaks life, it encourages, it counteracts fear and doubts. Hope is something that resides in every positive person, every hero, and should reside in every Christian. Because as the popular hymn declares, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Now, the tricky thing about thankfulness and hope, is that they can wither away in the face of bad news, setbacks, or pain. And that is just what evil wants, people with out hope.

Luke Skywalker was relentless in his quest to hold on to hope, after he was “The New Hope”. Luke believed with every fiber of his being that the situation was not hopeless, and that Anakin could still come back. Yet even with his strong hope and faith, he was tempted by the Emperor and, even if just for a second, thought that maybe good would lose the fight. The Emperor would say things like, “You must know by now that your father can never be turned.” And made Luke stand there and watch all the good guys fall into the trap that he had set. It may have only been for a moment but that was all the Emperor needed, fear and anger flooded in and Luke came awfully close to killing his father. Thankfully good stuff like hope, love, and faith are stronger than ANY evil. (Which is something that evil wants you forget.) The Emperor was defeated and Anakin did come back to fulfill his calling and died a hero.

The evil that is at work in the world right now wants us to be discouraged, to be fearful, to be powerless. But I will encourage to look to the source of our hope, a source that will not run dry, a source that is perfect and everlasting. Because in the end good will win, it always does. And the hope found in Jesus will lead you to the greatest happy ending of all.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” -Psalm 31:24

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Mission Statement

While washing the dishes the other day, I received a word from God, something I will call the “Mission Statement” for Hope, Faith and Star Wars. Using the life of Anakin Skywalker as an example to teach a Biblical truth has been and will continue to be the focus of this blog. It has helped me to grow, because the emotions that Anakin felt are very human emotions. We all get angry, we all have fear and we all get impatient from time to time.

But my favorite thing about Anakin is the good that was in him, the good that was able to survive Darth Vader. And the good that he was able to find again, because someone believed in him before he even believed in himself. We need to fight for the good, and believe that it can be found again. With that being said, here is my hope and my mission:

I believe that goodness is in everyone. Does this mean that everyone who has fallen into bad deeds will find that goodness again (or for the first time), sadly, no it does not. But I will hold strong to faith in the good. Why? Because Anakin did not die as Darth Vader, Paul did not die as Saul, the guy who was beside Jesus on his own cross did not die as his “Darth Vader”, and I will not die as mine. All of the Darth Vaders of the world may not be reached, but I will faithfully follow my calling to reach as many as possible. They need someone to believe in them, like Luke believed in Anakin. Some many be quick to dismiss them as a lost cause, but God, at least until they breathe their last for then it is truly too late, believes other wise. Therefore, I will pray for them and the strength to believe the same.

Faith and Miracles

(photo credit fiallderil.dreamwidth.org, found on Pinterest)

Miracles can happen, we just need to believe that they can. Pray for those around you who are lost, and be obedient to the call to reach out to or pray for a specific person if you feel led.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8

The Importance of One

What can one person do? What can the hope and faith of one do for those who are lost? Let us think about Luke Skywalker, an important leader in the Rebel Alliance, new hope for the Jedi Order and…..the son of Anakin Skywalker. Luke wasn’t too pleased when he discovered that Darth Vader was his father, in fact his exact word was, “Nooooooo!” This revelation at first was horrible, but in the end this gave Luke the opportunity and the desire to look at Anakin differently, not as Darth Vader but as his father, Anakin Skywalker. Luke was the first person in 20 years, who saw past his mistake and challenged Anakin to make a change. He spoke the truth over him, saying words that went through Darth Vader and found Anakin’s heart.

In Romans 12:21 it says, “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Hate can not be overcome by hate. Fear can not be overcome by fear. Anger can not be overcome by anger. All of the people that had been close to Anakin were either dead or had given up on him, both Yoda and Obi Wan were convinced that dark path was something no one could come back from, Anakin especially. Luke chose to believe that there was good in Darth Vader, even though no one else believed him, and he felt that he at least had to try even if he was wrong, he knew he had to try.

God calls us to be lights in the darkness, to love on people and always speak God’s best over their lives. As 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.” Luke chose to love Darth Vader because Anakin was inside and Anakin, his father, was worth fighting for. We shouldn’t sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called us to do, don’t allow fear to make you complacent or inactive. Its that one moment in a sea of a million others, that moment is what matters, give it to God and He’ll take care of the rest. The moment where we choose to be kind, where we choose to be joyful or where we chose to speak about what we believe to be truth. It is never to late for someone to make a change in their lives and it can be the calling of Christians to speak that truth over those who have given up on themselves.

Anakin had been buried under 20 years of anger, hate and oppression, it destroyed him and most of the people around him. The hope of one person and Luke’s faith in Anakin’s goodness proved to be stronger than the power of the dark side. One person brought Anakin back and saved him from darkness…one person. So overcome evil with good, love each other deeply and hold strong to your faith because as the Bible says it truly can move mountains.