I love America.
While I am not always proud of every decision America has made, or am I proud of all of her negative past, I can still say with great conviction that America is a great country. A country I am blessed to live in. A country I am proud to stand up for.
How do I define greatness? Greatness is not defined the way many people in our society define greatness. In our world most people determine greatness by how much money a person has. What kind of car he or she drives. Or even by how large their home is. Some people think that if they earn a six-figure income then they are great.
All of those things definitely represent the trappings of material success, and by the way, there is nothing wrong with having those things. However, the major problem comes when we begin to believe that our success is the thing that makes us great. Success does not make one great. What one does with success determines whether one is headed toward greatness or not.
The whole world seems to be in a state of turmoil. But what many fail to understand is that all of this will ultimately bring a nation back to God.
Nothing more effectively drives people to search out truth than hard times.
And that is where America is right now, facing hard times. So then, if America didnt become great through all of its holdings and financial pursuits, big corporations, super stars, and multi-nationals, then what made America so great? Just one wordHope!
Thats what makes America great. From the very beginning of this countrys existence, America has been a place that has been seen as a haven of hope.
If you go back in history, you can easily find story after story about hope-filled people boarding ships destined for America. When they arrived at Ellis Island, they sensed within that they had discovered a place, where opportunities were endless.
With that, many of these people, through hard work, perseverance, and faith in God, went on to establish some of the most lucrative companies in the world, separating the United States as the most successful nation in modern day history. How is it that they came with nothing and built so much for their families, even making provision for generations to come?
They did it because America gave them the freedom to hope, a rare jewel.
There are many countries throughout the world today, which prohibit the free exercise of hope. These countries offer their citizens no room to hope for a better future. No hope to provide for food. Or Shelter. Or clothing for their family. No hope to rise above the level of poverty, and no hope to educate the mind.
But in America, these treasures that have been so taken for granted have always been afforded to us. We have always had the freedom to hope.
I cant help but ask, what is happening? Its rather obvious that times are changing; the economy is much different today than it was a decade ago, and hot button issues seemingly divide more today than ever.
But lets face it; this is not the first time that our nation has experienced hard times before. Weve endured significant challenges before and emerged from the ashes as winners. And we can do the same thing again.
Dont be distracted when you read the papers, listen to the news, listen to talk radio, and begin to reason that there doesnt seem to be a lot of hope in the most hopeful land on earth. Theres always hope! Jesus is Hope. He doesnt just offer it, he embodies it.
And these problems and trials we are encountering are strengthening our character, which in turn becomes our confident hope. If you find yourself in a great struggle; fear not, it is working something within you far greater than you can imagine. This is why those of the United States are hard to deter. It’s because we’ve been born into a hope filled nation. And these difficulties we are enduring now will soon be our stepping stool to what’s next for us.
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing Gods glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. Romans 5:2-5, NLT (underscore emphasis mine)
What keeps you hopeful in challenging times? Drop a comment below, and let me know. I’d love to learn your secrets.