I want to tell you how to share hope (but not germs) this year. Huh? Let me explain. I had to sneeze recently—in a restaurant. Now, do you remember back in 2019 when you would sneeze around folks and someone would say, “Bless you”? Now, it’s like—HIDE YOUR KIDS! I tried to stop it, like making the ugly faces, holding my breath, and shaking my head, but there was no stopping it. Then it happened. And it wasn’t just one sneeze, but multiple sneezes that sounded like a small freight train passing through the restaurant. When my sneeze marathon finally ended, I did what everyone does at that point … I raised my hand and in a very loud voice said, “It’s just sinuses!”
Why am I telling you this? Well for one, it makes me feel better writing about it, and two, it’s because times are a little different right now, aren’t they? Who could have known that COVID-19, social distancing, and the CDC would be the most frequently used words of 2020? And because of everything going on, there are people out there today who have lost hope.
But as followers of Jesus, we are hope dealers! Our circumstances may change, but our hope doesn’t. We have the answer, and that answer is Jesus Christ!
In a world full of uncertainty, we can be certain that we know the One who is bigger than all of it. In fact, He’s the One who tells us to cast all of our anxiety on Him because He cares for us so much (1 Peter 5:7).
So, what are some ways we can be a hope dealer? Glad you asked. To share hope (without sharing germs), consider these five things:
1. Pray. Never underestimate what God can do through prayer. It’s like Pastor Craig says, “Prayer shouldn’t be our last line of defense, but rather our first line of offense.” So, if you’re struggling to find hope yourself or to share hope with others, one of the best things you can do is pray. Just check out what 1 John 5:14 has to say about that. God hears your prayers and can restore your hope.
2. Invite someone to church. Or better yet, bring someone to church with you! At Life.Church, we’ve increased hygiene and cleaning protocols and our weekend services have been redesigned to create a touchless environment that allows for physical distancing for as long as it’s needed. And if someone you know isn’t ready to come to church in person yet, or doesn’t live near a physical location, invite them to join you at Life.Church Online.
3. Start, join, or invite people to a LifeGroup. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable going to church yet, invite them to a smaller LifeGroup setting—maybe even in your home. You could even start a digital LifeGroup. It’s more important than ever to find your people in this season, so one way you can share hope is by providing a safe place for people to process their thoughts and emotions.
4. Send some encouragement. There are so many uplifting articles, Bible Plans, or messages that you can use to share hope with others, including this powerful message from Pastor Craig: Finding Relief From Anxiety.
5. Listen. Not only do we need to listen to God (see Psalm 46:10), but also we need to be available to just sit and listen to others, whether over the phone, by video chat, or in person.
2020 doesn’t have to be a year we want to forget. If we truly seek the One who is in control of it all, He just might use you to make 2020 the best year yet to someone out there. Be a hope dealer!