Published 11:23 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Bill Kent

Jim Valvano delivered a stirring speech. If we closed your eyes, we’d think he was healthy but he was not. Coach Valvano stood before the crowd looking like a skeleton covered with skin. Quickly, cancer destroyed his body but he never gave up hope. In California, Joni Eareckson Tada sits in a wheelchair. She’s paralyzed from a diving accident many years ago. But Joni isn’t discouraged. How could it be? Her “Joni and Friends” ministry to the disabled is a global effort. Mrs. Tada’s positive attitude comes from her reliance upon the Almighty power of the Holy Spirit. She is an inspiring believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  The world needs hope but we are overcome with problems and bad news. Negative attitudes and hopelessness are common but good news is near if we look for it. God wants to give us a bright future. When we receive hope from heaven, we want to share the good news with others. That’s what happened with Lottie Moon. This intelligent young lady had personal plans for success but didn’t have spiritual hope. Then she met the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way. Her heart burst with concern for hopeless people all over the world.

  Lottie Moon was born into a wealthy Virginia family in 1840 and was one of the first women to earn a Master’s degree. She doubted the Bible when she entered college but soon became a believer in 1858. Then, “clear as a bell,” she heard God’s call to serve in China. Though Moon was about four feet tall and weighed about fifty pounds, she became a large leader. Lottie dressed like the Chinese, made cookies for the children and told them about Jesus. She was instrumental in starting one of the strongest churches in China to this day.

  Lottie worked tirelessly and wrote thousands of letters challenging believers to pray and give to pierce the darkness and despair with hope found in Jesus Christ. The Lord extends his nail scarred hand to all people. Many people do “hope in his mercy” (Psalm 33:18). We don’t deserve salvation but God wants us to be hopeful forever. God gives us a new song when we trust in him and now we have a sturdy “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). Jesus said, “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life…,” (John 5:24).