Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Talked to God Lately????

Posted: February 7, 2023 in World On The Edge
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The next time you’re feeling down, instead of being swept along by an ocean of stress, you might try sharing your problems with a trusted friend.

Talking about our problems and sharing our negative emotions with someone we trust can be profoundly healing—reducing stress, strengthening our immune system, and reducing physical and emotional distress (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988).

For Christians, the most trusted friend is God, and God is who they first go to for help. Absolutely anyone can talk directly to God through prayer. Our prayers are conversations with God. But God can speak to our minds and hearts through anything — books, television, movies, music, other people. Yet for some people, the idea of talking to God is ridiculous because they insist they do not believe in Him.

Belief in God

Belief in God has fallen the most in recent years among young adults and people on the left of the political spectrum (liberals and Democrats). These groups show drops of 10 or more percentage points comparing the 2022 figures to an average of the 2013-2017 polls.

Most other key subgroups have experienced at least a modest decline, although conservatives and married adults have had essentially no change.

The groups with the largest declines are also the groups that are currently least likely to believe in God, including liberals (62%), young adults (68%) and Democrats (72%). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%), reflecting that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the U.S.

Nearly three-quarters of the most religious Americans, defined as those who attend religious services every week, say they believe God hears prayers and can intervene, as do slightly more than half of conservatives and Republicans, as well as 25% of liberals and 32% of Democrats. Thirty percent of young adults believe God hears prayers and can intervene.

Hearing God

Recently, I read the delightful account of a kindergarten teacher in a Catholic school–when one of her students, a little boy, came up to her desk and proudly announced that he knew the Our Father by heart. She asked him to show her, and every word of his prayer was perfect — until the little boy ended the prayer with: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some E-mail, Amen.”

Maybe He won’t send us an email, but God is speaking to us all the time. We only have to listen. Hearing God is essential to building an intimate relationship with Him and learning to clearly distinguish God’s voice is invaluable. The “still, small voice” inside our heads called conscience is often God attempting to speak to us. Maybe we don’t listen. Maybe we tune God out because we don’t like what He’s saying. We may tune Him out so often (to do what we want, instead of what we know He wants) that we lose all contact with Him.

Still, God does not lose contact with us — ever. He loves us. God is always near enough to hear us call to him throughout our life on Earth. Because, in the end, absolutely everybody will talk to God.

Worrying About Tomorrow??

Posted: October 27, 2014 in World On The Edge
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file000324750683At times we feel like a fragile leaf taken up by the wind, with no control over where we’re going. And we worry, we obsess. We may shake, or sweat, crying out, “What will happen to me?”

Maybe we’re suffering from some disease. Maybe we’re despondent over the loss of a loved one. Or we may have deliberately hurt someone else, and while we regret it, what we’ve done eats away at us.

We may have committed an offense we don’t think we can be forgiven for. Or we may be afraid of the punishment we’ll receive from that offense. All these happenings can alter us until we barely respond to others in kind ways, because there’s too much darkness around us to recgonize any sort of joy.

But life itself is good. Life can be affirming even in our sorrow, pain, or distress.

The idea that Life is good doesn’t come to us from something outside of us. It comes from inside us, if we allow it to. It comes from creating in our hearts an attitude of Trust–no matter who has hurt us, or who we’ve lost, no matter how terrible we think we’ve been, and no matter how weak our bodies have become.

Trust means a lack of worry about tomorrow. Trust means loving the moment we are living in. Trust means that even if the moment we love doesn’t last, our Trust, our Faith, our Hope will last.

Can we do this alone? Can we stoke the fire inside us and carry it forward without someone else? Don’t we need a hand to hold, the hand of someone who truly loves us?

Oh, you are alone? And nobody loves you?

Don’t fall for that.

We are never alone–not alone on the top of a mountain of happiness and good fortune, and not alone at the bottom of a sea of sorrow and despair.

The One who created us never leaves us.

Trust that the hand of God is always extended to you.

All you need do is reach out and take it.

Then tomorrow will take care of itself.