Hope for 2017.
As I write these words I’m looking at my calendar and planning ahead for hope filled new year. This is an activity that is done by most people every time we get to the after Christmas time before the
New Year’s observance. I see a hopeful horizon for 2017.
I’ve chosen the following words to guide my thoughts: Romans 5:2-5: (ESV) 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[a] into this grace in which we stand, and we[b] rejoice[c] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
There are two words here that draw our attention, they are: “Produce” and “Hope.” This reference is also optimistic.
Hope more than an attitude
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.
Optimistic people see the best in the world. Optimistic ideas have been around for a while. Consider Voltaire’s “Candide” (1759) he mocked them thoroughly. Here’s an optimistic quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to have or to maintain a positive and/or optimistic attitude or point of view.
Hope for all Generations
I have come to know several individuals who are the very opposite. Instead of looking forward with eager anticipation, they live in the darkness of fear and trepidation. Whenever the slightest variation in their lives appears they become upset, agitated, their personalities change, and they lash out against others and with much “hand wringing” while negatively influencing others. Baby Boomers and “millennials” fall into these cohorts.(Pew Research Center reports and data on the Millennial generation, and describes “millennials” as those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.)
Reasons for Millennials Lack of Hope
The number of millennials is greater than boomers and the numbers in the greatest generation. Asking specific questions about religion, God and heaven when speaking to a millennial, more often gets a response of uncertainty if not hopeless pessimism. The reason for this is attributed to the lack of training in higher and more lofty matters of life. Boomers raised them while placing emphasis on the matters of self, stuff, and cynicism. This era of “empty” training should be laid at the feet of the “Boomers” and their wholesale pursuit of consumer satisfaction.
Grandma Has Hope
This explains why “grandmothers” are the better ones to ask about removing stains with Apple cider vinegar (ACV). Boomers would just throw their soiled things away while “older” generations would clean them up with ACV. If you’re really interested here’s something you can read: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/13-ways-to-clean-your-whole-home-with-apple-cider-vinegar-235579
Hope for little children
We gain further insight then when we see that so many of our 3, 4 & 5 year old children have not been baptized. They are not because their parents have been taught to leave them on their own. ‘When they get older they will decide.’ They are not taught to pray, they do not understand death and dying while they see it all around them, and their hearts and minds do not know about forgiving love, mercy, compassion, and human spirituality.
This is especially saddening when educators, doctors and psychologists talk of the same ages as the most important for training in the basic concepts of self worth, socialization, forgiveness and human spirituality.
“When something goes wrong during the formative years, that has an effect on how the person grows and develops later during adolescence and adult life. Most time lines consider the first five years the formative years, and during this time social skills and basic motor functions are learned and practiced. Learning to walk, talk and use the bathroom are some key examples of these formative skills.
In addition, personality is greatly impacted by these years. Many basic likes and dislikes, such as arts and sports, have their beginnings in this period. Emotional development also starts in the formative years. It is important to focus on encouraging a child’s intellectual and thinking abilities during these years, as it can have a significant impact on them later in life. It is difficult to make up for a lack of this encouragement at an older age because by the end of the formative years so many basic building blocks are set in stone. For example, a child who does not learn to speak early enough will have difficulty learning later on.” https://www.reference.com/family/formative-years-cdabfff5b1d7e413#
(Please note that most school districts implementing 4-k programs seek to perpetuate the humanistic world view)
The Bible is full of directions to train up children. The last time I counted there were 31 easily identified passages. Proverbs 22:6 is readily understood: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Children of all generations are to be given hope. That hope is based on the righteousness of Christ. They need to learn about Jesus. We teach the children at home, in our preschool, Sunday School, Christian Day Schools and confirmation classes to have an optimistic perspective based on the absolute truth of God as set forth in the Scriptures.
May we do all that we can to teach by word and example the message of the Gospel!
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