Real Roots Produce Real Change through Living Hope

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

A year or so ago, I had conversation with my daughter about a flower she had recently picked. We were sitting in our kitchen admiring the pretty, freshly picked flower in a vase sitting in a windowsill. We were talking about what the flower needed to remain pretty and vibrant (my word, not hers). She gave it water, found a spot with a lot of sunshine, and made sure no one would smash it–all of the steps you take to care for a cut flower. Then the topic shifted.

“How long will it stay pretty?”, she asked. I began to explain that if we continue to give it water and sun it will stay this way for a while, but eventually it will wilt and wither, losing its vibrancy. Surprised and maybe a little sad, she said, “What? Why Daddy?” You see, as a young kid, she thought the flower would continue to appear alive, or “be pretty” as she would say, forever. However, there was a big problem: we had cut it off from its roots. Separated from its source of life, the flower was just surviving until it couldn’t anymore.

In the last article(The Real-Life Consequences of Circumstantial Hope), we looked at the difference between circumstantial hope and living hope based on something foundational. Much like the flower my daughter picked, circumstantial hope is short lived as it is dependent on present circumstances and their outcomes. Lacking “roots”, it slowly fades away, revealing its lack of real sustaining power. This is problematic for anyone, regardless of their reality. However, the impact of it is even more clear and immediate when someone is in the midst of incredibly challenging circumstances such as poverty and homelessness. Circumstantial hope only feeds the lie of hopelessness that permeates and perpetuates these struggles.

The good news? The opposite is also true.

Through my work in Nicaragua and other communities, as well as my own personal life experiences, I have found that living hope is full of life-changing power that allows someone to persist in the midst of great challenges. Why? It has roots planted in something foundation and life-producing: the truth that we were created on purpose for a purpose by a God who loves us. Like a flower with deep roots in fertile soil, present circumstances may create real and difficult problems but living hope remains and sustains because its source of life is deeper and more powerful.

This is why I believe living hope, or an all-in hope as I talk about in my book Hope Realized, is so critical to creating real change in the midst of brokenness and hopelessness. The truth is overcoming issues such as poverty and hopelessness rarely happens quickly or easily. While working in Nicaragua with NicaWorks!, we have faced more failures than I can count. The people we have worked with have had setbacks that could have easily, and in some case did, cause them to give up. Despite all of this, the work continues, and in the middle of the brokenness, like a flower determined to thrive, hope breaks through.

Creating real change does not happen a straight line, but with living, all-in hope from a God who loves us and created us on purpose and for a purpose, it does happen. Where would you like to see change happen in your life, community, or the world? Could living hope be the ingredient that changes everything?

James Belt

Click here for more resources on creating real change through the power of real hope.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *