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Keep Your Hope Alive!

By: LCDR M. A. Biadog, Jr., Assistant Division Chaplain, Third Marine Division

Date Posted: 2000-01-15

Someone has said that man can live for forty days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air and just one second without hope! Feeling of hopelessness is one of the main reasons why a discouraged and despondent person opted to take his/her life. Service members must encourage each other everyday. It is our responsibility to lift up the disheartened and discouraged Marines, Sailors, Army and Air Force personnel and family members. We must motivate them to keep their hope alive. Hope is a word that lightens the heart and gives courage today to help face tomorrow.

People with hope will help keep them going even when faced with life’s difficulties. Hope gives strength for the weary. Hope energizes the weak and downtrodden. Zig Ziglar, world-renowned motivational speaker, says, “Hope in the future has a dramatic impact on your thinking today. Your thinking today determines your performance today, and your performance today has a direct bearing on your future.” We all want a good future. Keep on keeping on and keep your dream and hope alive and have a “huge” hope. John Johnson, publisher of Ebony magazine and one of the 400 wealthiest men in America, says the “men

and women are limited not by the place of their birth, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope.”

The Word of the Lord gives us a message of hope. Bruce Larson writes in Wind and Fire, “A few years ago I almost drowned in a storm at sea in the Gulf of Mexico when I found myself swimming far from shore, something not unusual at all. I can remember saying, “well this it.” The waves were seven or eight feet high, and the sky was dark with gale force winds and lightning. I was drifting out to sea when The Word of the Lord came to me and saved my life. “I’m here Larson, and you’re not coming home as soon as you think. Can you tread water?” Somehow that had never occurred to me. Had I continued my frantic effort to swim back to the shore, I could have exhausted my strength and gone down.” Dr. Larson survived because he had hope and did not give up. He listened and obeyed The Word of the Lord.

The Bible consists of ample verses that talk about HOPE. In the midst of hopeless situations, the prophet of God, Jeremiah, preached a message of hope to all the remaining children of Israel and the exiled in Babylon. God told Jeremiah , “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV. Jesus, one of 27,000 Cuban migrants in Guantanamo Bay in 1994-95, kept his hope alive when he heard the Bible read to him in Spanish, “Jehova es mi pastor; nada me faltara.” Salmo 23:1. In English, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” Psalm 23:1 NIV. Jesus, our Lord, comforts his disciples by saying, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:1-4, 6 KJV. Another encouraging verse in the Bible is “Greater love than no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13 NIV. Remember that Jesus is a friend who walks in when the world has walked out. So when you are lonely and feel hopeless, remember to read the Word of God. God’s Word brightens your dreary day and has always a message of hope for you. Keep your hope alive!

If you or your friends need to talk to someone today, call your unit Chaplain. Our Religious Ministry Team in Okinawa will be glad to help you. We invite you to attend our services this week where you will hear a message of hope proclaim from the Word of God.

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