We met a man this past week whose nephew was killed one day earlier in a senseless act of violence. It’s a story we hear all too often in Southeast D.C., usually every few weeks, and it’s one that breaks my heart because I see the potential in the lives of the people we meet, but they have lived in hopelessness for so long that they don’t understand what hope looks like. This hopelessness leads them to a place of desperation where they are willing to take someone’s life while stealing something of little value. Unfortunately, this has become a reality in impoverished neighborhoods across the nation. And since we carry the hope of the world. Since we have the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We carry hope to them every week. And we watch God perform amazing miracles and great breakthroughs in the lives of people struggling with hopelessness.

What I have learned is that it is actually quite easy to represent Jesus in this way because it is part of his nature. Galatians 2:20 paints an amazing picture of our lives as believers; “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” The nature of Christ is already in us. The nature of hope is already in us. You may not have the opportunity to minister in areas of extreme poverty, but I am sure you encounter hopelessness in at least one person you talk to everyday. You carry the hope that they need and you have the authority to release it into their lives. We can grieve and empathize with others, but we can also restore their hope so that they can move forward in life without falling into a trap of despair.

Be the hope that others need, it’s part of your true identity.

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