Hope For America
By Hope Taylor
At the beginning of each year, I set aside time to review the previous year while focusing on the future to seek the Lord for guidance. I have found it helpful to purposefully press forward into the future by calibrating my thoughts and plans to the One who directs our path. In January of 2014, this time was spent in our nation’s Capital and it proved to be a catalytic surge point that can define and direct one’s steps for decades. What follows is a story of hope.
I left Washington, D.C., with what I feel is a message for all Americans that transcends political preferences, ethnic groups, economic classes, geographical mores and spiritual experiences. The Lord guided me beyond my comfort boundaries and into His heart for all people. Having carried the name “Hope” and having heard every conceivable use of the name by my friends during the 70s drug culture, it didn't require a high IQ to use hope and dope in the same sentence for entertainment (you can become immune to any play on words involving your name). Since the mid-70s when we submitted our life to the goodness and lordship of Christ, our dear prophetically endowed Christian friends have creatively used hope in every imaginable way. As the scripture says, “there is nothing new under the sun!” When the Lord began speaking that we are to be a voice releasing a message of hope to our great nation, the only acceptable response was, “Yes, Lord.”
Hopelessness is a greater threat to the nation than today’s headlines that highlight legitimate concerns such as health, military responsibilities, economic vulnerabilities, terrorism and unemployment rates. The scripture clearly diagnoses the condition of our nation when it says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Prov. 13:12). As I have traveled to many states and communities in recent years and enjoyed countless conversations with responsible and concerned people about the condition of our country, my assessment is we are more allied with hopelessness than hope. Hopelessness is an equal opportunity infector having injected its venom into mature leaders, politically experienced leaders, God-fearing ministers, grassroots activists and concerned citizens. I was recently told the story of a large donor who had a history of supporting Christian and conservative efforts and now has decided to direct their resources into drilling international water wells due to not seeing tangible results in the cultural war in America.
In the war on illegal drugs in our cities, the drug task forces often wisely target the drug dealer, not the street level user. As I examine our culture, it seems two primary sources who traffic in hopelessness and act as emotional predators preying on the innocent are some media outlets and what we'll call “pop preachers.” Typically in Christian circles, the conversation goes to hard left media outlets and their agenda to shift culture toward political liberalism. In this context, my concern is the media outlets we consider friends. In the name of “we report, you decide,” the endless twenty-four hour stream of information released into the veins of Americans has become a source of hopelessness. Couple this with the common Sunday morning experience of pessimistic preachers recycling news reports and rallying the remnant with a message of how bad things are in America, the net result creates a situation where the very people called to bring healthy cultural change are sidelined due to a season-ending injury called hopelessness!
I am grieved by the assault on generations in America. Older Americans, many who are retired and can be a tremendous resource of wisdom, time, and finances, seem to be vulnerable to hopelessness, and therefore become jaded and content to cite how bad things are now versus when they were younger. Working or middle class families can be imprisoned by the demands of the hour while often not believing a better future for them and their children is possible. A Rasmussen poll in February 2013 found only 15 percent of American adults believed today’s children will be better off than their parents. My sense is we are producing a younger generation who has not known the beauty of an optimistic future. This emotional abortion is unacceptable! Psalm 33:11-12 says, “...plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” God has a plan for every generation filled with purpose.
When the Apostle Paul and 275 others were on a ship headed to Rome, the scripture vividly describes the scene in Acts 27:18-20: “The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed, they began to jettison the cargo; and on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands: And since neither sunnier stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned. The words used for gradually abandoned mean to cast off, unveil or take away that which surrounds. Due to the prolonged pounding of waters against their ship that they had held onto, a safe arrival and a future, was now gone. Sadly, this vividly describes the state of many believers in terms of their hope for a future.
The turning point came when Paul stood in the midst of these veteran seamen and announced God had spoken to him that night and all would be saved while the ship would be lost. With passion and conviction, the man of God’s voice was heard above the violent pounding of the storm as he urged them to keep their courage. My dear friends, I, too, urge you to keep your courage and maintain your hope! America, birthed by and protected through the providence of God, will prevail and fulfill her divine purpose for generations!
Since we have been speaking about this story of hope in churches, conferences, conference calls and personal conversations, many have enthusiastically received it and told their story of God speaking to them about hope.
Our strategy to see this message become a movement in the church and America is simple, and yet, to be successful, we will need your participation.
We seek prayer support from those who know God and will personally pray as well as being “Ambassadors of Hope” to mobilize prayer within your fellowship groups and spheres of influence. Quite honestly, I realize we must broaden this base to be successful in this becoming a movement.
We have launched what we call, “Hope4America” video clips that are brief, encouraging, and tell the story of people and communities transforming lives. These clips will showcase some of our nations historical sights, most beautiful settings and courageous people. They will be posted on social media including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ile-dc.org, and other websites. You can partner by liking and sharing the posts on International Leadership Embassy’s Facebook page or my personal page:
Hope Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/hopetaylor7?fref=ts
We are seeking God to see “Houses of Hope” in communities across the nation based on the Biblical model of Acts 2:46. The church grew by meeting house to house. The church today can revisit the strategy of house-to-house gatherings to see communities discipled in the Kingdom. In 1772, Samuel Adams used “Committees of Correspondence” in the colonies to educate all people and build unity for the American Revolution.
We close with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, who based on his hope, said, “There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”