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In HOPE - Faculty Publications

  In HOPE 7.29 

David Timms  

Ministry Resource

I commend to you Scot McKnight's The Jesus Creed (Paraclete Press, 2004). McKnight builds on the two greatest commandments -- Love God; Love Others -- and writes a terrific book that captures the heart of Christian discipleship in this simplest and most memorable "creed." The book flows nicely and McKnight writes for the ordinary believer. This book provides a simple and authentic blueprint for the DNA of a healthy Church.

Hope Happenings

On Wednesday, October 31st, Hope International University will hold its annual alternative to Halloween, "Happy House." Happy House is a fun and safe event for all age groups, and is open to the community. The event runs from 6:00-9:00 pm on the Fullerton campus and is completely free.

Happy House was designed years ago as a service opportunity for Hope students to give back to the community. Hundreds of students are involved each year to create a special and memorable night for children in the community.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"My job is not to solve people's problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives."
-- Eugene Peterson,
Contemplative Pastor

See the Grace

We live in neighborhoods -- and perhaps families -- racked with conflict and hardship. Relationships are hard work, finances are tight, jobs are insecure, and health is fragile. Facing some of that yourself right now?

It's natural for us to seek solutions. We all want peace, prosperity, security, and well-being. Only masochists could take joy in adversity. Besides, happiness is our "inalienable right" and we "deserve" the good life. We may not say it that way, but many of us think that way.

Problem-solving, therefore, absorbs enormous amounts of our time and energy. It seems we are constantly sorting out something, either for ourselves or for someone else. Just as weeds keep popping up in the garden, so stresses and difficulties keep sprouting in our lives. 

But does our rush to fix things blind us to the reality of God's grace in our lives?

The stories of the Bible never focus on painless steps to an easy life. Yes, the patriarchs had wealth. Yes, Jesus healed various lepers, beggars, and others. Yes, Paul performed miracles that dramatically changed people's lives. However, Scripture always seems to focus on the work of God and the Presence of God in the midst of our alienation, affliction, conflict, fear, and anxiety.

We may look back and acknowledge the Lord's support once the hardship lies behind us, but generally the next stress or strain has already struck and we have little time for reminiscence.

Do we see the grace?

What if our suffering has no end? Do you suppose that God wants to be with us in a way that does not involve changing our circumstances but in changing us -- and doing something in our lives that perhaps we could never have experienced except for this hardship? 

We all embrace the prayer of the Apostle Paul that we might know the power of Christ's resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Bring on that power! But can we, will we, also embrace the next two phrases of that same prayer -- "that I may know the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." Grace abounds in weakness and desolation. It emerges most forcefully from the shadows of trials. But will we pause long enough to recognize and receive it? 

Before we leap quickly to solve the next problem or overcome the next ordeal, we might pray "Lord, let me see the grace" and look to Him. In the end, our greatest danger is not divorce, bankruptcy, unemployment, or sickness -- but spiritual blindness. And those of us who tend to those who suffer might gently pray this way for them, too. This opens the door to the cure of souls.




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I'm always happy to explore these issues further.

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.