In HOPE 5.23                                  back to home                        David Timms

My Apology

Friends, my apologies for last week's formatting problems with "In HOPE." I changed templates, as you can see, and had technical difficulties. This meant that most of you simply received text and hyperlinks. If you'd like the correctly formatted "In HOPE 5.22" just drop me a line and I'm happy to send it to you.

HOPE Happenings

Next week (October 7) is the annual "Celebrate HOPE" dinner. This year it will be held at the Disneyland  Hotel and the guest speaker will be Colonel Oliver North. For more information, see the University website at








Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831


"The real 'work' of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me ... and thereby discover an identity anchored in a place beyond all human praise and blame." (Henri Nouwen)

I Want Clarity

Our pursuit of clarity may be one of our greatest idolatries.

We may not gaze at crystal balls or study Tarot cards, but many of us are just as eager to "know the future" as our unbelieving counterparts. We pray, and pray hard, that God will "reveal His will" by which we mean that He'll give us a glimpse of the future and the best course of action in a given circumstance.

We don't want to make a mistake, and so find ourselves walking by sight (clarity) and not by faith (trust).

The Scriptures applaud Abraham because he obeyed God and started travelling despite "not knowing where he was going" (Heb 11.8). Similarly, many others trusted God with their lives (and deaths) despite not receiving "what was promised" (Heb 11.39). In short, they were clear about who God is and His call on their lives - and they simply trusted everything else to Him.

Brennan Manning, in his book Ruthless Trust, tells the story of the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh who went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta. He wanted to know how best to spend the rest of his life.

On his first morning, he met Mother Teresa and she asked, "What can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "And what do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He expressed the deepest desire of his heart: "Pray that I have clarity."

She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." Kavanaugh was taken aback. Mother Teresa continued, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. " When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."

So often we want clarity - "If I choose this school, how will it affect my future? If we get married, will it work out? If we move there, will it be OK? If I take that job, will I be happy?" As leaders, we too idolize "clarity." We grow anxious if our vision is not fulfilled. We want clarity that our choices and decisions will lead to success.

In the midst of it all, Christ calls us simply to trust him, with a ruthless trust.

As the crucifixion loomed, the disciples were confused and anxious. They thought they had clarity about the Kingdom ... and would have liked confirmation. Jesus would oust the Romans and liberate the Jews into the glorious messianic age. Right? More persecution and death was not part of the script. But Jesus simply refocused them with these foundational words: "Don't be stressed about what lies ahead; trust God, and trust Me" (Jn 14.1). Will we?



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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 of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

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