In HOPE 7.13                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Dr. Paul Alexander, a colleague of mine here at the University, recommends The Grief Recovery Handbook (revised ed. 1998: 173 pages) as one of the best texts he knows for those dealing with loss or walking the journey with others who have suffered major loss. You may want to take a look at this small but impactful book yourself.

Hope Happenings

A recent edition of North Orange County magazine named Tommy Nixon (B.A. 2001) "One of the 25 Most Influential People in North Orange County." 

The magazine recognized his hard work with Solidarity, a local program that offers after-school recreational programs, mentoring, tutoring, and gang intervention. The organization serves about 100 children and youth each day.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of 'faith'. How strange that the very word 'faith' has come to mean its exact opposite."  -- Richard Rohr, OFM

I Want To Know

Will Brian return safely from Iraq? Will Mina recover from her brain aneurism? Will 14-year-old Brian survive his suicidal thoughts? Will chemotherapy conquer Amy's breast cancer?

Will my kids grow up to love Christ? Will their marriages survive? Will we be able to pay our next set of bills? Will my surgery be successful?

Will my 3rd-grader get a good teacher? Will my car last another six months? Will I be able to retire comfortably?

Each day produces multiple uncertainties. Will it be OK? I want to know.

We don't ask the Lord to reveal a 20-year-plan. "Please just give me a little certainty." Meanwhile, we rehearse all the possibilities and our responses in each scenario. If this ... then that. But if something else ... then, what?

As people of faith, how should we live?

We spend much of our emotional energy in the pursuit of answers, insights, glimpses, and clarity. We fret because of the uncertain, worry about the unforeseen, and stress over the unknown. We may agonize over the future and lose sleep over the "not yet."

Christ instead calls us to peace, contentment, and confidence. To faith. Such f aith may not resolve confusion but produces confidence amidst it. Turbulence may persist, but we trust. Pressure may rise, but we have peace.

As Rohr notes, too often we view faith as our key to clarity. We believe in God; He should tell us what we want to know. We pray; He should provide. We serve; He should save us (from ignorance and bad decision-making).

Somewhere along the way, we reversed the biblical definition of faith. Faith has become our means to sight. Yet, the faith modeled by Jesus had little to do with an orderly, safe, sanitary, or "successful" life. He held to faith despite homelessness, harm, rejection, abandonment, and death.

We prefer the modern version.  I want to know!

The Apostle Paul also said "I want to know."

But he finished it off differently than we usually do. He wrote, "I want to know Christ " (Philippians 3:10). For Paul, that was enough. For him, nothing else compared. Whatever we face this week, may that be true for us, too.



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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.