Never Hopeless

HAVE you ever felt lost in a desert of fear? News reports remind us almost daily of much despair among many of the world's nations. And it often seems that the difficulties governments have feeding the people or settling disputes are mirrored in individual problems such as terminal disease and financial ruin. It all can seem scary and hopeless. We'd have good reason to despair, too, except for the fact that there are solutions. God is good, and only good. If you feel at the mercy of evil, you can find divine help and healing in understanding His goodness.

Despair does not have power over you. Looking to God, divine Love, and not to evil, begins to reveal a divine law of good that annuls despair. God is omnipotent, and this fact vanquishes all that stands opposed to Him. As we conform to God's law, we experience healing.

An event from the Bible has helped me to feel the unvarying power of God, power that brings solutions to human crises. A woman, Hagar, was put out in the desert with her young son. The water supply ran out, and she found herself facing her child's imminent death in the terrible heat. Hagar undoubtedly felt no choice but to be desperate; the Bible says she put him under a shrub and went away, indicating utter hopelessness.

Probably anyone today who is in despair feels much the way Hagar felt. But no one need do any differently than she did in seeking help. In Genesis we read that in her anguish Hagar cried to God, ``Let me not see the death of the child'' (21:16). Maybe without even realizing it, Hagar refused to accept suffering as God's will for her son. This may have made her receptive to the presence of good, for ``God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water'' (21:19). Here was a practical, appropriate solution! The result of turning to God is always a revealing of more of His goodness, which always has been and will always be present.

Recognizing God's power, and seeking His help in trouble, is prayer. It acknowledges that nothing else is equal to Him in might. Or in intelligence. Accepting this law allows us to declare (not flippantly, but with the strength of understanding) that the most alarming fears are powerless. Now, perhaps such declarations seem insignificant when disaster looks you in the face. But, like Hagar, we must get beyond even very aggressive fears to find God's unmistakable, appropriate solution.

Proving that God's healing power is more than theoretical, Christ Jesus provided food for a multitude, healed dread disease, and raised the dead to life. He promised that we all have the spiritual sense needed to see God's solutions to all human problems. In Luke we read his words: ``The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you'' (17:20, 21). Because man includes all the good in God's kingdom, Jesus didn't actually change people from bad to good or sick to well; he bore witness to the present reality of good, which constitutes the only truth about man.

Mary Baker Eddy followed in Christ Jesus' pathway. As the Discoverer of Christian Science, she wrote of God's availability to man. The following statement in her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany might be just what you or someone you know needs today to begin to conquer despair: ``Remember, thou canst be brought into no condition, be it ever so severe, where Love has not been before thee and where its tender lesson is not awaiting thee. Therefore despair not nor murmur, for that which seeketh to save, to heal, and to deliver, will guide thee, if thou seekest this guidance'' (pp. 149-150).

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