As the situation on the ground in Iraq is becoming more stable and the dust is beginning to settle, a new generation of youth is preparing to take advantage of the opportunities that relative peace will afford them.
Many of the young men and women who are now looking to start out in life may not have an education, having grown up in wartime, and it may be difficult for them to find employment. Even if they are educated, many may end up with dead-end jobs because there’s not much manufacturing or industry going on in Iraq, and especially not now. It just doesn’t seem right that along with the hard-earned peace in their country the young people of Iraq should find themselves in a hopeless, jobless situation. And it isn’t right. Investors and industrialists may also have lost hope in working with Iraq.
To help turn this situation toward expectation of good, we can pray. In thinking about Iraq’s future, we can promote a change in thought from despair (based in a material sense of life) to hope (based in Spirit). This is the spiritually bright perspective, available to all.
Peace without hope is not really peace. In fact, hopelessness trespasses on humanity’s inherent right to the fruits of peace. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, thought deeply about life and hope, and wrote this in her major work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”:
“To calculate one’s life-prospects from a material basis, would infringe upon spiritual law and misguide human hope” (p. 319).
To help guide human hope away from the darkness of despair to the light of an expectancy of good, we can claim in our prayers the right of young Iraqis to relinquish the limitations inherent in a materially based life and to know life from a more spiritual basis. The Bible is a sure guide to helping us gain a spiritual sense of God’s care for all people, including those who have been severely affected by the war. Its healing messages can strengthen our prayers to remove their fears and reveal their God-given peace and hope. “Love ... always hopes,” wrote the Apostle Paul, who had reason to feel hopeless more than once in his life (I Cor. 13:7, New International Version).
Love is the key to destroying fear and finding hope. Love always hopes – and the Bible explains just how powerful love is: “God is love” (I John 4:16). To find hope in God, divine Love itself, is to find permanent peace, the peace that can never be taken away; that doesn’t depend on people, politics, industry, or even a cessation of war; that is found inherently within us all; and that is a quality of Spirit, of God. Whoever trusts that God is the Giver of peace and hope can live fearlessly, peacefully, and hopefully right at this moment and at all times.
As we love all Iraqis in our prayers – and it is so natural to do this because God loves them as His precious children – we are helping not only that new generation of young people, but raising hope for the future of the country, the region, and the whole world.