Moving from Fear to Hope

hope-fear

Fear Factor, a TV show from a few years back, made being scared 'cool'. If it wasn't the first show of its kind, it was one of them.  The show placed teams of people into situations that were designed to scare the ?€¥%# out of them. The last team standing, who could make it through all of the obstacles won a prize.  It's been a while since I have seen the show but the payoff for the winners was substantial - more than a carnival kewpie doll. It made for some amazing viewing - really, I was hooked.  There was real fear there - even if the contestants knew that the producers wouldn't allow real poisonous snakes into the coffin they had to lay in for 5 minutes, or real poisonous spiders to crawl over their face. And even though someone may be sleeping in an abandoned room of the North Central Home for the Criminally Insane, it was with the knowledge that a production company was right outside the door.

This "manufactured" fear can lead to the same feelings that real fear produces - loneliness, abandonment, sadness, pain.  The difference is that there is knowledge that there is a prize at the end of the episode.  The fear is temporary, it will only last the 5 minutes that it takes for the snakes to slither around for the producers to get their footage. When the timer goes off, and you can crawl out of the box, the fear subsides.  There is joy in the accomplishment.

Real fear is much the same, up to a point.  Real fear doesn't always have a clean beginning and almost never has a defined end.  Real fear is not knowing where you will sleep tonight or whether you can feed your family. Real fear is being sold into slavery or married off at the age of twelve. Real fear is the knowledge that just because you have stood up and spoken out about the right for all young people - boys and girls - to be educated, your life is in danger. Real fear is a doorway to hope.

My hope is in You, Lord.  All the day long, I won't be shaken by drought or by storm.  A peace that passes understanding is my song and I sing my hope is in You, Lord. Aaron Shust,  My Hope Is In You

Hope is greater than fear.  "Though I walk in the shadow of death I shall fear no evil." Hope is the gift we have been given, the gift of the Holy Spirit living in us. Hope is more than the little voice on our shoulder, whispering in our ear.  Hope is the certain knowledge that God so loved us that He sent His son to live for us, to teach us and to give His life for us so that we will have eternal life.

But how do I "get" hope? What do I need to do? What if I am still scared? What if I am feeling abandoned, lonely or scared? What if I see no way out?   Is it enough to believe? Actually, yes.  It may not be easy to believe, to decide to hope, but it is enough.  If you are like me then you know that what can make the biggest difference, what moves us from fear to hope is community. No matter our struggle, no matter what we fear, we are a people of the light, and in coming together to praise and worship, to pray and honor, we banish the darkness.  "And hope does not put us to shame, because God s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)

Bits and Pieces:

  • We are officially sold out for 2013. If you are desperate for some HS4G hot sauce I have a couple of bottles reserved.  As my son says, hit me up and I'll take care of you.
  • Both Hillsboro Farm and Norz Hill Farm have been incredible. We could not do what we do alone - and whether they know it or not they are a big part of what we do.
  • We are prepping to make a winter hot sauce to be available in late May. This will be a first for us. Take our survey to let us know what you think of our options.
  • If anyone has used restaurant equipment for sale (or to donate) let me know. We are looking for 25 gallon stainless steel pots, stainless steel ladles , a commercial immersion blender and a piston bottle filler.  A new bottle filler is about $4,000 - so we are looking around for a used one.
  • Pray for all victims of abuse, slavery, prostitution and neglect. It is for the weakest where our prayers must be directed.

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:-12-13 (NIV)

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:20-21 (NIV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:16-21 (NIV)

But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him;  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth;he sends water on the countryside. The lowly he sets on high,and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty,so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness,and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime;at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth;he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope,and injustice shuts its mouth. Job 5:8-16 (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

FaithBob Ferretti