It's human nature to love things that are easy; losing hope is easy.
I know that seems like a downer start to a devotional about hope, but I want to make sure we're clear about what's at stake. Because there's a huge difference between the reality of this world and what we're told about it. We're constantly told that things are getting worse and worse, that the end is nigh, that barbarians are at the gate, that life is too hard and that our difficulties are too strong. We hear it so much that we begin to think that negative vision of the world is the only one. The "real" one. The authentic one.
In my experience, most people have become so numb to these alternate realities. We just accept that what we experience is the way it has to be, and we stay in our deserts and we occasionally swallow our own saliva and we call that a thirst-quencher.
But that's a lie. It's all a lie. We've forgotten the refreshing stream that is authentic, genuine living. I look at the world and I see that it's full of people who are radically changing their lives for the better. Minute by minute, hour by hour. Miracles have been transported off the Sunday School craft table and into the world I see. Hopeless marriages are being restored. Addicted people are being set free. Children are being reunited with parents. Desperate mothers and fathers of addicts are looking through their pain and finding hope and purpose in their lives.
I wrote this devotional as a monument to those seeking freedom. Like the monument of stones that Joshua had brought from the bed of the Jordan River hope is a concrete reminder of where God has brought us from—and where He is taking us.
The stories you will read in this reading plan are of normal everyday people. Flawed, broken, hurting, addicted men and women just like you. The only difference between where they are and where you may be today is that they’ve said YES to telling the world what happened. And that simple three letter word can be the hardest word to say. But the freedom on the other side of that YES is life-changing!
The truth is we all have a HopeDealer story. Th e qualifications are simple:
So, dear reader, this devotional is for you. It’s here to show you that hope is real, that people do change, and that God is at work in this wonder-filled, beauty-filled world we all share. My hope is that by the time you finish this plan, you’ll be inspired enough to know that you can make a difference and start dealing hope.
Hope is never easy. But then again, nothing worth having ever is.