Despair or Life--It’s Your Choice By Scarlett Stough

His body language said more than his words. He turned from the television camera; his shoulders slumped; and his eyes turned down. Every nuance spoke of defeat and despair. He had lived in fear all of his life. Terror continued to be an everyday fact of life. He didn’t dare dream of freedom, peace and safety.

“Nothing’s going to help us anyway,” said the Middle Eastern man to the interviewer.

Let’s put politics aside as we consider his misery multiplied many times over throughout the world. Some people blame God. Others think this is proof that no God exists. Some argue that religion is the biggest cause of war and conflict. Some believe reasonable men can legislate or democratize an end to the bloodshed. Others wait for Jesus to return with a heavenly army to force nations into peaceful co-existence.

In the meantime, the hatred and warfare go on and on and on. Do we hang our heads in despair and echo the words: “Nothing’s going to help us, anyway?”

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) How can a man who lived over 2000 years ago give you life to the full today? A mere man who lived and died can not give anyone life. Is Jesus able to carry out this amazing promise? People down through the ages have staked their lives on it. They made a choice to believe the eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

One of his disciples, the Apostle John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

He continued, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him.” He identifies the Word as Jesus Christ in verse 17.

After his resurrection, “a week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas [one of the twelve apostles] was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”  (John 20:26-29)

God inspired John to write, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31)

The life Jesus offers is not without troubles. (John 16:33) But life in Christ includes strength to meet trouble with love, hope, faith, and joy. (John 17:3; 16:22-24)

Listen to the words of Jesus, of his disciples, John and Thomas, and others who testify to the reality of the authority of Jesus the Christ to give you life and hope. “Stop doubting and believe.” Believe that Jesus is the Christ so that you may have life through his authority to give it to you. Don’t settle for despair.