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Tupelo, MS 38804

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January 2021

January 2021


Hope in the Fog
“Where is the hope?” This is the beginning of a quote from Chuck Colson. Chuck Colson was the political strategist and “hatchet man” for President Nixon. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to federal prison. Before prison, Colson came to faith in Christ and became a leading voice for prison reform and founded a prison ministry called Prison Fellowship.
Chuck’s statement about hope goes as follows: “Where is the hope? I meet millions of people who feel demoralized by the decay around us. The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws we pass, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people.”
These past several months we have been faced with apparent hopelessness. It feels like every time we turn around, we see something worse than the day before. We began with a pandemic that has impacted every single aspect of life around the world. We saw the threat of murder hornets, intense hurricanes, crashing economy and job loss, impeachment proceedings, death of loved ones, did I mention murder hornets? We saw businesses closing, difficulties in relationships due to physical and social distancing, mask arguments, consistent misinformation and loss of trust of news sources and “experts”. We are weary of finger pointing and accusations in political circles, consistent blaming of the “other guy”, and pettiness from local, state, and national leadership. Christian leaders argued publicly, we are flooded with inconsistent information, murders, peaceful protests devolving into nightmarish scenes of chaos and clashes, police being targeted and disrespected, riots allowed and even praised and endorsed, election difficulties and accusations, and then this past week the horrific scenes of the Capital Building being occupied by thugs and looters. In the midst of all of this, we ask the question, “Where is the hope?” Where is the hope when the days feel foggy? Where is the hope that SHOULD be pouring out of Christians like a flood? Where is the hope

that should ground us, unify us, and motivate us to love, service, obedience, and ministry?
1 Peter 1:3-9 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Clearly the source of our hope is the Lord Jesus. He is our hope. Peter reminds us that God gave us hope, out of His great mercy, and allowed us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. We have LIVING HOPE because our hope is in a living Savior! This living hope in Jesus points us to an eternal inheritance. We have an eternal inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, will not fade away, and is waiting for us. That inheritance is eternal relationship with God the Father through God the Son. That inheritance is protected by God.
What should we do with this living hope? Peter tells us we should greatly rejoice, even in the midst of trials and difficulties. The living hope that comes through the living Savior should cause us to praise God and worship Him. You see, even when the days feel dark and foggy, we know that our lives on earth are short-lived. We have hope because we know that there is a great inheritance through faith in Jesus. There is a much better reward for those who believe in Jesus, surrendering to Him.

I know these past several months have bene very difficult. But remember the words of Pastor Tony Evans, “For those in Christ, the worst hell we ever experience is only what happens to us in this life.” We are set apart for a greater kingdom, a kingdom that is spiritual and physical and eternal; a kingdom ruled by the One who died to bring us to God; a kingdom that will be peaceful, loving, good, right, and filled with the presence of God; a kingdom that is our inheritance, purchased with the precious blood of Jesus, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and anticipated by God’s children. THIS is our hope. It is not in who is or is not in office. Our hope is in the Lord Jesus, our Living Hope, that no matter how bad life may feel around us, we have a better future ahead of us.
Take hope in Jesus today. Seek Him first in all things. We live in some foggy days right now. But how do foggy days become clear? The sun shines and burns off the fog. How can our foggy days become clear? Let the Son shine in our lives!
Thank you for serving our community. You are loved, appreciated, and prayed for consistently!
Bro. Keith Cochran
Chaplain, Lee County Sheriff’s Office

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