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Today, Doug Murrell asks in dire conditions, how is hope possible?

Shortly after arriving at Habitat for Humanity, I made my first visit to the Republic of Haiti. Even years after the devastating earthquake that rocked this mountainous island, the remnants of destruction are still overwhelming.

I fully expected to find communities depressed and in despair. Instead, I was Mstruck by what I saw in the eyes of the people: dignity and determination, resolve and resilience.

In dire conditions, how is hope possible? As I looked at Haiti’s mountains in the distance, I realized I was looking at the answer. In Matthew 17:20, NIV, Jesus tells his disciples, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Why does faith motivate? Once again, Hebrews 11:1, NASB, provides an insightful truth: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, faith is the absolute confidence within us that good is going to come. Faith is both internal and external; it cannot be hindered by external conditions or temporal circumstances. Faith remains. Faith sustains. Faith births hope in the heart of a people.

Such conviction drives us to act or to put our faith into action. Faith in action restores, revives, repairs, reforms and re-envisions. It is the language of change and possibility. When I remember the resilient people of Haiti or other nations under similar duress, it is clear to me that faith inspires the actions necessary to move forward. God has gifted each of us with a measure of faith through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, our blessed hope.

PRAYER
Father God, we thank You for the ultimate act of love — the sacrificial gift of Jesus Christ — that we may have life and be reconciled to the family of God. May those who encounter us today be filled with hope, their faith activated because of Christ in us, the hope of glory. Amen.

FOR DISCUSSION
1. What are the three biggest mountains in your life?
2. What is the single best indicator that you are growing in hope?
3. What can you do to build hope in your heart?

By Doug Murrell, director of faith engagement for Habitat for Humanity International, based in Atlanta.

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