It Will Get Better (I Hope)

I recently read about self-made millionaire Eugene Lang, who significantly impacted the lives of some sixth-grade students in East Harlem. Lang was invited to speak to a class of 59 students and he wondered what he could say to inspire these young people, most of whom were likely to drop out of school. He wasn’t even sure how to get these underprivileged children to look at him, let alone listen to him. Instead of using his notes, he spoke from his heart and said, “Stay in school, and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” The lives of these students were changed in an instant because, for the first time, they had hope. One of the students remarked, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” As it turned out nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.
As I look around the world, even in my own city, I’m discouraged by the way things are going. It seems like everything is getting worse and nothing will ever get better. But hope is powerful. And I don’t mean wishful, unlikely dreams such as, “I hope I win the lottery,” or “I hope I don’t owe any money with my tax return this year.” No, the powerful, meaningful type of hope is for something we know will happen, but it’s still in the future. This is the hope of those sixth graders in East Harlem: they didn’t just wish they could go to college someday; they knew their tuition was paid if they graduated from high school. They knew things would get better.
In a similar, but even more important way, we have a hope in Jesus that is not wishful thinking or dreaming. It’s a hope of something we know is true, but it’s still in the future. We know things will get better, in this life and especially in the life to come. Our genuine faith gives us this knowledge. As we read in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” On a foundational level, God’s Word, the Bible, provides this hope. Romans 15:4 tells us, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” I hope things get better; I know things will get better.
Troy Burns