North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Our country has been dealing with a great deal of unrest. Combined with the pandemic, there’s everyday struggles that have created a mess of stress. We must be intentional in reminding ourselves, and one another, no matter how stressed you are, remember how blessed you are. And the more grateful you are, the more blessings you will receive. A principle of life tells us happiness is not gained by having more things; always getting what you want. It’s about appreciating what you do have, loving those in your life, being thankful for the people who have been placed in your life, and practicing resilience and hope.    It’s easy to be overcome by troubling issues. We often struggle to maintain our bearings when it seems trouble will never end. Resilience has become a necessary character trait for survival in a world plagued by difficulties. It seems easy for some who are naturally optimistic. Others by the same token, find that pessimism is their way of life. You often get what you expect. One person sees a rosebush in terms of thorns, another sees only the roses. One person sees the dark side of every cloud while the other looks for the silver lining. Yet, genuine hope for better days can never be based on one’s subjective outlook. The person whose hope has no basis other than a general optimistic spirit is clutching a false hope for the only valid hope is Christian hope, and temperament or personality is not its origin.

    I once talked to a young mother whose baby had passed away. She had two other children and she told me she didn’t have time to mourn the tragic death of her child. She had been troubled by the weight of sadness in her heart and she said, “I have two other babies that are depending on me. So, what do I do?”

    Amid her tears and grief, she answered her own question. She said, “God is my refuge and strength and that’s who I run to.”

    I told her with that kind of faith, the Almighty is honored, pleased, and will provide all she needs. That’s the kind of faith we all need. For the Bible says, “For the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

    If you were to put all the weight of our trials on one side of the scale and the glory that awaits us on the other, the scale would go plunk! Eternity will give meaning to time—His presence today, His glory tomorrow.

    In the interim, as we practice a living hope, we need an anchor to hold on to. Hebrews 6:11, 19 says, “Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”

    In ancient times every Mediterranean harbor had a great boulder deeply embedded at the shoreline as a mooring for ships within the harbor. When prevailing winds and stormy seas prevented vessels from entering the harbor, a forerunner would carry a line ashore in a smaller boat. Once the line was fastened to the great rock, the vessel could be drawn to shore. Our hope lies in Christ, to whom we are grounded, who draws us ever nearer to our heavenly harbor. His death was a sacrifice for our sins, opening the way to forgiveness and eternal life. Christian hope is not a wish we throw to the stars. It is a promised reality! It belongs to those “who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

    Don’t give up hope when facing hard times. Count all the good and positive things about your life and you’ll find the good outweighs the bad. You can make it, one day at a time, one challenge at a time—do your best, accept other people’s help. There are people who care about your well-being, and you’ll get through the valley.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a Public Health Services Manager for the Florida Department of Health, former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York, Florida community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him by email:

Posted by on Feb 28 2021. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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