Hey there all you naysayers, you pessimists, you downtrodden, you complainers, you doomsdayers, you grumpy grumps.

I’ve got news for you.

There’s a lot of things to be hopeful about in 2017.

I know, I know. You’ll point to the news, and talk of terrible wars + diseases spreading + political divisions + poverty stagnating + famine rising + climate changing + “kids these days”.

And I suppose, on one level, you’re right. But we need to be careful how much we let certain voices infiltrate our hearts and our hopes. Don’t believe everything you think.

For their is a much greater story taking place in the world. A whole new world that is bursting forth right here, right now, right in the midst of this old one. A world that doesn’t ask us to separate ourselves from the hopelessness and despair of the world, but actually invites us to charge at it with the weapon of hope; creating an already-but-not-yet new world order right in the midst of this old, broken, tired one.

The Kingdom of God is near.

Right at the perfect time, Jesus entered the darkness and despair of the world to free people from the tyranny of oppressive dictators, injustice run rampant, and devastating disease.

He came to declare a new King and a new Kingdom bursting forth right in the midst of the old one; and everyone is welcome to be part of it. His execution on the cross conquered our sin and his resurrection from the grave conquered death.

And so now we do not live as a people without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), but a people with a triumphant hopefulness despite what the headlines may say. Romans 5:2-8 writes it well when it gives us this rally cry:

We boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

So to all you starry eyed, you hopeful, you optimists, you who wish upon a star, you who pray with childlike faith, you best-is-yet-to-comers, I’ve got news for you:

Jesus is coming again soon.

You can put your hope in this, and this hope will not disappoint.

But, meanwhile, if you’d like to hear some good news about light breaking into darkness and ways that people are changing the world, check out these links:

  1. Yonge Street Mission is bringing innovative solutions to systemic poverty in Toronto and seeing real results.
  2. Life expectancy is growing globally.
  3. The world has globally become less violent over years, decades, centuries, and millennia, and a person in the Western World today is probably least likely to be a victim of violence of any kind compared to any society in history.
  4. India still has about 18,000 un-electrified villages. Current Prime Minister of India launched a campaign in August 2015 to bring this to 0 within 1,000 days. Since then, 6,000 villages have already been electrified and the stories coming from the villages are just heartwarming. Akon is doing this in Africa as well.
  5. People who enslave women and children for sex are being brought to justice by groups like International Justice Mission’s amazing legal team working around the clock.

This baby anteater loves his teddy bear surrogate mother.