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  • Writer's pictureMary Scifres

Joy and Hope - Fueled by a Complaint-Free World

Many years ago, I spoke to a women’s group who gifted me with a book and a pink bracelet that proclaimed their commitment to “a complaint-free world.” It was a very basic rubber bracelet and a seemingly simple little book, but the call to spend twenty-one days complaint-free was neither basic nor simple! But those women had embraced the challenge, and they blessed me with both their complaint-free attitudes and their invitation to join their commitment. Isaiah invites the Israelites to such a change in perspective when he commands them to focus on how God doing a new thing, rather than remembering the prior things. Psalm 126 echoes this forward-looking attitude, even during a very troubled time in the history of the Hebrew people.

In the troubled times of 2022, it is tempting to look on prior things, complain about current things, and bemoan the travails and challenges we face. Today’s scriptures invite us, instead, to proclaim joy and hope, even during troubled times. Surely God turn our tears into joyous shouts, even as God creates living streams in the driest deserts. Perhaps the best blessing we can be for others is to be a voice of hope in times of despair. We can provide the tissues that dry another’s tears and be the Living Water of companionship to those who are isolated and alone. Proclaiming joy and hope in word and action creates more transformation than just committing to live in a complaint-free world. Proclaiming joy and hope in word and action creates an environment where people can see beyond the sorrow and despair to the new things that God has promised and is already doing.

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