Jesus never lost hope with the situations people were in. He felt frustration due to the lack of faith of others regarding a sick boy, he even wept when his friend Lazarus died, but he never lost hope. In the end, the boy was healed by Jesus and Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus!

In my work I come across many people who do not feel they are worth, or worthy of, a second chance, who feel they have done too much wrong to find their way back to a better life. However, I have hope for them because we have a God of grace, mercy and forgiveness, a God who gives us a second, third, fourth, fifth (see where I am going with this) chance. We have a God who can transform lives! Sometimes, I want to shout and scream so loudly, that God is HOPE; He is in the business of transforming lives, no matter where the person has come from, what they have done or whatever position they are in.

Recently, however, I have had on my mind not so much concern about how people feel about themselves, think about themselves, or what they say about themselves, (all extremely important!), but my thoughts have turned more towards what we / others say they should feel, think or say about themselves.

My question is: Do we speak life into situations? If we are sat with someone and they feel like there is no hope, do we tell them there is or do we commiserate and nod? Do we share that there is a plan for everyone’s life, a full life, and they are no exception, that their life can turn around, maybe by small steps one at a time, but it can turn around! Do we believe this?

My question is: Do we strengthen the life that is in front of us? Everyone has been made by God; he formed us in our mother’s womb. Everyone has something beautifully unique and gifted about them. Do we share this with those who cannot see it themselves? Do we hear ourselves saying words to them like: “You have a gift of caring for others?” “You have a beautiful artistic ability?” “God has a purpose for your life.”

My question is: Do we ourselves sparkle? There is no point in talking about life in abundance, the potential that God has placed in everyone, when we ourselves are fizzling out, don’t believe this. People watch us. Do you, do I, sparkle God’s life in us, God’s strength in us? How can people believe the hope we have if it is not visible in our own lives?

We need to be people who believe that there is always hope for everyone, that even the worst situation can be turned around by God, and we need to be intentional about speaking speak life into peoples’ situations.

At the Proclaim Trust office there is the well-known Banksy canvas print of a girl letting go of a balloon (Balloon Girl) – the caption reads: There Is Always Hope. We need to be a people who believe this, who speak this into the lives of others.

One of the verses in the Bible that has helped shape what Proclaim Trust has become is the one when God says to Moses in the book of Exodus, 'Go back to Egypt...'. Moses was a Jew who was raised in Egypt. He totally understood that culture because he was immersed in it. Then, at the age of 40 an incident happened which forced him to leave Egypt. Then, after another 40 years, God said to Moses 'Go back to Egypt...'. God wanted Moses to go back and bring the Jews out of Egypt where they had been held captives for hundreds of years. God knew that Moses was the right man for the job because he understood their ways.

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To get to my house, you turn off the main road onto a small stretch that splits into two roads, one of which is where I live. What most people don’t realise is that this small section of road is actually only one-way. You can come in on this road, but you cannot really leave the same way.

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Every Sunday, you’ll find me under the flyover, in the heart of Coventry Town Centre, feeding the broken, vulnerable, drug-addicted, alcohol-dependent, and homeless individuals in our city. Having done this for over 11 years, it still doesn’t get any easier.

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