I’ll admit: most of what I do on this site involves complaining about bad news in America and how we’re probably doomed. I try to propose solutions, too. But sometimes the bad news is simply overwhelming. Even if there was a solution to every last problem we face, the sheer number of fights on our hands sometimes makes giving up look like the better option.  

But of course, if we honestly believed that America was doomed, we would have given up long ago – we keep fighting only because we still have hope.

We have hope that America is not too far gone; that the hearts and minds of her people are not unreachable.

We have hope that a remnant is rising up to stand firm on America’s founding principles of liberty and justice for all.

But ultimately, we have hope — confident hope — that the results of this fight belong to God.

Bad news is everywhere, but so is hope. We must train ourselves to see it. Even as we endlessly digest everything the media feeds us — everything that keeps us bogged down — we must supplement our diet with an occasional dose of hope. It is our fuel in the fight. Some days, it is all that keeps the fire burning.

This is that dose – that shot of hope. To keep your spirits lifted, here are three small, but powerful portraits of hope.

1. Forgiveness

It’s been several years since this story first made its rounds, but the powerful message is worth revisiting. In 2019, Brandt Jean went viral after publicly forgiving and hugging Amber Guyger, the cop who killed his brother, Botham, after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for Botham’s murder.

“I forgive you,” Brandt declared emotionally. “And, I know, if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you.” He went on to tell Amber that he wanted the best for her.

Especially in this day of bitterness and hatred, Brandt’s act of radical love is a touching reminder of the power of forgiveness.

2. Prayer

Who can forget Damar Hamlin’s recent on-field collapse? The haunting memory of watching the 24-year-old NFL player stumble to the ground is still fresh in our minds. The entire nation held its breath as Hamlin’s fate hung in the balance for several days after his midgame cardiac arrest.

Thankfully, Hamlin survived and has since spread messages of hope, faith, and CPR awareness. The words “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20) come to mind. Indeed, what began as a tragedy, quickly united the nation and turned us to prayer for Hamlin.

Stunningly, even ESPN broadcast a prayer for the recovering athlete on live, national TV!

It is amazing to see how quickly tragedy can humble a proud, vehemently anti-God nation, and turn us to hope in something higher than ourselves.

3. Victory

If America’s performance in the 2021 Summer Olympics stands out for one thing, it is, disappointingly, Team USA’s empathic anti-Americanism. Leave it to a polarized nation to make the Olympics more about scoring political points against each other than our foreign competitors.

But despite the bitter taste left by that year’s games, there was at least one performance that deserves to be remembered.

Young Lee Kiefer made history when she became the first U.S. athlete to win gold in individual foil. And while many of her fellow athletes openly disrespected Old Glory, Kiefer, ecstatic, proudly waved the American flag in victory.

To have an athlete representing us who made it easy to cheer on Team USA certainly was a blessing. Additionally, Kiefer’s story of determination was inspiring.

Never Stop Fighting

The reason I share these stories is to encourage and remind you that hope is born out of hard times.

Botham’s death. Hamlin’s medical scare. American athletes openly insulting their country. What good could come from stories like these?

Yet hope remains, undiminished even in the hard times.

May these stories lift your spirit and spur you to keep fighting. As Samwise Gamgee would say, “There’s some good in this world… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Jakob Fay is a staff writer for the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance.

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