There is hope for the homeless.
There is also hope for the jobless, the food-less, and the hopeless.
There is hope of breaking the poverty cycle.
Poverty strips human dignity and hope. Being hungry, homeless and helpless breeds hopelessness. Many people agonize over the plight of the poor, but their heart is usually bigger than their wallet so there are limitations to what any one of us can do. We should grieve their estate as God does. I would pray that the things that break the heart of He will break the heart of me. This is not about teaching a man to fish so he can feed himself. This is not really about anything you or I can do, although we can facilitate the transition from hopelessness to absolute hope. But the hopeless themselves can have this great hope that is only from God.
A definition of hope
Most people use the word hope in an entirely different context. “I hope I can win the lottery” or “I hope they win the game” is far different than what hope actually is. The Greek word for hope [elpizein] in the New Testament reflects a sense of confidence. It is literally, “a confidence and an expectation”. The Hebrew words (2 of them) for hope are kiwah [to trust] and batah [to be full of confidence, to trust]. So hope seems not to be a hope-so but a know-so.
Hope for the hungry
One thing that goes unnoticed during Jesus’ ministry is that no one ever went hungry when they were present with Him. The stories of the fish and loaves, the water to wine, the manna and meat from Heaven, are one of many instances when Jesus (God Himself) fed the people. Jesus told Peter to cast his net one more time, even after countless attempts were fruitless. When they brought up the net this time is was a miracle it didn’t tear open under the weight of the catch. Jesus 1, the Humans 0. These disciples didn’t bring these results from their own effort, neither did those who received the fish and loaves or the wine. The point is God is the provider of all things. Jesus said that His well would quench forever and would never run dry, that Living Water He. In countless verses, God says “He will not suffer His own to beg bread” and that He would not leave His own as orphans. What dad do you personally know that would let his own children go hungry and give his child a rock instead of some bread. How much more so then will God, being far greater, would not do the same for His own children. There is an “Adoption Process” at the end of the article about how you can become His own child and have these same rights.
Hope for the homeless
Like an eagle shades or covers their offspring, so does God (even more completely) spread His wings and cover us. God as described like an eagle is a great analogy for us since eagles will tear their own flesh off their bodies to make sure that their young do not starve. This is what God has done, had His own Son’s fleshed ripped for us to preserve us for eternity. But this also describes Him as a shelter. Many former homeless people have received miracle after miracle after being born again. Houses, cars, jobs. Christian magazines and articles are flooded with these stories. God says call Me “Daddy” [Rom 8:15] which is the translation of abba. God knows that we’re fragile and only mere dust (Psl. 103:13-14/Ish. 63:16) and like any good father, can provide us with shelter. He is described as a shelter and refuge for humanity (Psl. 7:1, 11:1, 46:1, 2 Sam. 22:3, Isa. 25:4).
Hope for the hopeless
He calls the “weak and base things”, “not many mighty…” as I myself am the supreme example. God can not deal with the proud and lofty. Those saved in jail are free, those free in the world condemned with Christ. Those would don’t know Jesus are without hope (I. Thes. 4:13). But if we lack hope, He can give us that and make it even “abound“ (I. Thes. all). He can and does with the broken and weak in spirit. That is when you are actually closest to Him! God speaks out of Isaiah 31:1-9 to us that He has “plans [laid] out for us and that they are for our [best] “welfare and are not evil but good”.
If we ever have contact with people, what great news we have for them. These are the very ones God may be calling. The ones that society has pushed to the fringe are the ones pushed closest to God. Now that’s a living hope and why they call the gospel, the Good News!