I recently had a conversation with a lady who suffers from a mental illness that is mostly stabilized with medication. This woman also struggles from a chronic illness (she is facing possible dialysis) and is in a difficult marriage. She shared with me that someone in her church recently gave her a book of prayers.
This lady started to read some of these prayers at night and they are helping her. I asked her how they were helping. She replied, “By giving me hope. I often feel hopeless at night and reading a couple of the prayers brings me hope.”
This is why we write and publish Christian material—to bring people hope. Hope:
- For God’s healing.
- For God’s provision.
- For God’s comfort and peace.
- That life is not in vain.
- For a purpose to keep living.
- That life can get better.
- That God will work all things together for good.
- For eternal life in heaven where there will be no effects of sin, thus no pain or sadness.
I believe hope is needed more than ever today. Over the past three decades, Americans’ view of the Bible as the literal word of God has been declining, while their view that the Bible is a collection of fables, myths and history recorded by man has been increasing. A recent Gallup poll shows that fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word.” This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism.
But what about you, author, have you lost your hope? Are you discouraged, wondering if your writing is making a difference in anyone’s life?
Ask yourself: Is it worth it for one? If only one person were encouraged and found hope in your book(s), would your effort be worth it?
This is a tough question. If you can’t answer this question in the affirmative, I would suggest that you check your motives. Are you writing for God—or for human glory? Hebrews exhorts us to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” James tells us that “whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
One is enough.
To bring hope is a noble calling. Your book might mean the difference for someone between a hopeless existence and a hopeful life. Keep writing and publishing for God’s glory.
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Photo courtesy of Blake Richard Verdoom