The promise of hope

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:3-5

This has been my favorite piece of scripture since I spent a summer in Los Angelos working for the Center for Student Missions. It encompassed everything I felt about the suffering that I would see day to day. This verse taught me that suffering leads inevitably to hope and it was hope that got me through that summer, and the rest of my life since.

When President (then candidate) Obama centered his candidacy, and now presidency around hope, I was instantly drawn in. When I think about the past eight years of fear, intolerance, war, and hate I am overjoyed that our nearly decade long suffering under Bush Co. is finally over. I find it very fitting that our suffering has ended in hope!

Under Bush our constitution was thrown into the gutter in the name of national security. This has happened before and has even been facilitated by great presidents, like FDR. Yet, at the end of our long national nightmare President Barack Obama completely rejected this ideology:

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

President Barack Obama

Instead of fear, Obama has decided to lead this nation forward with hope. Hope to end war, hope to stop torture, hope to fix the economy, hope to end nuclear proliferation, hope to heal our planet, hope to rebuild our standing in the world and renew old alliances, hope for a better tomorrow.

It is up to us now to join with Obama in the promise of hope. And that is powerful, because hope does not disappoint us!

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

President Barack Obama