Giving Realistic Hope to the Hopeless

With the explosion of education in China, many, many more students were going on beyond secondary school.  This also made the way open for private universities to appear all over the place.  I taught in one such university in the early 2000’s.  The standards were really not that high.  However, many people were happy to have their child continue education, even at a level three university.

It was a couple of years after I left that university that I received a phone call from one of my former students.  “May I come to see you?”  Of course I agreed and we made the date.

The Problem
She turned up quite stressed, telling me that soon they would graduate.  “Our diplomas are second grade and we can’t compete with students from good universities.  How will we find a job?”  She went on to describe how many classmates were unable to sleep and sometimes eat, just because of their fear.

It needs to be understood of course, that many of these students had their fees paid, sometimes by a whole village, and they felt an obligation to succeed.  There were a good number of suicides in the papers, of students in similar situations.  This was very real and serious.

The Answer
As I sat and listened, I asked the Lord to give me the words that would give hope to this young lady and her classmates.  Suddenly I knew what I needed and I got up to get my bi-lingual Bible.  I turned to Jeremiah 29:11 and asked her to read it.  She read, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

She looked at me and said, “Oh, there is a plan!”  It was like a light went on and she stepped out of darkness.  I had to give her some knowledge of Jesus and how to have a relationship with him.  I told her where she could go to purchase a Bible and that young lady’s life was totally changed.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”  Psalm 119:105.  This was shown so clearly on this occasion when the Word of God gave her understanding of her situation.  It is still the most reliable source of wisdom and understanding in the many situations that life throws at us.  It is not what we say to those who don’t know, it is what we show them God says in their situation that really helps them.

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