THE TERM “AGENT,” when used with passive verbs, refers to the subject carrying out the action of the verb. Some examples of agents are literary, economic, security, infectious, biological, pathogenic, casual, and permanent.
For Paul, hope was the greatest reason for a joyful life, since its scope is both present and eternal. Individuals who rejoice in hope are those who, in the name of the Lord, make a big impact on an environment infected with sin, and, as an agent, transmit good, restorative news of health and life.
Agents of hope are needed to reach people who are without hope.
» If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving.»
«If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody . . . then my living will not be in vain» (Martin Luther King Jr.).
In 1977, at the beginning of my ministry in the city of General Roca, Argentina, I met a wonderful church group. I have the best memories of them and overflowing gratitude, since they marked my ministry forever. There I met Hector, who had been hit hard by bad habits, especially alcohol. This was ruining his health, his economy, and his family.
One day he fell into a well almost thirty yards deep. With no way out, everything seemed to be over. Before he passed out, in the depths of the well and of his existence, he cried out for divine help. He was pulled out and taken to the hospital, where he spent weeks hovering between life and death. However, the Lord saved his body since He also wanted to save his soul.
As soon as he was discharged, he went home, and as soon as he was able to, he began to walk around the city looking for a church. That was when he found ours. He came in and never again left. Later, he studied the Bible and was baptized together with his family. When I arrived at General Roca, he was a Sabbath School teacher and elder, and the outreach director. He had the joy of leading dozens of people to Jesus every year. Why? Because he was a joyful agent of hope who worked for people without hope.
One day he told me a «secret»: He was illiterate. That is, he was a teacher, Bible instructor, and preacher… and did not know how to read! Then he showed me his Bible, full of ribbons that marked the different topics and passages. He asked the questions and asked people to read the answers. That way, he ended up being able to recite the passages by heart, and eventually learned to read in the Bible.
How much God can do when we put everything in His hands!
That same day, Hector showed me some marks on his chest, the result of the «deadly» fall into the well that God’s love and power transformed into new life. His marks were marks of hope. Hector lived as an agent of hope with gratitude and joy. Today he rests in the Lord’s sure promises.
What marks of joyful hope are there in your life?
What kind of marks are you leaving in other people’s lives?