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Miranda Writes: You Have Hope!




by Omar Miranda



I read something the other day that really concerned me. My daughter is 9, and her mother and I try to keep up with everything she’s reading, which means that we’re both reading a lot of children’s/preteen literature (I use the term literature very loosely). Take a look at a little bit of the article I read, and then I’ll tell you why I’m concerned.

“New York, NY — December 8, 2010 — Scholastic, the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, today released a list of 10 Trends in Children’s Books from 2010. The list was compiled by editors from Scholastic, including children’s literature experts from Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic Book Fairs, divisions of Scholastic that distribute books from all publishers through schools [emphasis mine] nationwide.”1

It extremely interested me to know what types of books my daughter and her friends might be exposed to. I thought to myself, These people know kids, and they know books!

Then I got ready to read through the list, and I thought to myself again, Wow, what exciting things have teens been reading this year, and what will my daughter have to look forward to in the coming several years?

My excitement didn’t last long. Honestly, the number two most popular trend in children’s books troubled and upset me. I read: “The year of dystopian fiction: . . . readers can’t seem to get enough of fiction that suggests the future may be worse than the present.”

I absolutely freaked out! I thought, Come on, how many kids can be into this stuff?

The article went on to say that there are at least two popular dystopian series. After all, children’s books are a business like any other, and businesses have to sell books to survive and thrive. The bottom line is: they wouldn’t be selling these kinds of books if kids weren’t buying them.

Two questions


There are two questions we need to answer. First, as Christians, should we be reading dystopian literature? Second, how do we as Christians, who have the future hope of eternal life and the present hope of a better, more joyous, and peaceful life now, transmit this hope to Christians and non-Christians reading dystopian books?

Listen to what Paul tells the Christians in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 who were upset and despondent because their loved ones had died: “My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won’t grieve over them and be like people who don’t have any hope. We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. Encourage each other with these words” (CEV).2

Paul clearly makes the point that we as Christians have hope not only because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, but more important, what He did for us at the tomb. Look at what Paul tells another group of believers in 1 Corinthians 15:12-26: “If we preach that Christ was raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life? If they won’t be raised to life, Christ himself wasn’t raised to life. And if Christ wasn’t raised to life, our message is worthless, and so is your faith. If the dead won’t be raised to life, we have told lies about God by saying that he raised Christ to life, when he really did not. So if the dead won’t be raised to life, Christ wasn’t raised to life. Unless Christ was raised to life, your faith is useless, and you are still living in your sins. And those people who died after putting their faith in him are completely lost. If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else. But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life. Just as we will die because of Adam, we will be raised to life because of Christ. Adam brought death to all of us, and Christ will bring life to all of us. But we must each wait our turn. Christ was the first to be raised to life, and his people will be raised to life when he returns. Then after Christ has destroyed all powers and forces, the end will come, and he will give the kingdom to God the Father. Christ will rule until he puts all his enemies under his power, and the last enemy he destroys will be death” (CEV).
You see, we as Christians have something to look forward to and something to offer this hopeless world: a forever relationship with God, the originator and giver of hope!

Paul tells the Roman Christians in Romans 12:1, 2: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Message).3

So if you’re a Christian, you don’t have to be hopeless about today or tomorrow because God’s got it covered. You don’t have to read make-believe books about how much more depressing the world will be tomorrow than today. No! You have Jesus!

Read the last chapter of the real-life, nonfiction, last book of the Bible about God’s joy, peace, and, yes, hope. Revelation 22:3-5 says: “No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (NLT).4

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way; life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones; and put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; you can keep up with me on Facebook; you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes at www.insightmagazine.org; you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912

1Taken from http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/node/404.
2Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
3Texts credited to Message are from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
4Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ of experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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