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When it comes to the environment, is there a case for hope?

August 20, 2019

How hopeful do you feel when it comes to the environment

“I’ll be honest, sometimes it can feel like there are many reasons why finding hope is difficult,” explained Plant With Purpose executive director Scott Sabin.

Scott’s assessment feels very relatable. Between the rampant threats to places like the Amazon rainforest, the frequent reports of extinct species, and the projections for climate change over the next few years, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to the environment.

This feeling of overwhelm leads activists like Greta Thunberg to admit the challenge of staying hopeful. “We do need hope—of course, we do,” she says. “But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere."

At the same time, action is also a product of hope. In order for people to commit to the necessary changes for the sake of our planet, they must believe that better is possible.

It’s not a matter of how much hope we have, but where we place our hope

For Christians who care for the environment, hope can keep us grounded in the fact that the task of restoring creation does not solely rest on us at an individual level. At the same time, it can keep us motivated to keep doing everything we can to make things better, as an act of love.

A key belief is that the planet already has a Savior- but we get to be partners.

Hope enables farmers to envision plenty where once there was nothing.

Hope enables farmers to envision plenty where once there was nothing.

When we remember that God is actively at work in restoring the Earth, it serves as a reminder that his yoke is easy. The weight of the world does not rest on our shoulders. However, we are privileged by being invited to be co-participants in restoration.

When Jesus declared that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, it signaled the redemption of all things. Things on Earth will be restored to the way they were intended. As this process continues to unfold, we get to play a role in it.

Our opportunity to be a part of that process is a gift and a privilege. And that infuses everything we do to help heal the world with hope.

Hope is the topic of the Season Finale of the Grassroots Podcast

We’ll be wrapping up an eventful first season of Grassroots with our finale focused all on hope.

We’ll be focused more specifically on how one can still make a case for hope, in spite of the alarming statistics and reports.

We’ve spoken to a wide range of guests this season, from Shane Claiborne to Nick Laparra to Lucy McCray and Abdul Ada. We’ve asked each of them what gives them hope in spite of the obstacles they see. While all still have hope, their responses about where this hope comes from spans a wide spectrum.

We’ll also hear from our friend Kent Annan who has worked in Haiti for many years and who has recently authored You Welcomed Me, a book addressing our current migration issues. He’s been present with people in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances and has much to offer on the topic of hope.

And we’ll hear more from Scott Sabin on this episode, as he unpacks this nuanced but important idea of hope.

Grassroots is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and a wide variety of other podcast players. Or you can listen via the player on our page. Don’t forget to leave us a review and share with a friend!

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