by Jeff Laszloffy

            As 2016 draws to a close and we look forward to Christmas, I find myself filled with hope for several reasons. First, politically. For some, it’s the main reason. Their hope rises and falls depending on who wins the election. For me, strangely, given my job and politics, it’s a side story. I am hopeful, however, that this coming year will be better than the last.

I’m hopeful that President Trump will focus more on governing than pushing a politically correct agenda; that we will once again use the military to defend the nation, rather than as some vast social experiment; the changes will be implemented that will reign in Obamacare and allow the middle class to once again afford health insurance; that funding for Planned Parenthood will finally be cut from the federal budget; that our borders will once again be secure; that we will once again be a reliable ally to Israel; and that we will seek constructionist judges on par with Justice Antonin Scalia, appointed to the Supreme Court. I’m hopeful that religious freedom will once again be protected rather than maligned; that Common Core will be thrown on the ash heap of failed ideas; and that the 95 million Americans currently out of work will find good-paying jobs as companies come back from overseas. Will it happen overnight? No, it took decades to dismantle America, and it will take years to rebuild, but rebuild we will, if government stays out of the way.

By now, it should be apparent that I have more faith in the industry and ingenuity of the people than I do in government think tanks and bureaucrats. I believe that individuals working to better their own lives and the lives of their loved ones will grow a stronger economy faster and better than one built by socialist utopians cut from the mold of Stalin, Lenin and Mao. But for all my hope that we will be better off politically, as I said earlier, it’s a side story.

My true hope never has been, and never will be, in government. I don’t wake up each morning looking for government to solve my problems, and my hope does not rise and fall, depending on who gets elected. I can truly say that my hope is in Christ, and Christ, alone. And that’s why Christmas is so important. Romans 5 says that “suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Our hope through Christ is eternal. It doesn’t run from one presidential cycle to the next. It goes on forever and that’s TRUE hope.

The 2017 legislative session starts in just ten days. But for now, let’s lay aside the things of the world and focus on the things of God, things like love and joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and I would add, the gift of family. Christmas is a time to step back, take a breath and reconnect with God and those we love. And that’s OUR prayer for you!

From all of us at the Montana Family Foundation, have a very Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year!