On April 19, 1995, a bomb destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 169 people. On the same day, an Ohio couple, Julie and Bruce Madsen, set out on a cross-country odyssey to write a book about hope and goodness in America.

In their search, the Madsens found stories of hope in the lives of ordinary people responding to adversity and tragedy. For example, a minister leads prayer vigils at the site of every murder in his midwestern city, and a physician has devoted his career to helping the homeless.

“By their fruits you will know them,” Julie wrote in one of her stories. She wondered, “Do we leave people feeling uplifted, or drained and downhearted?”

If the Madsens had met you or me, would they have discovered a story of hope? If Christ is at work in and through us, the answer can be a resounding “Yes!” Whether our service for Christ is obvious or obscure, even if we suffer for doing good, the Bible urges us to keep Christ on the throne of our hearts and be ready to answer everyone who asks us about the hope within us (1 Pet. 3:15).

People are looking for hope. They can find it in Christ. Will they see Him in us?