It is difficult at times for Christians to maintain their hope in the coming of the Kingdom. The power of evil seems overwhelming, and the world presents itself as a formidable foe. The weapons of prayer and good works seem insignificant in a world of multicorporations and intercontinental missiles.
Paul assures us, however, that “we continue to be confident,” and “we are full of confidence.” What is the source of this confidence? It comes from having a God “who is our hope and our strength, who brings low the high tree and lifts high the low tree.” Having a God who makes the withered tree bloom gives us the courage to continue in the face of overwhelming odds.
It also helps to know that the Kingdom is not like the world, which prides itself on its longest bridges and tallest buildings and biggest cities and most powerful armies. The image of the Kingdom is the mustard seed, “the smallest of all the earth’s seeds.” In the Kingdom, one does not have to be president or king to make a difference; the smallest person is great and powerful. In the Kingdom, you don't have to lead successful military campaigns to change the course of history; the smallest action has unlimited potential.
There is no justification for despair or pessimism or inertia. Though it be with sorrow, it must be said that just as one may sin through selfishness and the desire for excessive profit and power, one may also be found wanting with regard to the urgent needs of multitudes of human beings submerged in conditions of underdevelopment, through fear, indecision and, basically, through cowardice.
Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987:47.