After a long pause, here we are. The inspiration to write this piece took place after a hard conversation I had with a college fellowship I oversee. Almost everyone in the group was facing tough situations. Relatives passing away, anxious about the future, unsure about the present, and so much more. It was one after the other. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has taken a toll on us all.
The worst part of it all was I didn’t have an answer. All I could say was I’m praying for you. From there on, I went down a rabbit hole to find a response. A framework & perspective for us as believers to lean on. Not long after, I came across this word HOPE. And that’s what I want to share with us today. Such a simple yet so powerful word. An anchor to our soul when we face the storms of life. With that, let’s get right to it…
So, what is HOPE?
Hope can be a really tricky concept. For many people, the word “hope” has lost so much of its power because it’s become synonymous with the word “wish”. We’re so used to “I wish” statements. It’s an unfortunate reality today that even we as believers fall into. When hope loses its meaning, it also loses its power.
Simply put, Hope is the belief that the future can be brighter and better than the past. But how can we be so confident of this Hope? Because our hope is not in a situation, circumstance… it’s in a person, and his name is Jesus Christ.
God of HOPE
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV
The God we believe in is the God of hope. I never thought of it before, the God we serve is a God of hope. And because of that truth, we can overflow with hope. Wow, now that’s amazing! As people who have been filled with the Spirit of God, we have been called to bring hope to the world.
A people of HOPE
… the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:26-27 NIV
Paul is saying something that is both powerful and profound. He is showing us that the hope of glory (Jesus) is in us. Can you feel the significance of that idea? The hope of the world, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is living in you.
Hope in human form has made His home in you.
We are a people of HOPE. No matter what we’re going through, no matter the situation, circumstance, we are a people of hope!
In another letter, Paul says this, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NIV
The Church is a community of hope-filled people committed to bringing hope to others.
A picture of Hope
So what does this Hope look like? Well, the best to look at is the Bible. There are so many pictures of Hope I can go to. But here are my favourites. In John 11, Lazarus has passed away. A dire situation for Mary & Martha. All hope is lost. The scene changes 3 days later when Jesus arrives and has this conversation with Martha and in verse 25, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life…” Meaning he is the source of all hope and life.
Another picture of Hope I get is in Acts 16. Paul & Silas are in prison. They’re half-naked, beat up in prison and what do they decide to do? Sing hymns and praise God. With that, it frees not only themselves but also the other prisoners and brings salvation to the jailor’s entire household (Acts 16: 34). In a hopeless situation, our hope can disburse hope to people around us.
The Process of HOPE
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, 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.
Romans 5:1-5 NIV
Paul here recognises that we go through trials and tribulations. This is the ground reality, we all go through tough times. But this produces perseverance, and then produces character, and finally hope.
Trials & Tribulations —> Perseverance —> Character —> HOPE
There is purpose to our trials, it’s producing in us this hope. What’s beautiful is verse 5, and this hope doesn’t disappoint.
I pray we would live and recognise this perspective. Do not be discouraged by trials and tribulations, because it is producing hope. This has personally opened my spiritual eyes. Personally, I’ve been encouraged and I pray you are too.
Let’s continue to trust in the God of HOPE so that we become a people of HOPE and ultimately display the picture of HOPE on Earth as it is in heaven.
Please do write to me and share your thoughts in the comments below. God Bless!