The last year has been quite trying with lots of changes (marriage – good, other – hard). Hope comes from believing that what lies ahead is better. Without hope it is easy for life to diminish, to begin to look inward, to get depressed. Hope matters.
Christian hope comes from resurrection. It means that not only is death not the last word, but that there is a power at work in this world moving things towards a more glorious future. More than just pie in the sky when we die, it means that we get swept up into God’s redemptive plans now. When the early disciples encountered the risen Jesus they went from living in fear to having purpose and hope! The revolution Jesus ushered in was not over, indeed it was just beginning.
There is a great passage in Romans 5 that says we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
When life feels hard, or disappointing, that is a great opportunity for hope to come through. It says that this is not the end, that there is better ahead and resurrection assures us of this. Hope is not blind optimism, it rests in this experience of God’s love being poured into our hearts. That love is more powerful than fear, more powerful than our current circumstances and more powerful than death. Hope in the midst of the hard times is the catalyst that gets us through! Thanks Mr Skywriter for the reminder.