Hope can change our perspective so dramatically that our entire approach to living will be impacted. This is the wonderful, grace-filled, life altering reality that enables us to see life differently. With God’s help, we want to face life in ways that honor Him and also help us at the same time!
How can we share our feelings of hope? We are to live as a people of hope. Other people watch us when our trials and tribulations occur; they see hope in our actions and they will want it too. They will ask for the reason behind our hope. We can learn all the Bible verses, receive training in Christianity and outreach strategies, but without the evidence of hope in a hopeless world, we will not show desperate people that we have something different from the despair they already know.
In Christ we have real hope that helps us to see the realities of life. In a world starving for hope, we will be drawn to it and to Jesus Christ who makes hope possible. The words of Peter captures a portion of Scripture (1 Peter 3:15) which states: “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and reverence.” Hope can be an expectation and anticipation of what we believe. For us, as children of God, hope can be as strong as what we have learned about His goodness and faithfulness. It can also show God’s Spirit in our lives.
According to Romans 15, Paul left a crowning comment on hope with these words: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (verse 13). Can we learn more about God through hope? Is there confusion about the true nature of hope? It can look different in different situations. In 1 Corinthians 13 hope is expressed as one of the great pillars of joyful living, but can adapt to changing conditions. Paul also noted that hope is courageous (2 Corinthians 3:12), patient with “the steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
The writer of Hebrews viewed hope as a source of stability, as an anchor of the soul and a hope both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:19). John, as a disciple, thought and added that the true hope has purifying effects (1 John 3:3). Hope can be remarkably versatile and will strengthen us for a wide variety of challenges that we often face daily. We can never forget that God is the source of our hope. Again in Romans 15, Paul wrote: “For whatever was written in earlier times, was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Paul urged believers to see the good in others. Jesus Christ endured pain on behalf of others to let us see the goodness of God. We can gain hope through the power of God in His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Uncertainties of life can be frightening, but the hopeful reassuring words of God will be with us wherever we go or in whatever situation we find ourselves. As we think happy thoughts and express happiness, we put hope in other people’s lives. We can always trust the God of hope because His mercy towards us endures forever!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.