Hope

Isaiah 40:3:
But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I was reminded this morning that hope is one thing that can be so hard to find, but so restoring of a person's life when given. I can’t explain the specifics, but I can say that hearing the change in someone’s voice when the power of hope is experienced is truly a wonderful moment.

 

In these days, for some, hope is in noticeably short supply, something that seems to slip away as each day and week passes by. Those who are under financial pressure, those who have lost their jobs, those who face twelve weeks self-isolating, those who have underlying health issues, those who are not able to visit loved ones in hospitals or care homes, those who have lost loved ones and cannot say their farewells. These and so many more are struggling each day with the practicalities of life and hope seems in such short supply sometimes.

Yet, I am encouraged, for I have seen communities come together to walk with these people, to do the shopping, to collect the prescriptions, to phone or email the lonely.. these and a hundred other acts of kindness are shaping our communities in ways we never knew possible… and in some ways I hope life does not return to the way it was before, a pre-COVID 19 normal. There seemed to be a pervasive, society level, 'me first' approach to life which think has now changed. Our streets, our neighbourhoods, are being changed in ways that good for us all, with the provision of hope being the best change of all.

It is this idea of hope that really shapes us as Christians, for ‘faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:1). We have a hope that includes what’s described above but goes on so much further, is so much deeper. The hope we have is timeless and not dependant on anything we can do but is always dependant on who we are (God’s people). This hope is a free gift given to all who see Jesus as ‘the way, the truth and the life’. It is a hope that cannot be taken away, cannot be crushed, cannot be eclipsed, cannot be outweighed. It is eternal and always available, even in the darkest night or depths of despair. It is a knowledge that Jesus is risen and if we turn to him he will turn towards the Father for us. We are loved by one who cannot be surpassed, by a love that cannot be replaced. There is hope, always.

Psalm 33:18 - But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,