If you come to my town in Eastern Massachusetts near Boston, you will see these signs that simply say, “HOPE.” It’s a response to the global coronavirus pandemic that has left many disoriented, confused, and hopeless.
What is hope? Hope in what? Hope in whom? As you have no doubt heard before, “Hope is not a strategy.” It’s a pithy saying that’s been overused, but I agree with it in this sense:
HOPE, not rooted in anything but a mere desire or wish, is not a strategy.
Followers of Christ should be brokers of hope, but it must not be hope as defined this way.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines hope this way, “To want something to happen or be true.”
Ladies and gentlemen, just because we want something to happen or be true doesn’t mean it will happen or that it’s true.
I’m not just being cynical. Hope has a much deeper meaning that only followers of Christ truly understand and can impart to others.
Hope – in the biblical sense – refers to expectation, confidence, and security.
Christian hope is not in a mere wish or a strong desire. It is rooted in an eternal God and His strong promises. It is rooted in truth. It is grounded in a person named Jesus who works all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (John 14:6, Romans 8:28) – even through coronavirus. Make no mistake, God did not cause coronavirus. Like many other natural evils in the world, it happened as the result of a broken and sinful world, but He will use it!
Our hope is rooted in something stronger than ourselves, eternally secure, and true. Our hope is rooted in the unchanging character of a God who is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Beloved children of God, now is the time to take heart, to let your roots go deep into the soil of God’s love and truth, and as you siphon strength from a heavenly source, impart that hope to those around you. The world needs hope – right now!
Suffering That Leads to Hope
When you hope in God, even suffering leads to something good for God does not waste anything.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
Suffering is nothing to balk at, but when our confident expectation is rooted in God, that suffering produces endurance, that endurance leads to refined character, and that character churns out hope that will never disappoint because it is rooted in the unfading, unchanging, unblemished, unconditional love of God!
Hope, in the sense of a wish or desire, is not a strategy. But hope, rooted in a confident expectation of God, His character, and His flesh-and-blood Son, Jesus Christ, is the only strategy worth pursuing!
That type of hope is our only option, and that is the type of hope the world desperately needs, right now!