By Jill Briscoe
Hope is overwhelming confidence in the God who can do anything with anyone at any time in any place. In Greek though, hope was essential for man’s well-being. The Greeks had a myth that Zeus gave humankind all good things for life and put them in a jar. Curiosity lifted the lid, and all the food things in the jar escaped back to the gods. The lid was slammed shut, and hope was trapped. The gods knew that hope was essential for the well-being of humankind. That’s a nice fable, but they got one thing very right. Hope is essential for the well-being of humankind! “Where there’s life there’s hope,” the saying goes. The converse is also true. Where there’s hope there’s life.
Hope is something that belongs very particularly to the Christian. The New Testament talks about a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3, NIV). Psychologist Sigmund Freud said we needed to look to the past for hope. So everyone began to dig up their past. Then came the people who said, “No, hope is to be found not in the past but in the present.” Then existentialism ruled the day. Now with people’s hearts failing them for fear because of international situations, many are looking towards the future, trying to find hope in these uncertain days. This is where Christians come into their own! Christian love always has hope for the future.
Christians actually have the best of all worlds. We can look back on the past and know we are forgiven; we can cope with the problems of the present because we have hope for the future. This hope enabled us to keep an eye on what’s ahead while being a blessing to people in our here and now. This living hope enables us to cope with all eventualities and sets us free to love people to faith along the way.