Hope of Life
By Alice Cheng
We all have hope about the future: farmers hope for harvests; athletes strive for champions; parents raise their children for a bright future; workers work hard for success in their jobs. Hope gives us purpose in life.
1) Hope allows us to look forward to the future and give meaning and motivation to our lives today. Hope makes people dare to try things that seem impossible now. Only in this way can we fully develop our potentials. Experience teaches us the meaning of reality, while hope teaches us the meaning of potentiality. The charm of life lies in hope, which makes people gallop between reality and possibility.
2) Sometimes we think the current moment is the darkest and weakest time for us or our society. In fact, this moment is just a milestone in life or history, not a tombstone. Our superstition and self-righteousness require that God’s actions be in accordance with our will and be done instantly. This mindset ignores the power of God. It also simplifies the complexity of life, human responsibilities, and the meaning of process. Mature hope will increase our endurance and abilities as humble people until dawn.
3) A misplaced hope is to look up to mortals and things that are temporal such as vain passions, momentary financial gains, and fleeting ideologies. Some people even degrade true love to plain lusts, freedom to indulgence, and eternity to transience. They might end up with obsession and pain.
4) Despite the chaos in this world, Christianity is rooted in solid foundations because God is the God of hope and faithfulness (Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:21). The Bible is mainly composed of promises and prophecies that have mostly been fulfilled. For example, the birth of Christ who has brought salvation to all and the restoration of Israel on May 14, 1948 after a long period of subjugation.
5) Hope is a unique mark of faith of the Christian community. “Future” is the fundamental connotation of Christian faith, the overshadow of the dawn after a night of darkness. The promises and prophecies in the Bible are the depiction of the future, setting hope as the focus for the children of God. The Christian faith enables us to face forward with hope and commitment by looking up to the cross of Christ which is not an end. Christ’s resurrection leads to a perfect and eternal future. We must also be resurrected and appear in glory with Christ. Hope not only allows us to see the future, willing to carry the responsibility and mission of this life, but also to have the ability to dance with suffering until the day of triumph arrives. It’s wonderful to be with God now and forever.
6) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
7) God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. (Hebrews 6:18-19)
(Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church)