Hope in the New Year
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NIV)
If I am being honest, I would have to admit that I haven’t given hope as much attention as its spiritual siblings Faith and Love. Hope has always reminded me of the middle child, the Jan Brady of the faith, hope, and love trilogy that the Apostle Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is the big brother, the protective one. The Bible tells us it is “the greatest of these.” We as Christians focus on the unconditional love of God, who gave his son to die for our sins. Faith is the baby brother, the one who needs and gets constant attention. Jesus says that our faith can be tiny and still move mountains. We pray to God to sustain our faith and bring those we love to faith in Christ Jesus. But it is our hope and expectation in God that provides the foundation for the other two.
The more I think about it, it is hope that gets me through this temporary housing project called life. Hope keeps me uplifted until I move into my Heavenly Mansion, or at least that’s the eternal lifelong living arrangement my grandmother interpreted from the King James, when Jesus noted, “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions and I’ve already prepared one for you” (John 14:2). The Hebrew writer tells us that “faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). In other words, hope is the fuel that keeps us moving forward in our faith walk. Often the only thing that keeps us going is hope.
I think it is safe to say that almost every one of us is hoping for a better year. We are hoping COVID is cured and/or this vaccine is safe and effective. We are hoping that we can all hug again or, at the very least, just get along. We are hoping our businesses and churches rebound and that revenue abounds for both. There are a lot of things we hope for, and I suspect the one constant that will occur this year, like every year, is we will feel both hopeful and hapless as we hold on and hang in there.
Here is the one thing I do know about hope: Just like faith and love, we are to have it. The Hebrew writer admonishes us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV). In other words, when doubt is heading head-on toward us, we are called to play a cosmic game of chicken. We are to hold on to hope white knuckled and not swerve, knowing that He (God) has our back and is faithful, even when it seems our hopes are dashed. From sheer terror to sheer joy, life is a heck of a ride, and for those who put their hope in Christ, one day, we will be rewarded for letting Jesus take the wheel.
Blessings and Hope in the New Year. God bless.