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Hope in Jesus

Thoughts from Damion on Hope in Jesus.

What’s going on, Everyone?

First and foremost, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, no matter how you celebrated. Whether you were up early for Sunrise Service, getting a head start on the family dinner, or making sure that the Osterhase came to visit and left plenty of colorful eggs for the children, I hope your Easter weekend was blessed.

As we celebrate this wonderful season, our focus this month is on hope in Jesus. Honestly, I have an ambivalent relationship with hope. After becoming jaded, like many of us, due to life and people doing their thing, I started seeing hope as a crutch. Allow me to explain. Hope is like a beacon of light that guides us through the darkest times. But sometimes, it can cast its own shadows and allow us to misinterpret reality. Let’s talk for a moment about the complexities of hope and how it intertwines with our journey through life.

Blinded by Hope: When Reality Takes a Backseat

Have you ever found yourself so caught up in hoping for something that you overlook the signs pointing in a different direction? Yeah, I’ve been there, too. Psalm 31 portrays hope as a foundational aspect of our relationship with God, offering comfort, assurance, and strength in times of trouble and when reality wishes to defy our assumptions. It’s like wearing rose-tinted glasses that filter out any hint of doubt or uncertainty. But when reality comes knocking, those glasses shatter, and we’re left picking up the pieces of shattered expectations.

Complacency Creeps In: Hope without Hustle

Hope can be a double-edged sword, you know? 

A man working hard to sweep leaves on a downtown city street with trees.
Photo by Sally on Unsplash

On one side, hope is this beautiful thing that fuels our dreams and aspirations.  But on the flip side, it can lull us into a false sense of security.  We sit back, crossing our fingers and toes, hoping for change to appear magically.  Spoiler alert: life doesn’t work like that.  Real progress demands more than wishful thinking; it requires rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty. 

A passage not mentioned in this month’s study is Colossians 3:23-24.  In it, Paul encourages believers by saying: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.” This passage emphasizes the importance of wholehearted effort and diligence in all endeavors, reminding us that our work is ultimately unto the Lord and will be rewarded accordingly.

Anxiety's Unwelcome Guest: When Hope Turns into Fear

Picture this: you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, hoping to take a leap of faith into the unknown. Sounds exhilarating, right? Well, not so much when the fear of falling outweighs the hope of flying. That’s the thing about excessive hope – it can weigh us down with anxiety and stress. We’re so afraid of crashing and burning that we forget the thrill of spreading our wings and soaring. 1 Peter 1:3-5 speaks about the living hope that we, the believers, have through the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This hope is described as being inseparable from salvation, as it is through faith in Christ that we are assured of our inheritance and future salvation.

Hope's Achilles Heel: Vulnerable to Exploitation

Have you ever felt like someone dangled a carrot of hope in front of you only to snatch it away at the last minute? Yeah, it stings. Hope can be a magnet for deception, drawing in those who seek to manipulate it for their own gain. But here’s the kicker—just because hope can be exploited doesn’t mean we should stop believing in it altogether. It just means we need to be wiser about where we place our trust. 

In Romans 1:25, Paul speaks of people who exchange the truth about God for a lie, worshiping and serving created things rather than the Creator. This warns us against placing hope in worldly idols or pursuits that ultimately lead to disappointment and emptiness. In other words, put your hope in Jesus. Period.

Finding Balance: Embracing Hope with Eyes Wide Open

So, where does that leave us? How do we find our footing in a world where hope can both lift us up and knock us down? The answer is simple—by acknowledging the good, the bad, and the downright messy sides of hope. It’s about striking that delicate balance between optimism and realism, between dreaming big and rolling up our sleeves to make those dreams a reality.

Handwritten note quoting Matthew 11:28 from the Bible
Photo by Miriam G on Unsplash

By placing your faith in Christ and asking Him to guide you, you can navigate through all of it.

At the end of the day, hope keeps us going, even when the road ahead looks rocky. So, let’s embrace it with open arms and keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. Because when hope is grounded in Christ, action, and tempered by wisdom, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

Here’s to hope – messy, complicated, and beautiful all at once. With every step forward, may our hope in Christ guide, inspire, and remind us of the boundless possibilities ahead.

Until we meet again,

Damion

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