2021 has started badly. As I write COVID-19 is ripping its way through Southern Africa for the first time. A very close friend has just died. Jesus’ words in John 16 “In this world you will have trouble… ” feels all too true. At hard times like this I know I have to allow Jesus to finish his sentence for me “… but take heart for I have overcome the world.”
Hope does not arise from things looking positive, nor wishful thinking, nor superficial optimism. Hope starts by acknowledging the deep pain, confusion and frustrations of the current realities. Yet it does not languish there. Hope discerns and then works towards a goal. Hope is a motivation to persevere towards that goal even when we are not sure of the outcome. Hope is a virtue, not a personality type. It is a mindset that helps us to stay in the game in the face of significant adversity.
That mindset is based, not on circumstances, but on our faith in Jesus. Faith and hope (and love) are inextricably linked. It matters where we put our faith.
If I really knew, deep down, that Jesus has overcome the world:
- What difference would this make to the way I see my week ahead?
- What would I do differently in the light of this knowledge?