Finding Hope

Getting out of bed each morning is a choice.  We must decide to put one foot in front of another, to engage in life.  Such a decision needs a foundation.  Why do we choose to step out, to move into the world and make a contribution?  Part of that foundation is inertia, the power of habit.  We may be motivated by the expectations of others around us, or by rewards we hope to receive for our work.

But ultimately, when other reasons fail, when our lives "bottom out," we look for a reason to hope.  When the relationships and mechanisms we had come to rely on finally fall away, when rewards seem less and less likely, what is left?  What reason do we have to go on, to hope that anything positive or true could rise out of the rubble we see?

We need hope.  We don’t need wishful thinking, an empty, floating desire with no basis for confidence that it will actually come to pass.  We don’t need a naive optimism with no rational footing or foundation.  That kind of "hope" is ultimately empty, and certain to disappoint; the only question is how soon the disappointment will come.

None of us can precisely predict every event that will happen.  In a broken, fallen, unpredictable world, how can one hope?  Where can we find a sure basis for hope?

In the salvation story of Scripture we find the answer.  Hope that will not fail must rely on, and point to, something beyond this beautiful, yet flawed and finite, creation. Such a hope must be impervious to our greatest efforts, more perfect than our foulest evil.  The only source of a truly reliable hope is God Himself.

Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are offered the opportunity to acknowledge God as Master and Lord, but not with a groveling that leads to despair and anxiety.  Instead, we are offered the promise of God’s Kingdom, in eternity beyond our deaths, to be sure, but also today, here and now.  The Holy Spirit of God Himself comes to live within us, to be the beginning of the proof of the reality of this hope.  The faithfulness of our infinitely powerful God, the sacrifice of Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit mean when we lean into His promise of salvation, the Hope that this brings is a hope that cannot fail.

Such a hope becomes the ever-refreshing reason we can lift our eyes, and lift our foot, to take another step forward. Hope based on the promises of God is a resource for the will, strengthening our ability to choose right instead of wrong.  Because it is built on the eternal promises of a faithful, loving God instead of something flimsy and contingent, our hope is not strained or broken by the circumstances of a fallen world. 

As we search for fulfillment and meaning, there are many places we can look and experience the frustration of a failing hope.  But when we let our vision be shaped by the reality of God’s love, and the hope that is undergirded by His promises, we discover a hope that does not fail, but instead a hope that finds.  The hope Christ gives is a finding hope.