The Biblical definition of “hope” is essentially related to promise and presence, and because His promises are true and His presence “real” (in the Methodist sense) we can live in confident expectation. Hope, therefore, is the sureness that God is with me and I live in His grace, forgiveness, love, peace, power and strength. Hope is knowing that I am uniquely called to participate in Jesus’ mission in the world, gifted and supernaturally empowered to fulfill what He has called me into today.
My hope, includes the truths that I am valuable, worthy, known, and both His child and His friend.
The hope that Jesus gives is that I belong to His Body, His invention and church family. Church family is the safe space, where all are equal before God and each other. Where we learn to become our true selves. Where we learn, laugh, and care for one another.
Finally, the believer’s hope is that God will redeem all things, so that there will be a new heaven and a new earth (there is also judgement and the “second death” which is not a hope we have, but a reality that exists). Hope is a way of life for Jesus-followers, and is supposed to be shared.
This hope is based in God’s promises fulfilled throughout time, which were all first outlined in Scripture. Specific prophecies and promises that God gave and then were actualized in history, create confident expectation in God’s promises and words that are yet to occur. There is more to this hope – there is also His presence.
Jesus came. Jesus will never leave us, and will be with us always. In fact, His Spirit lives in His followers. We have an assurance of our beliefs, because of His presence in our lives. Our hope is not a wish that we will be saved, but our hope is based on a personal awareness of His being with us – with even me.
This is our confident expectation, and I can think of no other belief system, ideology, world faith or philosophy that offers anything like this hope.
If you are a believer in Christ then you are a hope-bearer. Canada needs you and it needs me. It’s true that people who do not know Jesus’ hope, will be interested to learn about His promises, but it seems to me that today, people will be more interested in exploring His promises if they first experience His presence. The hope for the Canadian church is, in this season, especially found in the presence of God moving in and through us. Reread paragraph number one above, because this is the kind of church that Canadians are interested in.