Pastor Jack Freed used this quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption in his blog today –
“Hope is a great thing, maybe the best of things. No good thing ever dies”
Hope never dies, but sometimes it eludes us. Perhaps it is because we are so consumed with fear or anxiety that we fail to look for it. Hope is like an onion with many layers. You may start with I hope things get better soon or perhaps I hope things get back to normal soon. There may be a layer that says, I hope they find a cure for this soon. Right below that hope maybe the layer that says, I hope I don’t get this virus. If you dig down deep enough, at the core for almost everyone is the hope – I hope I don’t die from this virus.
When one gets down to that level of the onion it is not unusual that one find that hope is joined by faith. Faith and hope together form the foundation for belief – belief in the message and promise of Easter that there is life after death.
As we wait out this pandemic, one can find guidance and reassurance in the Bible. The book of Romans has quite a few good references to hope –
Romans 5 – “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”
As we persevere through the current stay at home lockdown, imagine the character that we are building. Think of it as a long workout at the gym, but we are not building muscle; but, rather, we are building character. For most of us, this lockdown may be the longest amount of time that we’ve had by ourselves, maybe ever. For some it is building character that they did not know that they had in them and bringing out hope that may have been long forgotten.
Romans 8:24-25 “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Perhaps hope is the best thing. Hope based upon faith and belief is the strongest hope of all. We all need that kind of hope during this prolonged crisis.
Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Keep hoping and have patience.
Keep the faith. God be with you.