Year 2 Term 4 - Hope
Psalm 62: 5-8
‘Find rest, O my soul, in God alone my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, o people; pour out your hearts to him for God is our refuge.’
During the build up to Easter, it is a good time to consider the Hope that Jesus offered us for the future. At a deep level, hope is a universal human phenomenon. People hope for peace in time of war; food in time of famine; justice in time of oppression. Where hope is lost there is despair and disintegration. Hope generates energy and sustains people through difficult times. For some people, hope is so strong that it inspires self-sacrifice to turn hope into reality. True hope is much more than a general idea that things will get better. It is more than a belief in progress, which sees the world and people as getting better all the time, growing away from violence, ignorance and confusion. There has, of course, been genuine progress: in technology, in communications, in medical care and in the protection of people’s rights through the law. Nevertheless, terror and oppression, death and disease, greed and self-serving still govern the lives of millions. Christian hope is grounded in the character of God. Often, in the Psalms, the writer says to God: ‘My hope is in you’. It is a hope rooted in the love and faithfulness of God. Hope is not wishful thinking but a firm assurance that God can be relied upon. It does not remove the need for ‘waiting upon the Lord’ but there is underlying confidence that God is a ‘strong rock’ and one whose promises can be trusted. Hope is not always spontaneous or easy. There is work to be done. As well as trusting God, we have to develop qualities of steadfastness in our own character.