If you google stories of hope, you may be surprised what comes up. Rather than just hearing about success you find resources; resources for people in need of hope. You find stories of people conquering eating disorders, depression, addiction and cancer.
Hope is an interesting thing, because we never realize how powerful hope is until someone gives it to us. I don’t think you can choose to have hope, I think you have to be given hope. To be hopeful, someone has to give you a dream, they have to give you an alternative, they have to give you something to hope in.
Hope is a compelling thing, and I believe the strength of it comes because true hope always follows relationship. When you think of someone who is hopeless, it is hard to imagine him or her in relationship with anyone. Someone who is hopeless is alone, isolated, without help, without purpose.
Hope is not simply just a Christian idea, because it comes from relationship and others. We can find people all over the world in search of hope, or sharing it. This also means that we as Christians are not restricted to only share hope with those interested in Jesus. While we may believe Jesus gives us the ultimate hope, we are able to share genuine and encouraging hope, with all those we encounter, even those who aren’t spiritual or Christian.
If you look up the definition of hope in the dictionary, you’ll find hope is “a feeling of trust.” I have found that people all around the world regardless of race, culture, or situation crave a feeling of trust; they crave hope. Sometimes it looks like giving a hug to a refugee; sometimes it looks like taking someone to dinner when you know they have no friends at the office. Sharing hope could be as simple as offering to help someone with a task when you know they feel overwhelmed, or it could be telling your spouse you believe in them when they are walking into a difficult meeting.
We live in a world many would say looks a bit hopeless, but if we realize that hope begins with relationship, then we hold the power to change it. We hold the power to bring hope to the hopeless, or to find trust and safety in each other despite catastrophe. We have the capability to change peoples lives, to build and shape nations. With hope we have the potential to change the world.
Because hope is not only for christians, it is not only for those who dress like us or go to the same school. It isn’t just for those who are in our country or agree with us politically. Hope is for anyone and everyone we are willing to share it with. And maybe, when we begin to share hope with those who are a bit different than us, then maybe we will find that our differences stop separating us, and instead bring us together. That through sharing hope, we will help others discover where true, everlasting hope comes from. We will love so deeply, and bring such hope, that people around us will crave to find the source, the designer and creator of it all. That is my hope.
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By: Will Richardson