Hope is one of the most powerful things in this world. For the better part of this year, I feel we have been taking it out of context. “We hope” statements have been used more as a sign of desperation and frustration in these uncertain times. Our hope has been identified with our desire to do what we used to be able to do.
The hope that we have is not in when we will be able to worship together or spend time with our loved ones without restriction again. Our hope comes from a much more powerful well than the ties of family and church. Our hope is in the eternal, all-powerful, unchanging God. Hope for redemption from sin came at the first Christmas in the form of Jesus coming to earth.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
N.T. Wright finds it interesting that at the end of the book of Romans, and after all the theological argument that Paul has written, he chooses to use the word hope.
We understand the hope that the resurrection provides for our Salvation. As bearers of hope, it is not our calling to sit around watching the world go by and enjoy the hope that we have. Wright notes that a people of hope is a good definition of Church. To be people who share the hope together, but then who also share that hope with the world.
William Booth preached hope in an area of London that had very little. This hope inspired ministry where you and I sit around the Salvation Army world today. I believe that as worship leaders, giving hope should be a central point of focus in our ministry. We want our communities of believers to be connected to the God in whom they place their trust. We want to fill them with the knowledge of hope found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We want to encourage them and release them to share the message of hope with the world around them.