“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.”
~ Romans 15:13 NIV
Faith, hope, and love are fundamental to Christianity (1 Cor. 13:13).
But what exactly is hope?
To the worldly wise, hope means something quite different than it does to us Christians. To them, hope is simply a desire or yearning for a certain outcome: “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” For many, it also means having a positive outlook on life. The hopeful focus optimistically on the opportunities that life’s challenges present. Those who tend to be more downcast, pessimistically focus on the challenges that come with life’s opportunities.
For nonbelievers, much of the hope that the world has to offer turns out to be false hope. Despair abounds and is often reflected in literature and the arts. Many people are so overcome by hopelessness and despair that they turn to drugs and/or suicide as a means of escape. Suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in Canada <https://suicideprevention.ca/understanding/suicide-in-canada/>.
For Christians, grounded in the Word of God, Christ offers true hope: “The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). This hope, based on our Christian faith, sets us apart from the world. It’s not the kind of false hope that blinds us to life’s challenges or leads us to expect good things to simply fall into our laps.
But how can I, a believer, convey to the world’s brokenhearted the genuine hope that Jesus Christ offers? The Bible exhorts us to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks why we are so hopeful:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give
an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope
that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
~ 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
As a Christian writer, I must not be timid about sharing my testimony (2 Timothy 1:7-8). However, it’s imperative that I not offend my readers by being critical or judgmental. I must be careful not to write in a patronizing tone or make the mistake of putting myself on a pedestal. To gain my readers’ trust, I need to reveal my true self and be open and honest about my flaws and mistakes. If I’m not authentic, how can I connect with my audience or expect them to be receptive to my message? My desire is to reflect Christ through words that offer kindness, patience, gentleness, understanding, compassion, and respect.
My mission is to share with the brokenhearted a sense of the incredible, infinite love and mercy of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 61:1). By sharing my own faith in the face of challenges and suffering or the peace that I feel in my heart and soul because of the trust I place in God, my words have the potential to give someone whose world is filled with hopelessness, darkness, and pain a faint glimmer of hope, light, and love.
My objective is to offer my readers words that encourage and inspire. But no matter what our Christian ministry, we can never single-handedly fix a broken world. However, by spreading Christ’s message of love and hope, we have the power to mobilize someone to take that first tiny and timely step that will start them down the right path to redemption.
Photo Credits: © 2017 Nina Faye Morey