Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! This politically and socially incorrect message during the first century kept getting the Apostles and followers of Jesus in trouble, but they never swayed from it. It is a message of great hope to a downcast and troubled world and for the individual separated from a relationship with God (1 Peter 1:3-5).
North America could use some hope in these challenging times. Amid a pandemic, economic uncertainty, social upheaval, and an environment which discards differences of opinion, God’s hope is like a refreshing breeze on a hot summer day. In Jesus Christ, God gives us hope for eternal life. He gives us hope in his abiding Presence with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God gives us hope in answering our prayers and in the unchanging promise of the Scriptures.
Hope is the anticipation of a good future. It is having faith (believing) that God is working out His purposes in the world and in my own life – especially when I can’t see it.
What is the basis of our hope? God Himself as he has revealed himself in Jesus Christ and trusting in his promises found in the Bible. While many people trust in the latest theological, intellectual, or cultural fads, we trust in the unchanging and omnipotent Father who works all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes in our world (Romans 8:28).
The psalmist wrote: “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me (Ps. 42:5a)?” Why are you downcast? Why are you discouraged? Why are you disappointed? Probably all of us have had to ask ourselves similar questions during the past year!
The psalmist continues by exhorting himself (and us):
“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Ps. 42:5b).” This is a reminder for all of us to keep our eyes on the Lord and what he has done for us in Jesus. As the Apostle Peter walked on the water in the middle of the storm by keeping his eyes on the Lord, so can we walk in the middle of the storms in which we find ourselves. He is our light in the darkness. He is our path when there is none. He is our hope for today and for the future.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America