You have heard it. I have heard it. A lot of people keep saying we need more hope in our world. Instead of saying “Nope!” we should learn to respond to life’s challenges by saying: “But there is Hope!” In today’s vernacular, it is dope to have hope. To lose hope can be viewed as a refusal to cope. To run away from our problems is to give in to the temptation to elope. To do nothing, instead of stepping out in faith into the unknown, is to mope. Yes, it is a slippery slope once you give up hope. After all the rhyming, after all the rapping, it all comes down to a refusal to give up, despite what is on your plate. It can seem like a big pill to swallow.
Having the smallest amount of faith means to hold on to even the thinnest thread of a rope intertwined with hope. Speaking of rope, the last time it was wrapped around my waist, and attached to a belayer on top of an enormous rock, occurred when I was learning to rappel. Our instructor told us to “Walk backwards to the edge of the cliff and form a “L” shape with your body. As you go down the rock, trust the rope. It’s strong enough to hold three Volkswagens.” That fact didn’t make it easier. I had to ask, “How far is it to the bottom?” The belayer yelled out, “70 feet.” I sarcastically responded, “Is that all!?”
It’s no small feat to trust, to hope, to believe, especially when the door has been locked shut or the stone has sealed the tomb. Case closed. Time to go home. From the cross, Jesus yelled: “It is finished.” But immediately after He said that, hope burst forth. Matthew provides the details: “The earth shook, rocks split apart…” But that’s just the beginning. There were no walking dead, but people walking alive. Matthew continues, “and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.” (27:51b, 52-53, NLT)
Why be hopeful, when the circumstances in your life make you feel like you are walking down a dead-end street? Paul has an answer to that question found in 2 Corinthians 1:9, “In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” (NLT)
New York Times bestselling author and pastor, Francis Chan, pipes in: “Yet, whether consciously or not, we essentially say to God, “I know You raised Christ from the dead; but the fact is my problems are just too much for You and I need to deal with them by myself.” This Easter season, do you need to ask God to resurrect Hope in your life? Feel free to share your thoughts in the box below.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”