Hope to carry us through
There’s a powerful verse that I’ve been reminded of again and again throughout this year. It’s found in Hebrews 6:19. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain." This has been a gentle nudge all year round to put my hope in God, both in times of chaos and also in the mundane.
We saw the year start with bushfires that covered over 600,000 acres of Australia, then a global pandemic, followed by the largest global civil rights movement for racial justice. There was flooding in so many nations, explosions, recessions, the race for toilet roll and pasta (remember that!), locusts that ravaged harvests in certain spots of East Africa and so much more. There has been so much pain. Everything was at tipping point all at the same time. Our already broken world looked even more broken... or was it actually that we were finally seeing just how broken it already was?
What does it look like?
So, what does "seek me and live", "love your neighbor", and "hope as an anchor" look like after a year like 2020? What do we do in the face of so much injustice and suffering? What does it look like in relation to Christ and the gospel? Do we cover up the pain – our trauma and brokenness? Do we simply forget what we’ve experienced and pretend that we’ve moved on? Or is there hope?
The late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis put it so well when he said this: "Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won."
God’s nature, his inability to lie or change, is the hope that anchors our soul. Anchors hold the boat in place and stop it from drifting out to sea. They keep the boat fixed in moving waters. I believe that our trust in who God is, is our hope that will carry us in these changing seasons, where everything seems thrown up in the air. We can lean into him all the more and trust him. So, as we seek him and the way he calls us to live (a way of love without conditions), we are actively putting our trust in who he is.
In fact, Zechariah 9:12 says we should hold on to this trust in our God that gives us hope so tightly that it is as though we are prisoners to it! "Return to your fortress you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you."
Let us be prisoners of hope – for in our hope is our freedom.
Lisa Adjei works recruiting and training volunteer speakers for Tearfund. She is also on the pastoral team at her church and has spent a few years as a lay preacher.