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This month, we continue on with our Easter theme, “Fear Not! Live in Hope!”  Hope is the confidence that things are working toward something good.  Sometimes we see it; sometimes we can’t imagine what good could come from what we’re experiencing.  Hope is the belief that, seen or unseen – with understanding or with uncertainty – God is in all things, and is working with them toward goodness.

I think most of us know what hopelessness feels like, too.  If hope is the confidence that God is working things toward goodness, hopelessness would be a lack of confidence in this.  And this is where fear comes in.  It speaks words of doubt to us, chipping away at our confident hope, and replacing it with a sense of despair.  Have you ever felt this?  Where do you see this in the world around us?

In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he reminds them, “Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three…”  That word, “abide,” is a powerful one.  It means more than to just exist.  To abide means to live within something.  With our focus on hope this Easter season, we can hear Paul’s words as a reminder that hope is more than something we have or do.  Hope is alive, and it lives within us.

Easter is about resurrected life – dying and rising anew.  When we feel hopeless, we can ask ourselves, “What fears do I need to let go of and allow to die, so that God can breathe new life into the hope that abides in me?”  And as ambassadors of hope in the name of Christ, we can ask, “What fears do I hear the world speaking around me?  Where do I see despair?  How can I both speak into those places, and show in those places, my confident hope that God is working all things toward goodness?”

Fear is strong.  Hope is stronger.  This Easter, how will you allow yourself to feel the hope that lives in you?  How will you be a source of that hope for the world around you?

“Look well at my handpicked servant;
    I love him so much, take such delight in him.
I’ve placed my Spirit on him;
    he’ll decree justice to the nations.
But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;
    there’ll be no commotion in the streets.
He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings,
    won’t push you into a corner.
Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
    the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
    among far-off unbelievers.” 
~ Isaiah 12:18-21 (MSG)

Peace and Hope in the Grace of Christ,

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