Encouraging Hope

Guest contributor: Ed Den Haan

I immigrated to Canada when 12 years of age with my family. We hoped for a better life in Canada though we knew little about our new country. It was 1950, WWII had just ended. My school had been a German army office denying me schooling for a couple of years.

Following the war my parents sought a better future elsewhere. Our hope was placed in Canada. We arrived in Canada poor but full of hope and courage. Time has passed, I am now 80 years of age and my hope has deepened.

I met hopelessness in my career as pastor. Some friends suffered a nervous breakdown. Others lost hope and froze in isolation and despair. Loss of hope is awful. Today Covid 19 and international tensions challenge our hope of peace.

Where does hope come from? Ann Voskamp in her book, The Broken Way, shares her path of hope. Ann’s helpful illustration points to cracks in a jar that let in light illuminating the dark… Life’s cracks filter in hope for us writes Ann. When troubled, writes Ann, life’s hope enters through the cracks as in a broken jar.

The Apostle Paul survived in hope. Paul experienced religious persecution. Religious persecution cracks our soul, attacks hope. Falsely accused, beaten and jailed Paul kept alive with hope.

Hope is God’s gift. Jesus voiced this hope when dying as he said,” Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” God his father gave him hope. Lasting hope is personal deep seated in our soul. Our God is hope. True hope is intimate and spiritual. Hope is not an attachment or possession it forms part of our being, our heart and loves. Hope is God’s gift of himself as eternal lover of the world. God is hope.

Encourage hope, please. When you are hope-full, share it. When you’re hopeless, invite a friend to hope with and for you. Perhaps you can meditate on God’s love in Jesus the lover of your soul. Can you express hope courageously, peacefully as you love God and neighbour?

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