Many of our Native brothers and sisters live without the hope. This lack of hope covers them with a darkness that infiltrates their whole life. (You can read more about it here.)
But before we are able to share the hope we have in Jesus, we need to understand exactly what we have, what it means, and how we live because of it.
Join us in these 6 weeks after Easter with “What is Hope?”
Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.
Read: Matthew 1:18-25 & Romans 5:1-5
Sometimes, putting our hope in Jesus seems to come at great personal cost. Think about all those who risked reputation, relatinoships, and sometimes even life to follow God’s will. Mary and Joseph followed God’s command instead of those set out by their culture when Mary became pregnant before their wedding. The disciples left behind their work and their families to follow Jesus when he called them.
What we’re willing to take risks for reveals who we are. Are we willing to take a risk and apply for the job we feel called to do, even though it doesn’t make sense on paper? Will we take a risk and talk to a family member about Jesus? Every risk we take shows what we value most.
If we’re serious about putting Jesus first in our lives, we are going to have to take risks. But we can have hope, knowing the risk we take will be worth the reward.
Have you ever watched a baby learning how to crawl? He rocks back and forth until he can take one small inch forward. Sometimes this process takes a long time, but the baby is determined. He demonstrates perseverance and presses on until he masters the maneuver. Even when things don’t go as he first expects, he doesn’t give up or lose hope.
As people following Jesus, it’s essential to not give up. Hope keeps us moving forward, especially in those moments that don’t go as we expect them to go. That hope doesn’t come from ourselves, but from the Holy Spirit.
Hope isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Hope is a non-negotiable as we follow Jesus in this life. We need hope because without it, we’d give up.
We will face trouble in this world and things won’t always go as planned. Addressing the church in Rome, Paul explained how God uses these times to help shape us: “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:4).
The more we face struggles in this life, the more our perseverance, character, and hope grows. Like the baby learning to crawl, we must to move forward with the hope that God is using our challenges to prepare us for bigger things to come.
God will never call us to take a risk He doesn’t intend to use for good. Joseph risked his reputation. The disciples risked their lives. In return, they had the privilege of knowing Jesus while he lived on this earth, and their character—the very thing people questioned during their lifetimes—is celebrated in the Bible and became an example for generations to come.