Whether in issues of national life or in the things that we or those we love are facing in our own lives, we all need hope. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope allows us to look forward, to live into the future with confidence.
Each time we pray we express our hope in God, our confidence for God’s future and our trust in God’s promises.
I came across a lovely illustration of hope, in this story of a young boy suffering from cancer. Things weren’t looking good and he was in hospital for another prolonged round of treatment. Quite understandably his spirits had plummeted, and despite their best efforts, nobody could really make any difference. Neither his parents, sitting with him for hours, nor his friends, sending cards and messages, nor the nurses or medical teams. And then a teacher came in from the hospital school, took him through a chapter of a GCSE text book, and left him with some homework. The next morning his whole demeanour was different, and no one could really understand it. ‘What’s changed?’ they asked him. ‘Well’, he said, ‘they wouldn’t have bothered sending a teacher unless I had some hope of getting through this’.
Hope depends on a belief in future possibility.
Christian hope trusts in that future possibility. Christian hope means that we can look with confidence to the future because of who God is and what God has already done, and because of what God promises is still to come.
When we pray in hope, we express our trust in God and in God’s goodness. We open our lives to God, in all their complexities, and trust in God’s promises.
O Lord, strengthen my hope, and help me to trust in you.
Your love for me is everlasting, and your faithfulness beyond compare. Amen.
The Ven Anne Gell
Archdeacon of Wells