Hope Now More Than Ever
It is January 1st 2017. A new year. In 2017, we need a real and true hope more than ever. If 2016 was a year of shocks, violence and disappointments, then 2017 needs to be oiled with hope. It doesn’t really matter who is in the White House in 2017. It doesn’t really matter who is in 10 Downing Street in 2017. Of course, every one of us has a responsibility to be responsible in how we react to political appointments and world events. Yet, one thing we need to remember above all else. This is God’s world – not ours. Human beings may be concerned with building empires, but God is busy building the kingdom of his Christ.
I am drawn afresh to Paul’s words in Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NRSV) For once, I actually prefer the NIV translation of this verse: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
The NIV translation makes absolutely clear that we have our part to play in the building of the kingdom of the Christ. Hope is not some kind of passive resignation that merely accepts the way that things are. No! Hope is active. Hope faces God and receives from God so that we may face people and let faith be outworked in the people. Hope is the atmosphere in which faith breathes. People need hope. The people of God need to be a people of hope in 2017. God is the God of hope. May we as his people overflow with that hope in this coming year.