Friday, March 27, 2020 – by Josiah Huisman
In my reflections over the past two weeks, I have come to notice two distinct emotional postures within our world.
The first posture is of the world; it seems to be one full of anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and frenzy. We can hardly go hours without a new headline of fear, a new shutdown, or another fundamental change to life as we know it. Our safety seems uncertain, and any control seems quickly fading if even existent.
The second posture is the one taken by the Church, a posture of Hope. An overwhelming, comforting, peaceful sense of hope. We have seen it here at Heritage in the Project Hope 3:16. But also around the globe as Christian communities come together (hopefully virtually), and hold on to a Hope – a Hope that drives them in Love and Service.
So why the fundamentally different postures? The question the world may ask in a time of anxiety and uncertainty, is “Why have hope”? The answer: we have Hope in the work of the Lord our God – work both done, and yet to come.
First and foremost, we have hope in the work that has been done in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. COVID-19 is a perpetual state of uncertainty. For me and fellow students, our constant was school, yet school has shut down and classes are ever-changing. The future of the job market has been thrust into question. For many others, their current jobs have been lost. Our governments can’t control the virus, our health care capacity is at risk of being overrun, and our health and the health of our loved ones is now at risk. Every constant I have known as a university student has seemingly been thrown into question. Yet we have hope. We, as Christians, have what Peter so beautifully described as a living hope.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials” – 1 Peter 1:3-6
This Living Hope is our constant. What brings me, (a college student uncertain about everything) great Hope? It is that the love and salvation of Christ found in His Gospel message is bigger than our universities, our governments, our media, our social lives–even bigger than a global pandemic and death itself. That Gospel message is as Peter says “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading”. No matter what we face, we are assured of eternal life with God our Father. That is truly a Living Hope that surpasses understanding.
Secondly, I have hope in the work of the Lord to come. There is Hope in this beautiful truth; that the Lord will work in hard times. I have found great comfort in the message at the end of Genesis when Joseph tells his brothers
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”-Genesis 50:20
Although the world is broken, throughout the Bible and all of history, God has redeemed the brokenness of the world for good. Not that this situation is good, but that the Lord can use it. As Paul writes to the Romans,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28
As a university student, I have already seen many students benefit from being forced to slow down and stay put in a culture of constant hurry. I personally have been able to spend more time in prayer and scripture than I ever could before in the hustle of university life. I don’t know how the Lord will work through this for each of us, but I do know that He will work. So instead of being worried about the future, we have Hope that God will be with us. And that is our comfort.
So when the fearful world asks “Why have hope?” We can answer them. And perhaps a part of the work of the Lord in this is an opportunity to share the Living Hope of Christ.
Lord, walk with me and guide me in your ways.
Show me what you have for me in these times.
And may your Living Hope fill me and comfort me.
In Jesus name, Amen