Being a faithful witness also means having the chance, each day, to be filled with hope and to share that hope with others. Hope, in this case, is our joyful confidence that Jesus Christ will grant us, today, all the wisdom, strength, courage, and good cheer we need to respond creatively to whatever challenges we face.
On June 23 I wrote of Jesus walking with us and communicating through words as well as signs and wonders. This presence of God with us, and our ability to discern and affirm it because of God in us, is the basis of our hope.
Living hope means being joyfully confident and sharing that confident joy with others. This is different from optimism. Being optimistic means believing that everything will be all right. Living hope means responding creatively to problems even when we know they can’t be fixed and will never go away.
Of course this kind of hope takes wisdom. Wisdom here means hearing God’s thoughts on how we might best be creative. It’s a gift!
This kind of hope takes strength. Being a positive emotional presence with others, despite challenges that won’t go away, is hard. The strength to be so is also a gift of Jesus. When he speaks words of wisdom to us, and then enables us to hear those words, they create within us all the strength we need to do them. That’s a relief!
This kind of hope takes courage. Being different always involves risk. So does responding creatively to stubborn challenges. Jesus grants us, each day, the bravery we need to remain different and creative despite all risks.
This kind of hope takes good cheer. To respond as creatively as possible to hard challenges, we need to take Jesus more seriously than we take either those challenges or ourselves. When we do, we are able to keep our minds open to creative possibilities we had never before imagined.
Hope is our joyful confidence that Jesus will grant us, today, all the wisdom, strength, courage, and good cheer we need to respond creatively to whatever challenges we face. Happily this hope, and all the wisdom, strength, courage, and good cheer that go with it, are gifts to us each day from Jesus who loves us more than we can ask or even imagine. Our privilege each day as faithful and hope-filled witnesses to Jesus Christ is to share these great gifts with others.