Back in the 1950s, off the east coast of the US mainland, a naval submarine got into difficulties and sank. A Navy deep sea diver was deployed to assess the stricken vessel. Radio communication had been lost, but the trapped submariners were able to communicate with the rescuer by using a wrench to bang a message in Morse Code on the hull. Their message was: “Is there any hope?”
Is there any hope?
As Christians, we have a hope that is real, tangible, and beyond natural human optimism, anticipation, or likelihood. Our hope is found in Scripture, which is a library of hope. Our hope is grounded in the promises of God, assured by God’s faithfulness, and guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus.
Scriptural hope is “confident or assured expectation”. Someone has described hope as “faith looking forward and upward”, or “faith on its tiptoes”.
Christian hope is not defined by present realities, but by God’s purposes for the future1. Hope is eagerly anticipating all that God has promised and done through Christ coming to its fulfilment. CS Lewis, giving his definition of hope, said it was “a continual looking forward to the eternal world”.
Hope gives us encouragement in the midst of suffering or adversity. Hope prevents us from being content with the things of this world; instead we live for the greater realities of the next. Hope assures us that, on the day of Christ’s return, we will see him, we will rise to be with him, we shall be like him, and we shall be with him forever.
This is what compels us to do what we do in World Outreach International. Our passion is that those who do not have hope will know and experience the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Our field personnel bring hope to people every day, whether helping communities stricken by natural disaster or war, or providing literacy programmes and healthcare to impoverished communities, or sharing the Gospel in word and deed to those who have never heard about Jesus. We do so because there is hope!
By Bruce Hills