Our Christian value of hope
The Christian understanding of hope illustrates how trivial our everyday use of the word can be. We hope that it will not rain for the picnic, or that the car will start or that the plumber will come tomorrow.
At a deeper level, hope is a universal human phenomenon. People hope for peace in time of war; food in time of famine; justice in time of oppression. Where hope is lost there is despair and disintegration. Hope generates energy and sustains people through difficult times.
Christian hope is grounded in the character of God.It is a hope rooted in the love and faithfulness of God. Hope is not wishful thinking but a firm assurance that God can be relied upon. Even when experiencing exile, persecution, doubt or darkness, the Biblical writers trust in God’s ‘unfailing love’ and know that he will be true to his covenant promises. That is the basis of their hope.
Hope is not always spontaneous or easy. As well as trusting God, we have to develop qualities of steadfastness in our own character. Paul says: ‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5:3-4)