3 Ways to Be a Hope-Filled Christian
The other day, I was out walking with someone new to the church when she turned to me and said, “You’re not like the other Christians I know…you are so hopeful!” I thanked her for her graciousness, but deep down, and I wondered what twisted version of Christianity she had experienced that a hope-filled Christian would seem odd to her.
It can be easy to respond to hardship and suffering with negativity and bitterness. After all, that’s what we see in the news and on social media. But this is not the Christian way. We seek not to “put people in their place.”
Rather, our hope-filled response to the difficulties of life is what testifies to the power of God to redeem and save. Hope is a beacon that leads others to Christ. Thus, like the early Christians, we are to embody hope to such a degree that it forms our activities and attitudes in our life.
Hope is life-giving. Thus, our experience of hope is never solely for ourselves. Hope is not a privatized possession designed for personal enjoyment. When hope is lived outwardly, it can be something that gives hope in someone else’s life.
Our expression of hope may be what helps another recognize the truth of the gospel. As Christians, we are not simply people who recognize hope and then live it out; we are people who take up Christ’s call to share the hope we have within us.
The idea of sharing that which is important in our lives is not much of a stretch, really. We all have places we like to eat or frequent or television programs we watch regularly.
If someone was to ask us to “be prepared to give a reason for your favorite TV show,” many of us could respond without hesitation. This is because it is natural to recognize and share that which impacts our lives.
So why not do the same for the hope we have in Jesus?
Psalm 66:16 says, “Come, and listen of you who fear God, and let me tell you what God has done for me.” The Psalmist recognizes the importance of sharing how their life had been touched by the loving grace of God.
The world around us needs hope. Based on the rampant negativity we see in the news, the increase of discord, discouragement, and destruction, the world needs the church to embody the audacious truth that hope overcomes despair, forgiveness heals guilt, and love dismantles hate.
But more than this, there are people in each of our lives who need an expression of hope. We all know people who are struggling with an illness, a job loss, or some type of anxiety.
We all know people who could benefit from the Lord of all hopefulness coming into their life. Who do we know that might need a gentle reminder of Christ’s healing presence? How might you gently and reverently speak a word of hope to them?
Recognizing, living, and sharing the hope we have in Jesus is the call for each of us. This was the expressed witness of the Psalmist, of Peter, and for the early church, and it is the mission that we are to take up as followers of Jesus.
After all, if hope is life-giving for us, could it not be so for someone else? If hope connects us to the presence of the Holy Spirit, might it help another recognize the Spirit’s work in their life?
For further reading:
3 Words of Hope When in the Depths
What Does the Bible Say about Hope?
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The Reverend Dr. Kyle Norman is the Rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in Kamloops BC, Canada. He holds a doctorate in Spiritual formation and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and retreat leader. His writing can be found at Christianity.com, crosswalk.com, ibelieve.com, Renovare Canada, and many others. He also maintains his own blog revkylenorman.ca. He has 20 years of pastoral experience, and his ministry focuses on helping people overcome times of spiritual discouragement.