“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13
Are you an optimist? Do you see the glass as half full instead of half empty? When life hands you lemons, do you make lemonade? Does every cloud have a silver lining? Do things have a way of working out for the best? Is there is light at the end of the tunnel? If so, you are an optimist.
But what happens when things do not turn out in the end? Many times, a happy ending is not inevitable. For centuries, this has been the Jewish experience. My favourite Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks wrote, “Optimism and hope are not the same. Optimism is the belief that the world is changing for the better; hope is the belief that, together, we can make the world better” (“To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility”). Sacks also wrote, “It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it does need courage to hope.”
That is great insight. In our serious challenges, we never hope alone. I think the Christian perspective offers more. Human hope believes, “we can do this together”. Christian hope believes with God this is possible. We never hope alone, and God is the company we need to hope. God is the “God of hope.” He is at work with us to make our world, and lives better. Our trust in him grows hope in us. Our life in him grows hope in us. Finally, even when all is lost, everyone else has gone and nothing has turned out, God alone is our hope.