Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
I love walking along the beach with my kids hunting for mermaid tears, those little pieces of glass worn smooth by the sea and beautifully transformed. There’s a beach near us, close to an old glass bottle factory, where you can find a whole range of colours. Shouts of delight echo down the beach at each new discovery. Motivated by joyful hope, the kids and I will pore over the sand as we hunt for treasure.
Hope is powerful. Hope will make someone take a day off to wait in a virtual queue for Taylor Swift tickets, buy a lottery ticket, or travel down the country to London to see Newcastle play Chelsea. These are all good things to hope in, but they are nothing in comparison to the hope we have in Jesus. We hope with certainty in his death and resurrection and rejoice as we see snippets of the coming of the kingdom of God in our lives and the lives of those around us. This resurrection hope gives us strength to be ‘patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.’
There’s a lot to be faithful in prayer for in the world we live in – we bump into need around every corner. We live in a world where the news is full of despair, scandal, and disaster.
The situation was similar for Paul: he saw his Jewish brothers and sisters oppressed by Roman rule, and his Christian brothers and sisters persecuted by the Jews. Yet, his writing is filled with encouragement to the church to be people of love, joy, and hope. In the face of huge uncertainty, the early church clung joyfully to the hope that Jesus brought: hope of eternal life, hope of perfect peace, the offer of relationship with God.
We are people of hope, and that hope is such a gift to the world.
Living as people of joyful hope pushes against the culture, as we pray, seek change, and work for the flourishing of all people. Sometimes it’s the little things: speaking hope in a conversation when others are caught in a cycle of bitterness. Investing in someone at work whom other people have written off. Celebrating the good news of a new baby or a house move, speaking the hope of Jesus into new beginnings.
Wherever there’s a chance today to live out of joyful hope – go on, take it! You never know what God might do in that moment.
Revd Jo Trickey
Church Advocate, LICC
What does it look like to live with joyful hope where you are? To faithfully pray in hope? To wait, patiently, with hope even in the hard times? Join the conversation below.