Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame
My seven-year-old friend has just demonstrated his push-ups to me. He wants to be a jungle explorer when he grows up and he’s already in training. He hopes that in the jungle he will find loads of treasure and, having already found fossils and a golden Pokémon card, you never know what else he might discover if he hunts! Never one to squash young dreams, I encourage him that he can be an explorer if he wants; you just have to keep on exploring.
I’ve always appreciated people who encourage me to hope, to dream dreams, and to aim for new things. One of the great things about church community is the abundance of people who’ve walked with Jesus longer than me. Who share with me their stories of hopes that have been fulfilled, and who model to me what it is to follow Jesus. I hope to be someone who does that for others: encouraging new Christians, helping people dream big dreams, and inspiring others to trust in the faithfulness of God.
Sometimes this looks like supporting someone’s passion to set up their own business, or to play football, recognising that God calls us to be his people on our frontlines and that he guides us, in part, through what we love.
Putting hope in God is a wonderful thing, because hope in Jesus is reliable. He never shames us for letting him down, he never runs out of kindness, and there’s no mess he won’t love us through. That doesn’t mean life won’t be tough, and that others won’t find our faith offensive. But it does mean that the person who matters most, Jesus, will always be for us. Our hope is bigger than the challenges we face.
We can embody this hope in our everyday lives, approaching difficult situations with an attitude of problem-solving rather than blame casting. Coming to our chores as ways we can join in the work of God rather than burdensome nuisances. Navigating times of fear and uncertainty with trust that God will bring us through.
If we live like this, people are bound to notice something different in us, and we may just find the opportunity to share about the hope we have. Whether that happens or not, we will be living in a way that is fruitful and hopeful, and as a result encourages flourishing in those around us.
Revd Jo Trickey
Church Advocate, LICC
Who can you encourage as they follow their dreams? Join the conversation below.