by Bryan Francisco
While I was growing up, hope was seen as something that I felt (without any real certainty) that my desired outcome would unfold. Even dictionary.com would have defined hope to be ‘a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’. It was hoping for something I desired, something I wished would happen. “I hope it doesn’t rain later” or “I hope the bus reaches on time” were just mere examples of how I saw hope growing up. Something nice to have but nothing concrete.
This perception that I had however failed to encompass the true beauty of having the virtue of hope. Hope, one of the three theological virtues (virtues that relate directly to God), helps us to grow in our relationship with the Holy Trinity. It is deeply rooted in the faith and trust in which we have upon the Lord and His promises. Having hope in God involves having trust in who He says He is and what He says, (which can only grow if you develop a relationship with Him). While hope used to be determined by externalities and my environment, I’ve come to learn that Hope is actually determined by the God who never fails. It is no longer circumstantial but instead definitive, and constant. For the Lord will remain faithful to His promises.
So why is it so hard for us to have hope?
You Have Yet to Learn About Who Jesus Is and The Truths He Says About You.
Okay breathe… all is well and you’re never too far away to start. There are many ways in which we can grow in our relationship with the Lord. We can begin by identifying your favourite Hymn from mass or worship song that is on repeat. Or you could simply search “ who does God say I am” on google and you’ll be hit with a plethora of truths that speak about the faithfulness of God. As you grow in your awareness of who God is and who He says you are, may you also grow in the Hope that He will never fail you.
Forgetting the Lord’s Promises
There are many things in the world that vie for our attention, our studies; our work stressors; our responsibilities; our families; our expectations, etc…, and therefore it is really easy to neglect the importance of listening to the voice of the Lord. Without being reminded of His promises frequently, the voice of truth and hope may very easily be drowned out and forgotten. As such, we become overwhelmed with the weight of our daily crosses and struggle to see the Lord’s hand in our lives. It is important then, to note that we need to set aside time with Jesus every day to remain hopeful and reminded of the plans he has for us before tackling any of our other commitments.
Feeling a Sense of Desolation From ‘Losing’ Hope
Through the struggles of our life, especially throughout the ongoing uncertainty that surrounds the current global COVID-19 situation, perhaps we have grown tired of remaining hopeful. Like the psalmist from Psalm 22 says, “ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.”, we are feeling the fatigue of it all. But the Lord reassures us all that He will never fail. God never fails, He is never late, He will sustain and provide. Hope is something we can unceasingly have as we will always have a faithful and unchanging God. These are the truths that continue to ground the hope I have now in my life. Jesus never promised that we would venture through life without hardships, but He has always said that He’ll remain with us and that is a certainty.
Having hope in the Lord is essential in order to truly live our lives with joy, amidst all the struggle and despair. We can safely say that we have hope because Jesus knows us personally. We have hope because In Jeremiah 29:11 it states, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We have hope because God knows the plans He has for us, He knows what is helpful, and what is unhelpful in our discipleship journey. He knows you.
In CCC 1818, it is stated that, “The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude”. As we listen and grow in our relationship with Him may our hope strengthen and fill us with the Joy of being loved, known and held by Jesus.
Hey there! My name is Bryan and I am currently a campus missionary with OYP.
I’m a man who loves his tea, football and cracking jokes!