I’ve been threatening for ages to write something about hope. I’ve been thinking about how this is a key part of our understanding of faith – indeed it may well go to explaining something of what faith is all about. There’s a bit in the book of Hebrews in the Bible that says “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. So I guess it’s ok to say that faith and hope are irretrievably linked. Indeed the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13 that ‘faith, hope and love’ are key to being ‘of Christ’.
But how far can we take this? Could we say that hope is a sign of God at work? By that I mean that even those who wouldn’t say that they believed in God have an inherent sense of hope that makes them willing to believe that even in the worst of times things can get better. So by experiencing this they’re actually experiencing something of God – just without the label! Now, I know that this is similar to the whole ‘where there is good, there is God’ argument, and is on the fringes of something universalist, but it would be an incredible tool for helping people who don’t believe to see how God could already be at work in their lives. Can we be comfortable with the idea that God is already at work in the lives of people who don’t yet confess Christ as Lord?
Just some ruminations…what do you think?