A Letter to Myself: Don’t Lose Hope

On regaining a vision of Christian hope

Dear Peter,

You need a new pair of glasses. In your age, you’ve become short sighted. I know you might not think so. You might argue with me on this, but it’s true.

It didn’t happen all at once. It usually doesn’t. You didn’t just wake up one day with blurry vision. But, over time, over years, through disappointments and dreams that never materialized, you’ve lost hope. You’ve lost sight of the great and glorious distant future that awaits you. In your shortsightedness your world has become constricted.

The Symptoms of Your Hopelessness

I see the symptoms in your life. Your lack of christian hope manifests itself in so many different ways. On some days it’s your lack of generosity. When you feel uncertain about the future and when tomorrow looks bleak, you tend to horde, store, and gather for yourself. You convince yourself that tomorrow is uncertain, of course you don’t want to be burden, and there are bills to pay after all, so you better hold onto what you’ve got. In your hopelessness you’ve closed off your heart instead of opening it up wide.

Your short sightedness is evident in your binges into retail therapy. As you fill up your Amazon shopping cart with stuff you don’t need, it’s clear: You’re living in the moment. Your world has become small. It’s all about today, here, now. Without the ability to look way out into the distant, that’s all your left with.

I can tell you’ve lost hope through your fear about tomorrow. Sometimes, as you look to the future of your family, country, or even finances, you are afraid. It’s a scary world out there, you think, and a scarier future. When you think about next year or the next decade you see more bad than good. You’ve become short sighted.

I notice your shortsightedness as you wonder, “What’s the point?” You think your work is fruitless. Many days you feel like you’re spinning your wheels. You can be pessimistic about tomorrow and negative about next year. You say, “That’ll never work” all too often. You’ve lost hope.

So, it’s time to get new glasses. Ones that let you look out into the future and see the hope that is yours in Jesus. Regain a vision of Christian hope.

Regaining a Vision of Hope

You see, God has a wonderful, beautiful, almost too-good-to-be-true future for you. And it’s not just for a better tomorrow. It’s not just the hope that you’ll strike it rich, gain a following, or make a name for yourself. No, God reminds you that, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19). No, your hope goes way past this world, to the life to come.

It’s God’s promise to you that He is going to make things right. Jesus is coming back one day to heal and make whole. When He descends on the clouds in all power and might, He will restore and renew. You have a resurrection waiting for you. Read 1 Corinthians 15 if you need to be reminded of that.

Sometimes, it’s easy to simply hope to leave this world with all of its mess and all of your sin. But, Jesus didn’t come (and He’s not returning) to simply open an escape hatch for you to run away into eternity. No, Jesus came, and He’s coming again to make things right once and for all. His plan is to restore the Garden that He created. He wants you to be fully human in a world without sin. He wants His creation reset, and your relationships restored. That’s your future. That’s your hope. Look out and see it.

Hope Changes Everything

Don’t forget: Christians have always been guided and directed along in life by the hope we have in Jesus. It creates joy and peace (Romans 15:13) Hope changes things.

So, take heart. Because of the future God has for you, be encouraged by what He’s going to do. Yes, life will still be difficult in the here and now sometimes, but you know how the story ends. Your trouble is but a momentary blip on God’s eternal timeline.

And, take action. The hope you have doesn’t just change your mind. It also affects how you use your hands and feet for the Lord. Hope causes generosity. It leads to a life of service. It manifests itself in sacrifice. Let hope lead you. Let it change you. How can it not?

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Hope

God has something wonderful planned for you. You can be sure of it. There’s not doubt about it: Jesus is coming back one day, with all power and might, and He will make things right for you and everyone else. So, wake up each morning, put on your new glasses, and look out to the future with joy, peace, and hope.

Sincerely,

Peter

If you’ve liked what you read and want to read more, check out my little book on Christian maturity called, “Growing Up: In, with, and under Jesus” on Amazon.


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