Hope as a Journey
Good stewards encourage one another with the resurrection hope. The hopes and dreams of a lifetime are at the feet of youth. The nature of hope greatly changes as youth lose friends to death, as I lost a friend in high school. He committed suicide “to be with his dead little brother,” according to the note he left behind. For the first time, the hope took on real meaning that someday we would be reunited, as the minister said. This rare experience of death among our close friends grows more frequent with us as we grow older. As stewards, we must continue to encourage one another with the gift of hope God gave us through the resurrection of Jesus.
The gift of hope becomes more important and meaningful to us as our close friends face serious illness. The medical profession is beginning to recognize the place religious hope plays in the lives of their patients. They have noted, but cannot explain, that patients who have hope often have more positive results than others. Perhaps this is because these people have less fear of death. Paul writes that “you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” This does not mean that we do not regret the loss of this life or that we do not grieve. Those who have hope have a different nature of grief. In a like manner, those who have life-threatening illness have a different reaction because of the hope of resurrection. Some think of hope as a journey in which friends have gone before them. We will make the journey later and be reunited. This is our hope in Christ.
—Dr. Robert Craig
- What can we do to comfort someone who has lost a family member in death?
- What do you believe should be the nature of our prayers for one who is suffering a terminal illness?
- How do the words of Jesus, “I am the resurrection and the life” fit with the writing of Paul to the Thessalonians?
- What difference do you believe the resurrection of hope makes in the way a person grieves the death of friends?
How Do I Act?
- Get a group from your church to visit a home where elderly people live. Ask if there are those who have no visitors and if you can spend some time with them.
- If you know someone who has lost a loved one, make it a point to visit that person in about three months after others have stopped coming.
- Do you know a young person with children who seems to have little hope because of the struggle just to get by? Give the gift of time to that person and/or help with some chores.
- Reflect on how hope has made a difference in your life and how you can encourage another in the resurrection hope.