Hope in the Midst of Fear
Stuart gave an inspiring message despite the lower than expected turn out. What does it really mean to find hope in the midst of fear? Have we Christians really lost our perspective?
Stuart starts by describing the sense of futility that we sensed in this post-modern era. The good life no longer holds itself to be of attraction. We live with a sense of Nihilism and that life is somehow absurd. However, Jesus confronted His audience against the Jewish Monotheism and Roman Polytheism, with the message that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Pressure, resistance and suffering are a constant in history, not least for Christians. Yet, for us Christians, "Therefore do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Cor 4:16-18 Christians today need to learn about Real World Faith; making our Christianity relevant.
Stuart goes on to encourage us that finding hope and living it out means reconnecting with the Christian view of Hope. We will find the encouragement in Rom 8:18-25 in the example of Paul's view; "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does on still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Our problem is that our view of God is too small for us. We need to re-look and re-emphasize the importance and role of the resurrection in Christian life (1 Cor 15:50-55). Living out the Gospel of Hope means to
a. Reflect on the benefits of adoption and your promised inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-5, Rev 21:1-5)
b. To sustain hope, it is aided by the Grace of God, and support and help of others (Heb 10:19-20)
c. The way of hope, seeing through and seeing beyond.
In conclusion, we only have two perspective. We either see God or we see the basis of fear.