By Joni Wood
Hope seems elusive here on earth. In this life we hope for many things. We hope to lose weight, to find a job, to marry the right person, to enjoy a great vacation, or to get an A on an exam. The list could go on and on. We spend hours hoping for things that will make us more comfortable or fulfilled. Yet we seldom obtain enough of the things we hope for to make us feel content.
Overcoming Hopelessness in Haiti
After a short-term mission trip to Haiti, hope took on a whole new meaning for me. In Haiti, people young and old watch others go about their day with hopelessness in their eyes. The problem is that their physical needs and emotional desires are rarely met. Life in Haiti is hard and the resources for supplying the basic needs of life are scarce. Yet I found a different attitude among Christians in Haiti. Though their physical condition was similar to their hopeless friends and neighbors, their focus and mission in life were very different. The fact that the earthly things they hoped for would never be theirs in abundance was outweighed by their eternal hope in Christ, which is sure.
Focus on Sure Hope
We would all do well to imitate the eternal perspective of our Haitian brothers and sisters. They have made their “calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10) by focusing on the mission of Christ and the eternal things to come. They will receive a “rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior” (v. 11), as will we! Why do we waste so much time and energy hoping for wealth and achievements that will perish with this world? As Peter wrote, and as Haitian Christians live, let us focus our attention on the “glory and goodness” of our God (v. 3) and hope for the fulfillment of “his very great and precious promises” (v. 4). In these ways we will retrain our minds so that we pursue our sure hope in Christ instead of hopelessly pursuing things that could never satisfy us.
Joni Wood is a reading teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina. She and her husband, Mike, are cofounders of Finding Hope Ministry (www.findinghopesite.com), a ministry of encouragement for troubled marriages. They have two married children and two “grandpuppies.”