One of my all time favorite movies is the 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption. It’s a story about two men who become close friends while serving time in Shawshank Prison. I don’t have time here to give details of the movie, so I’ll trust that either you’ve seen it or perhaps you will take time soon to give it a look.
The movie ends with these words from Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (played by Morgan Freeman):
“I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as beautiful as it has been in my dreams. I hope…”
In a world where we are touched daily by crime, poverty, hatred, corruption, divorce, and all sorts of darkness running rampant and seemingly without any control or remedy, how do we remain people of light? How do we retain our distinction as “Salt and Light” to this world? How do we keep a smile on our faces when, all around us, there is so much pain and hurt?
The answer is simple… it’s HOPE!
Hope is the thing that distinguishes us as believers from those who do not know the Lord as Savior.
Ephesians 2:12-13 says: Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says: But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
Hope is what brings us to have faith for something different. Hebrews 11:1 says: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We are not talking about “blind faith” or “wishful thinking,” but a firm assurance about things that are not seen and still in the future. Jesus said “I have come that they might have life and that more abundantly.” Jesus never talked about hope, but in living the life He lived He proved to us that we could live a life of victory just as he did. Hebrews 4:15 says: For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
In Psalm 42:5 David says: Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
Our life as believers should not be spent dwelling on the things that are wrong in our world, rather we should be the ones offering comfort and assurance to those around us who are in need. We should be the carriers of a hope that causes people to believe there is something out there that is better than what they are experiencing.
Are you a vessel of hope to YOUR world?