Someone asked why I am hopeful when so much anger and chaos swirls around us. One answer: Jesus. He is forever one of us through the Incarnation. He is the compassionate one in his maturation and mission. He is our Crucified Savior atoning for our sin and bearing our sorrows, sufferings, and unanswered questions. And now he is the Risen, Ascended and Coming King who is making all things new. He is with us by Holy Spirit is, offering foretastes of the future.
“Nice words, Dr. Self. But I live in the real world and so much is collapsing around me…how does any of this apply to my everyday life? I see moral decay and economic distress, social media meanness, and I wonder what world there will be for the next generations. I get your eternal hope. But what does all this mean for NOW?”
God’s mission of restoring all things has real-life application today – if we trust the revelation and obey his principles in response to grace. Here are some immediate paths forward:
- We can receive healing from our past and real hope for the future from the inside out as we agree with Scripture that we are NOW “new creations” in Christ. As we accept our identity in Christ as primary, we are able to affirm the best of our cultures and ideas while letting go of unneeded emotional and ideological baggage.
- The Holy Spirit empowers foretastes of the future: a future with joy and justice, worship and meaningful work, all in a transformed community. With these thoughts in mind, we can apply our energies and skills in our work to make our communities safer, sustainable, and beautiful.
- We now have the ability for critical thinking free from a critical spirit. Put simply, we can evaluate ideas and evidences, policies and programs while showing love and respect to all – even those that oppose all we stand for.
- We can forge alliances with people of conscience of all faiths or none that care about a better future. Leaving the anger behind and the untethered from grasping for power, creativity and innovation become possible.
There is much more that Christian hope brings to the world. Humble confidence and hopeful realism infuse our daily lives. We can labor with love for God and our neighbors, knowing that are efforts have meaning and will serve generations yet unborn.