‘People need to know that although hardship lies ahead, no one will be left without hope.’ The words of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak a couple of weeks back as he unveiled the Government’s Plan for Jobs.
Hope – here’s a well known saying that goes something like this: ‘man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.’ We can argue about the numbers, but the meaning is clear. Without hope something inside us dies. We’ve all been there. That feeling when the bottom falls out of your world. Sunak read the mood of the nation. The desperation of thousands loosing jobs; furloughs tipping into redundancy; whole industries collapsing under the weight of lockdown. Yes, Sunak, wanted to bring hope to a nation that has lost confidence in job security. I like to think he spoke with genuine compassion.
But can he deliver? That’s the question. Can any of us deliver lasting hope. There’s an old Bob Marley song that I often find myself singing. ‘Do not worry about a thing, cos every little thing’s gonna be alright.’ You might know it. Three Little Birds. Love it! Some of you might say, reality check Victoria – every little thing simply ain’t gonna be alright.
Or is it?
One of my favourite bible verses is Romans 5:5. The apostle Paul has been writing about suffering, the kind that builds character, resilience and hope. He then writes: ‘And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” Hope that doesn’t disappoint. Hope that takes away our shame, that doesn’t let us down. The hope that Paul refers to is found only in Jesus, the son of God. Jesus, whose death on a cross 2000 years ago opened the way to everlasting hope. Hope that brings us face to face with all the bad stuff in our lives, and offers forgiveness. This is security. Irrespective of our job prospects; our disappointments; our sadness. Of our shame. We can have confidence in the future because we have hope in Jesus, the son of God – that same God who has poured his love into our heart. And not just a little trickle. We’re talking about an outpouring of love that has the power, to fill us with hope, today and every day. I have been a Christian for more than 40 years and yet in these unprecedented times, never have I been more aware of our need for this lasting hope in Jesus. Rishi Sunak may be able to deliver a Plan for Jobs. But only God can deliver lasting hope. There’s never been a better time to talk about hope in Jesus. ‘Hope that does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts’ – and because of that, in the end, every little things gonna be alright!
By Victoria Alexander, Pastoral Coordinator
Father God, I need the lasting hope that only comes through your son Jesus. Please help me find it, and hold onto it. AMEN