Perhaps we may remember the great scene in the movie the Shawshenk Redemption, where Red (played by Morgan Freeman) tells Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) that hope is a dangerous thing. The reason Red felt hope was dangerous was because hope can get us to think the end is near, but then it never comes. And after being denied parole year after year, Red was losing hope. Andy Dufresne, on the other hand, had something else in mind: hope as freedom.
That’s what hope can do! Hope can tell us there is something to live for; there is another future worth fighting for, even worth dying for.
That’s why, we may say that hope is dangerous: hope can spark us to do what folks say can’t be done! Like Abraham and Sarah, who were old and barren, without children: God called them to a new future and they obeyed; they left their homeland behind and they set out for a new land of promise, not always knowing what the future held for them (Genesis 12:1-3a; Hebrews 11:8-16). To be sure, Abraham and Sarah couldn’t see it at first, but by faith the promise of hope became a reality (Hebrews 11:8-13).
That’s what hope can do: hope can carry our faith over the finish line. Hope can assure us that our faith in what is invisible (in God) will become visible (in mission). Hope provides a kind of confidence or substance that our faith will bring forth fruit – good fruit (Hebrews 11:1-3).
Perhaps we cannot see such fruit in the present, but hope keeps us looking forward because our faith in God keeps us grounded, even when we can’t see the results. It is why we really cannot separate faith and hope.
What are you hoping for now? What gives you hope? As we move into the future, may God give you hope and faith in all things! Amen.
Pastor Andy Kinsey