Pew news 15th July 2018

One of the most interesting comments I heard after the football the other night was, “It was the hope that killed us”.  So true!  Followers of England over the years have developed a hard shell of pessimism to protect them from the pain of dashed hope.  Then along comes this likeable team with an admirable manager.  They exceed expectations and we can’t help but hope!  And then the flowering hope is cruelly nipped in the bud.

Don’t worry, I haven’t got things totally out of proportion.  But when I heard that comment about the hope killing us, I remembered Proverbs 13:12: “A hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”

I am talking now about things much more important things than the football.  Human beings live on hope.  It’s hope that gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us motivated through the day.  Hope dashed in disappointment can crush us.

Funnily enough, at the church prayer meeting on Wednesday evening, we were praying for the nation of Croatia, using the prayer points from the book, Operation World.  We were all struck by the statistic and comment in those points: “High unemployment, little confidence in the future, functional godlessness and widespread drug use (80% of teens) show that hope is in short supply”.  

Croatians will be hoping today.  But even if that hope is fulfilled and the nation gets a needed boost, the sense of fulfilment will not last.  There is only one hope capable of sustaining the deepest human longings in the ultimate, eternal sense; only one future source of fulfilment so satisfying that it can be called, “the tree of life”.  It is found in Jesus.  His victory over death cannot be over-turned in extra time.  It’s not vulnerable to defeat on penalties, even if they were taken by those frequent winners Satan, Suffering, Sin Death and Hell.  Jesus is risen, and those who puts their hope in him can have always have hope.         


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