Pastor Heath Jeffery
Slave Lake Alliance Church
Where can I find hope?
If there is anything that I need this year it is hope!
As 2020 closes and 2021 starts, we continue to hope that 2021 will be better. We hope that the virus will end. We hope the arguing and division will stop. We hope that we can get together again with family and even travel abroad.
As I was thinking about all this, over the past week it really occurred to me that hope is necessary for our wellbeing as people.
I think hope is essential to who we are as people. Hope is necessary because it looks to the future.
We are all what I want to call ‘hope seekers.’
We watch the news every day looking for signs of hope that things will change, looking for any sign of hope in the future.
We hope 2021 will be a year when we can begin to move around, and travel, and not have to wear a mask, sanitize every few minutes, and open door handles with our sleeves.
This is why I say that we are hope seekers, everyone of us.
We are always looking for signs of hope in our life.
But the truth is, I think, if we hope in 2021 then we are headed towards more loss and disappointment.
If there is one thing that 2020 has taught me it is this – we are not in control, all of life’s plans can change in a moment.
Now it is a good thing to be hopeful as we go forward in 2021, but there is really no guarantee.
I think the struggle all of us hope seekers have is this:
Hope is always being disappointed, promises are never quite fulfilled. If we are honest we will always be disappointed by the things of this world, and what I mean by that is the horizontal things of this world. So as hope seekers we search for hope in the horizontal. We look to situations to bring us hope. We look to items to bring us hope. We look to people to bring us hope, i.e. the horizontal.
What we really learn over a lifetime is that no one item or no one person can provide real and lasting hope for us!
And what I want you to realize is that in order to find true hope, you need to actually reach a point of hopelessness first. I know that sounds contradictory. But in trying to find hope in the horizontal it will always lead to hopelessness.
So what does change it?
How does my hope not feel so hopeless?
Maybe it seems obvious at Christmas, but I think we miss the simple sometimes.
So what is the opposite of the horizontal?
It’s the vertical.
Have you tried to find hope vertically?
God came down to earth in the form of a baby and his name is Jesus. God sent his son into humanity to be the hope of the world. He sent us his son in a vertical manner.
People this is the Christmas story, a story about hope coming down to all humanity, coming to us vertically. Hope invaded human history in the person of Jesus Christ. The true and living hope!
The horizontal has been taken from us this year, we can’t gather, or be in the same home with one other. And if that is our only hope this year, then we will feel hopeless.
But if your hope is in the vertical, in Jesus, than nothing can be taken from you and you can have true everlasting hope.