SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Messages of inspiration, hope, and encouragement help us keep positive and keep us going and not giving up.
The other day, I had lunch with a new friend, a blogger, a homeschooler, and a member of various community groups who interacts with many people.
Our conversation, like many these days, turned to the educational, financial, government, and spiritual challenges people are facing. She said, what she hears all the time from people, is, no matter what they do, they are looking for hope.
What flashed through my mind was a conversation with a consultant years ago when she mentioned the idea that the world needs Hope Merchants.
That is, she said, we need to hear messages of inspiration, hope, and encouragement to keep positive and keep going.
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the word hope, whether used as a verb or a noun, carries as part of the definition, “desire accompanied by anticipation or expectation of or belief in fulfillment; Archaic, trust or reliance.”
My friend said her belief in God and Jesus Christ was where her faith and hope and trust are. We agreed their love and constancy are what get us through and couldn’t imagine facing these times without them.
The King James Bible offers much inspiration for us about hope and faith in the trust and reliance on God.
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” –Deuteronomy 31: 6.
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”—Jeremiah 12:7, KJV.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” –Romans 15:33, KJV.
It is interesting that our conversation about hope and faith was just days before Rosh Hashanah, a new year celebrated by those of Jewish faith taking place from sundown today, September 25th to sundown, Tuesday, September 27th.
Jewish Learning online tells us that this holiday is both a time of rejoicing in the new year with faith in God and a time of serious introspection, a taking stock of one’s life.
My realization of this initiated an online search about the significance of hope and this holiday and it turned up this very fitting quote.
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat in her Velveteen Rabbi blog dated September 7, 2021, entitled, The Strength to Help Each Other Hope: Rosh Hashanah Morning, 5782, said this.
“Focusing instead on ‘how can I help someone else’ lightens our hearts. Helping others is good for the soul … Helping each other cultivate hope does not change the realities of pandemic or injustice or fires and floods. But it can help us be resilient in the face of those realities. It can help us make meaning in the face of those realities.”
May our trust and reliance on God and in Christ be strengthened and let this faith help us “cultivate hope” in our minds, hearts, and souls and in that of others.