“Hope is the form faith takes in our sufferings and struggles; to hope is to have faith.” ~ Edmund Clowney
This quote caught my attention as I was reading up for a sermon I was preparing about about living faithfully through persecution and suffering.
The quote itself is debatable; I’m sure the astute among us will contest it’s universality. But I thought it brought forth an important truth. I have often wondered what faith looks like during persecution and suffering, what form it would take. In his quote, Clowney gives us his belief as inspired by 1 Peter – faith takes the form of hope!
In our sufferings and struggles, hope functions like faith to cling on to things unseen, things hoped for. (Heb 11:1) Yet, the slight difference is that hope’s focus is firmly place on the future – hope clings on to a future that is unseen, assured it will materialise no matter how impossible circumstances might seem.
And this future – this hope - is guaranteed by God Himself! A future that is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, guarded by God’s power! And we know that his hope is real and living because Jesus Christ rose from the dead! (1 Peter 1:3-5) And certainly, Peter can attest as a first hand eye witness to this.
Friends, are there circumstances in your life that seem bleak and hopeless? Are you walking through a difficult time where your steps are no more than a crawl?
Then choose this day to lift up our eyes from our miry circumstances and affix them upon the Risen Jesus Christ as our hope, to see and believe afresh that our ultimate future and eternity is assured in Him! And may that fill our hearts with hope afresh and rejuvenated strength to walk on in whatever circumstances we face!
Rev. Dr Jeremy-Joe Tan