Written for Essay Competition organized by Yuvajana Sakhyam Diocese of North America and Europe
The year 2020 has presented humankind with trials beyond imagination- be it calamities like the Coronavirus pandemic, record setting wildfires in California and Australia, the intense Atlantic hurricane season, locust swarms devouring crops in East Africa and Asia, or the socio-economic distress brought about by high unemployment, rise in food insecurity, spike in mental health issues and learning loss due to school shutdowns. This year also saw millions of people over the world taking to the streets to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
The world is hurting and in need of healing.
With the social fabric stretched thin with these issues, the world has stepped up to address them– close to 200 unique Corona Virus vaccines in different stages of development, economic interventions to prop up the economy and contain rising unemployment, advancements in telemedicine/ virtual meetings for better accessibility of healthcare/ other services, a renewed push to fight climate change, corporate pledges towards diversity and inclusion.
It is God’s providence working in amazing ways through such initiatives, he will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6) and as Christians it is our duty to support all these programs with fervor. However, God has not provided us with just the worldly programs and initiatives to bring healing, but has equipped us with a mightier antidote to all our sufferings which is universal and delivers at the very moment of our need. The antidote being:
The divine HOPE bestowed on us by the love of our lord Jesus Christ
“Hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made”
– R.C. Sproul
Jesus redeemed our lives through the cross and his resurrection (1Peter3:18-22). As we accept Jesus as our savior, our sovereign God (Colossians 1:16–17) grants us with transcending peace (Galatians 5:22-23), a new life (2nd Corinthians 5:17) and a promise of a world with NO SUFFERING (2 Corinthians 4:17). This promise not only ensures restoration in the by-and-by but is experienced in the present.
This hope keeps people from ending their lives (now), it helps us to find joy and meaning to our lives (now) even though social restrictions have upended it, it liberates us from selfishness (now) at a time when stores are running out of supplies, it enables sacrifice (now) during a calamity to enable front line workers to serve, it empowers people to support racial equity (now), research even establishes that hope possesses the power to alter our neurochemistry to have a positive physiological effect during recovery (Dr. Groopman, Harvard Medical School), it frees us from the fear of death and enables us to respond virtuously and courageously to God’s will (now). It destroys the power of evil, heals and strengthens us. The healing power of this divine hope simply cannot be overstated.
May we be filled with this Divine Hope and work together to bring healing to this land