Hope is a powerful thing. It sustains us when we can’t see the way out of tragedy. It gives us a reason to get out of bed when the pain of life becomes too much to bear. It invites us to search for the light when all we see is darkness. It provides assurance in uncertainty. It reminds us, in the face of death, that life is worth living.
Hope isn’t some abstract concept void of reality. Hope is real. Hope has a name.
Hebrews 10:22-23 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
We hope because our God is faithful. We hope because He never fails, even we don’t sense His presence. We hope because Jesus, the One who endured suffering and overcame death, made a way for fullness of life. We hold fast to this hope because it gives us a reason for being – a reason for living.
But we can’t do it alone. We were never meant to. Life is too hard to endure in isolation.
Right after the author of Hebrews encourages us to hold fast to our hope, we read this: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together…but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Life in Christ is impossible apart from each other. We need each other, friends. We need actualface time – not screen Facetime. We need to love boldly and generously – and we need to be loved boldly and generously. We need to challenge each other toward Christlikeness – and we need to be challenged toward Christlikeness. We need to encourage – and we need to be encouraged.
This week, two beautiful, vibrant people who had risen to the heights of success in their fields – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain – lost hope. A lump swelled in my throat when I read the news of their deaths. Life seemed too great a burden to bear. Despair reigned. As their families and friends try to put the pieces back together, there’s agonizing confusion about how this happened. It’s an all too familiar tragedy.
Over the last two decades, suicide rates have increased by more than 25% in the United States. Rates of depression and anxiety are at an all time high – especially among teenagers and young adults. People are looking for answers – for meaning. We are in a crisis. Healing looks different for each person: some need a shoulder to cry on, some need medication, some need a counselor. One thing is certain and universal, though: we all need hope, and we need each other.
Hebrews 10 offers us a needed reminder in light of this crisis of hope: in the midst of the pain is a God who invites us to draw near because He loves us more than we can imagine. As we draw near to Him, we also draw near to each other, refusing to allow anyone to live in isolation – doggedly loving those around us in the way He loves us, holding fast to this hope we have in Jesus.
Hold fast to hope, beloved. He is faithful.