According to the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, we have a promise that God has made, fulfilled in Jesus: ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure’.
Jesus is our anchor of hope. He is the fulfilment of the Father’s love, firm and secure for all eternity; nothing in all creation can separate us from his extra-ordinary love. Like the sun above us, hope in Jesus is constant, vital, life-giving and always present regardless of whether or not we can see it. The storm clouds of life may blow across, blocking our vision, but the Son of God is still radiant.
Time and again, as depression and anxiety have blown across, blocking my ability to see or feel the warmth of Jesus, I have reminded myself to trust in the truth that he is still there, the clouds will pass, and I will see his glory once more.
Reading the psalms, an important discovery for me was the ‘pivot of hope’. You will find the pivot of hope in many of the psalms. It is when the psalmist is in full flow of desperation and throws in a ‘but’ or ‘yet’. The pivot of hope has become my moment of taking a long deep breath when I’m in the miry pit. It causes me to pivot my head upwards, to change my perspective – yes, I am overwhelmed by troubles without number, but those troubles can never overwhelm the goodness of God.
Alongside the pivot of hope, when I’m out of the pit I also practise what I describe as ‘the naivety of hope’. This naivety of hope is the commitment to hope even when hope looks foolish or lacking wisdom. It means imagining a world, or even a church, where people do love one another with a love that is utterly Christ-given.
The naivety of hope is open to disappointment, it takes the rough with the smooth, it knows that people are broken and sinful and will let you down. The naivety of hope tells you that when you’re sitting in the pit, help is on the way, even when you can’t see it, hear it or feel it.
Look up and see the hand of the one who has come and will come again, and know the hope of divine love that has never and will never disappoint.