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Is Your Hope A Wish Or An Anchor?

06-13hope

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, Jonathan Kay wrote an opinion piece in the National Post entitled “In a largely godless world it’s hard to know what to say when tragedy strikes.” Here are some quotes:

“And I realized that I hadn’t the slightest idea how to talk to my children — or anyone — about death.”

“But in a largely godless world, it is almost impossible to disguise the fact — even from a child — that the death of an eight-year-old represents nothing beyond a hideous and senseless human trauma from which her family will never recover.”

In essence, Kay is saying that he has no anchor on which to base his hope. The dictionary defines the verb hope as “to cherish a desire with anticipation, to want something to happen or be true.” It speaks to a desired future lacking certainty. When former President Obama held out the prospect of “hope and change,” he was using the secular definition of hope. Kay’s piece implies that, from the perspective of a purely materialistic world view, life is ultimately hopeless.

By contrast, ‘according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation…The Christian life…is a magnificent obsession with an eternal hope, a hope that does not lead to an escapist attitude, but to the pursuit of life on a whole new dimension. It makes you bullish, as we might say today, on the potentials of this life as stewards of God. It gives us power to live courageously…’ (Bible.org)

Hope based on evidence and facts gives us the power to live courageously.

Biblical hope is not based on “blind faith,” a common accusation by the so-called “new atheists.” It is based upon solid evidence including, in particular, the historical facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. (As an aside, I have seen some companies present budgets for board approval that looked more like blind faith than a reality-based assessment of the future!)

Is the concept of hope relevant to marketplace leaders? Most leaders I have known over the course of my business career base their hope for a positive future on their personal ability to shape their own destiny. That said, most will also acknowledge that the future is fraught with risk and that, at the end of the day, there is no certainty in life – except death, a topic studiously avoided whenever possible!

By contrast, God gave me a strong hope when I chose to entrust my professional and personal life to Jesus in my thirties. The following quote from the Bible confirms my hope.

“We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” (Romans 8:24-25)

Do you have hope?

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.