(Thursday 26th February)

“I have a dream…”

So often in human history people have been inspired to great action by the notion of a dream, of doing the impossible, of changing a nation or community. We dream of a peace between races and nations. We dream of a better life for our families. We dream, in a sense, of God’s Kingdom reigning here on Earth in all of its fullness.

But every dream requires something to make it go. It needs fuel. In short, it needs a hope. If we have no hope for the future then we cannot dream, be those God’s dreams or our own. However, hope is often a very fragile notion. Hope can sometimes be given and taken away and, as such, our dreams for a better future can easily hang on the presence of absence of such hope.

It is such a relief, then, to know that true hope is not simply a notion or an idea. Neither is it an ideal which can be easily crushed by the realities of life which we see around us, be that persecution, hardship or struggle. Hope is a person – Jesus Christ.

This was the message of Pastor Fred Hart, one of a group visiting Bethlehem Bible College from Boston this week. His words and the presence of the group was a blessing to the college in their encouragement and witness.

I Thessalonians 1:3 tells us that we, like the church in Thessalonica, can have a perseverance because of hope. We labour through love, we work because of our faith, but all this is only sustainable because we have a hope that is true, unperishable and constant – one that causes us to persevere, not through our own strength, but through the strength of One far stronger than you or me (Colossians 1:29).

Such hope in God and His strength allows us to dream – to take risks – because we know that we live for and by a hope far beyond our natural capacities. It is through this hope that we can work for God’s Kingdom, for the transformation of our neighbourhoods and nations, and for the renewing of our own selves.It is comforting to know that, with God is the focus of our dreams, He is also source of our hope.