Hope – a lived reality here and now
“It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.” (2 Cor 4:13 NIV) Our scripture reflects on faith and hope and the fact that faith and hope translate to action, hence Paul wrote: “therefore I speak.”
One of CABSA’s guiding principles is: ”We have a living hope” and this reminds us that the Holy Spirit gives us a living hope and empowers us to live positively under difficult circumstances. But this hope also motivates us to oppose the mere acceptance of life in general. And certainly our hope in a different reality motivates us to oppose that which is unjust and wrong in our world. We will work to ensure God’s kingdom and his Shalom by fostering wholeness, justice and righteousness for all, and specifically for people living with HIV and other vulnerable groups.
Denise M. Ackerman reflects on hope in Surprised by the Man on the Borrowed Donkey:
“To have faith is to have hope. Yet this statement is often taken to mean hoping for the end times when all will be made new. Hope, however, is a lived reality in the life of faith, here and now.”
“I learnt that to hope is never to surrender our power to imagine a better world, that present unjust arrangements are provisional and precarious and do not require our acceptance.”
Ackerman reminds us that hope is to be lived: “The way I hope should be the way I live. To live out my hope is to try to make that which I hope for come about – sooner rather than later.”
Too often our hope is focused only on the future and indeed we do hope in a different future, but we need to realize that hope is concerned with both present and future. What we hope for in the future, is what we should direct our thoughts, energy and actions towards in our present. We need to work towards the future we believe in.
Ackerman warns against blind optimism and calls for “active hope”:
“To inhabit hope despite woeful circumstances is to offer a counter-story that dares us to become involved in making that which we hope for come about.”
“So we are not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.”(2 Cor 4:16 The Message).
The Holy Spirit helps us to look at the world around us with new eyes, but our challenge is to also work towards a different future where our own lives embody today what we hope for in the future.
To think about: When I think of the HIV epidemic – what does the future I hope for look like? In what practical way can my life, who I am and what I do TODAY, contribute to this envisioned future? To what extend can my lived hope also influence the injustice in my society that fuels the HIV epidemic?
Written By: Aneleh Fourie Le Roux, CABSA Manager and Churches, Channels of Hope Trainer.