Hope means, “to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfillment.” Many people this past week have experienced the opposite of hope – despair. The North York rampage on Monday resonates with so many of us since it’s an area we frequent, the people affected could have been any of us, and even the assailant is someone who could’ve easily passed by us while walking down the street on some days. Nonetheless, the grief that the incident brought struck a chord in each of us, leaving us with utter despair – for me at least, that is.
Good news, for us followers of Jesus, is that hope and help is always so readily available, no matter what despair strikes us. Paul wrote in Romans that when you place your trust in Christ, He will fill you with peace, joy, and assurance.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)
Finding a concrete source of hope starts with trusting in God, in His healing and deliverance and only then can we find and experience true peace.
Throughout the Bible, God proves His faithfulness to His followers, through His leadership and deliverance, and if He can save a whole lot of people from the despair that Egypt brought the Israelites, then He can surely deliver us from any feeling of hopelessness. As a takeaway from this week’s tragedy, we can radiate Jesus’ love and hope through our actions and words, so that others may find sanctuary in Him, too.
What happened on Monday left me feeling so weird and hopeless because of the deaths that so suddenly happened, and the uncertainty of whether or not they were saved. But instead of stranding myself in these feelings of despair, the events this past week reminded me that I should emulate the love and hope that Jesus brings in my everyday encounters, so that others may find strength and peace in Him as well, especially in moments like these.
– Chelsea Mendoza