« Day 22  |  Day 24 »

Day 23

Agents of Hope

by René Schlaepfer

Read Colossians 1:15-23

…continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. [Colossians 1:23a]

It’s always easy to find prophets of doom.

Toward the end of his life, novelist H. G. Wells grew hopeless about the fate of the human race. He thought we’d inevitably destroy ourselves, having only “one thousand years more” to survive.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was widely quoted for this tongue-in-cheek remark:

“More than at any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads — one path leading to despair and utter hopelessness, the other leading to total destruction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

In contrast, Christians are to be agents of hope to the world, overflowing with hope [Romans 15:13], people called to hope [Ephesians 1:18], always ready to give reasons for our hope [1 Peter 3:15], staying anchored in hope [Hebrews 6:19] as we trust the God of hope [Romans 15:13]. To a dreary, doubt-filled, despairing world, we’re to be a breath of fresh, hopeful air!

Too bad a lot of Christians I know are hope-busters who seem to rejoice in doomsday predictions. They sound a lot more like H.G. Wells than the Apostle Paul! It’s as if they believe it’s more spiritual to be pessimistic than optimistic. That happens when we ignore Paul’s warning in today’s verse to …continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.

What is the gospel hope? Reread Colossians 1:15–23 for a further description of the spiritual reality that we often miss: Jesus is in ultimate control of history.

Now this doesn’t mean I’m never sad. Hope goes beyond mere emotion. Hope is the confidence-giving certainty that springs from believing the promises of God that, ultimately, every single thing that happens to me today will be used for good, and every single wrong will one day be set right.

Question to Consider

How and why do Christians move away from the hope held out in the gospel, and fall into despair? How can I stay focused on hope, and help others to do the same?


Lord, in a world of pessimism, help me to be a breath of hope to those around me!