Standing Firm in Hope
It is easy to look back on 2020 and see a year of disappointment. It is certainly a year that we will not be forgetting anytime soon.
As we head into a new year, something that has been made clear is the lack of approaching this year as a ‘fresh start’. There has been little to no mention of new year's resolutions and the transition between the two years was blurred as the update of another lockdown flooded our news channels.
For many people, the new year is normally a time of hope. A time of creating new habits and trusting that we will stick with them until the next year. But as we look upon 2021, after an exhausting year it can feel slightly overwhelming and daunting to think that 2021 might actually not be that different from 2020.
As we have been reflecting on 2020 as a team, we wrote out a list of some highlights from the year. I have listed some below:
We have seen many churches adapt and use our resources online over Zoom supported by UK and US webinars. Some churches have paired up to share skills and experience running series online.
We released our series Christianity Explored on YouVersion as a 21-day reading plan.
New translations have been released in Bulgarian and Czech of Christianity Explored, in Czech, Danish, Russian, Ukrainian of Life Explored and a Vietnamese translation of Christianity Explored is being printed.
It is clear that God has been teaching us all that his word truly is not chained. In fact, it is amazing to see how God works through hardship, it shows us how he cares for his people more than we ever could. No matter the restrictions and the setbacks, God can still work and continue his mission.
"a solid foundation that we can rest upon in the
darkest of times."
Here is a quote from someone who completed Christianity Explored on Zoom in Clacton on Sea:
“I can honestly say, hand on heart, that [Christianity Explored] has helped me to understand why Jesus came and had to die.”
And this is exactly what our hope is based upon. Jesus coming and giving his life for us so that we can have a home in heaven and a reconciled relationship with God.
Our hope cannot be stolen, it does not change based on situations, nor does it decrease or increase depending on how we feel. The hope that we have in the cross is an everlasting, never-changing hope.
Yes, this year has tested our ability to stand firm in that hope, but unlike what the world offers, our hope is not crumbling but a solid foundation that we can rest upon in the darkest of times.
So, as we go into this new year, let’s pray that we are reminded of the hope that we have in Christ, rather than looking in other, futile places. Furthermore, that we would be reminding ourselves and each other of the ways that God is still working and reaching places that we cannot.
“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” | 1 Peter 1:13