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I have heard the word ‘hope’ used a great deal this Week at Cop26. What do we mean by it?

The word "hope" in ordinary English usage is generally distinguished from certainty. We might say, "I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope it happens." Do we mean we cross our fingers and make a wish? Do we mean we have a desire for a particular thing to happen?

The Christian hope is different. It is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. It is a confidence that it will happen, because God has said it will - Only, we need to remember it is not necessarily in our time scale.

If our future is not secured and satisfied by God, then we are going to be anxious. Whether that is about ourselves, our families, our future, our planet or our problems.

Fear and anxiety can be terribly debilitating if it gets a real hold on your life. Someone said to me this week, that all the news they heard now on the radio or TV was frightening. If it wasn’t about the numbers of Covid 19 cases still increasing across the world, it was about what was happening to our planet and if there was a future for their grandchildren. That they felt anxious all the time and couldn’t settle to do anything….

The thing to hold on to, is that God gives us hope for tomorrow. It's not an empty hope that tomorrow everything will be OK. It's an eternal hope, through Christ, in a future with Him; and a daily hope, giving us the strength to persevere.

When we are alone and afraid, we can trust this: God has been there, He is with us now, and He will love us through it.

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