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 | By Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D.

Christian Hope is Our Foundation


We all carry hopes in our hearts that are both big and small: hope for good weather for our child’s soccer game; for our job interview to go well; for a loved one to seek help for their problems; for an end to the pandemic; for a better world.

Without hope, our lives would feel stagnant and, at the risk of sounding redundant, hopeless and purposeless. It is important, however, to distinguish between worldly hope and Christian hope. The difference between the two is not what you hope for but what you hope in.

Take, for instance, a medical procedure such as a surgery. There are many aspects that can affect its success: the surgeon’s skills and alertness; the anesthesiologist’s constant monitoring; the care and cleanliness of the hospital and so forth. 

We hope that all these factors go our way. But if our hope is dependent upon human things, then it becomes tied to circumstances. If something goes wrong, or if one piece of the puzzle doesn’t measure up, then our hope is shaken. Worldly hope is only as good as how the situation turns out.

Christian hope surpasses outcomes because it is the foundation of our faith. When we hope in God, we are affirming a key belief: No matter how things result in reality, God is always there for us, rejoicing in our happiness and comforting us in our sorrow.

The Christian life is not the perfect life where nothing goes wrong. We are still subject to the traumas and tragedies of this broken world and its sinful inhabitants. However, we know that the world can’t provide for us in the way that God can; the world is fickle and unfair. If we place our hope in the world, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. God, on the other hand, is steady and unconditional in his love for us. If we have trust in God, our Christian hope will help us persevere through hardships.

It may feel difficult at times to remain hopeful. But we can try by placing our full trust in God. This means having an ongoing dialogue with him by praising him for blessings in our lives, asking for intercession when we need help and turning to him in anger or bereavement. No matter how we feel, God is at our
side. That’s more than we could ever hope for.