Hope in the midst of despair

Hope in the midst of despair

15th June 2019

Thought for the month from Carloway Free Church


A photo of the inside of Notre-Dame Cathedral following the devastating fire caught the attention of many people.  The photo shows the burnt interior of the cathedral.  Everything in the photo is dark, damaged and a mess. However, one thing stands out undamaged – a simple but prominent cross. Many people commentated on the symbolism of this photograph – in the midst of a disaster there is hope.

The great theme of the Christian faith is hope in the midst of despair.  Whoever we are, there will be times when we will despair, lose hope and fail. Humans have a great capacity for good which Christians believe is a result of being made in God’s image – the human capacity to love, think, converse, explore, learn and fellowship.  Christians also believe that humans have the capacity to do wrong towards God and towards others. God calls this sin.  We can cause a lot of damage to ourselves and others. There is great injustice, hatred, greed and jealously in our world.  There is deep, perplexing suffering in the human experience. Our lives can, at times, seem destroyed just like the interior of Notre-Dame.

However, whatever anyone goes through the good news is that Jesus understands and provides hope. You may feel burnt out, you may feel that your life has been destroyed by events outwith your control and you may even feel there is no hope. But Jesus brings hope to all who come to him.  In the Bible you can read about how Jesus met with all sorts of people, even the outcasts of society, and brought hope for life and eternity.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-30

This article first appeared in the Carloway Community Newsletter May 2019