Hope for the Holidays – K.L. Gilchrist
Theologian and pastor John Piper once wrote that hope is the desire for something good in the future, that thing in the future that we desire, and that hope is the reason our hope might come to pass. That biblical hope not only desires something good for the future — it expects it to happen.
I believe Pastor Piper is right. Hope is expectation for something good in the future. It is the essence of Romans 5:5: For we were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for that which he sees? But if we hope for that which we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
Something indescribably good is coming.
This we know. This we hold to.
This good news of hope is what believers share during the holiday season. Why? Because we understand that although the reality of life is hard, a future will arrive when there will be no sickness, devastation, or hardship. When addiction, poverty, war, racism, hunger, and hatred no longer exist. When peace, light, and love replace pain and darkness. We cling to this hope and it does not disappoint, and for those who struggle during this season, we offer this hope.
Earlier this week, I asked a few readers what hope meant to them and why it matters.
- Tasha M. shared: “Hope is the ability to see beyond limitations and move forward on something despite your fears.”
- Judith W. wrote: “Hope is a result of my faith. It carries me through the hard times and helps me to see the positive side of situations.”
- Shanet F. commented: “Hope is eternity in heaven because life is short.”
- And Mets S. said: “Hope is being able to see the unseen, to know the unknown, to create in your heart and mind that which is not yet manifested. It is the unseen path of least resistance between our desired reality and our current reality. Hope is dope y’all!”
As a novelist, I write about families, singles, married folk, emerging adults, and wise seniors, and the one thing most of them have in common is their ability to hold on to hope during trying situations. From one story to another, the characters and plots change dramatically, but the current of hope and faith in the Lord always shines through by the end of the book.
CityTeam is a charity that provides hope to needy families, and it’s a ministry so dear to my heart that I name-checked the organization in the novel Engaged and in the short story The Ride. My main characters in those tales, John Gerald and Chablis Shields, both mention one of their favorite dates happened when they served together, wrapping Christmas toys for families at CityTeam Chester. Though John and Chablis are a fictional couple, the CityTeam Thanksgiving dinner, toy drives, and food drives are very real. When a family experiences a CityTeam visit, volunteers provide more than just food and gifts in a box. Men, women, and children also receive prayer, encouragement, and the gift of knowing God loves them, and through Him, hope abounds.
Supporting others. Showing concern. Sharing Jesus’ love.
Hope. Concern. Love.
That is the heart of the Christmas season.
K.L. Gilchrist crafts true-to-life contemporary stories for women of faith. She is a graduate of Temple University and Palmer’s Eastern School of Christian Ministry (ESCM). She enjoyed a long career as a technical writer and information designer before returning to her first love: fiction. The author of Engaged and other novels enjoys bringing order to chaos and dancing whenever and wherever she can. She and her family call the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA home.
This Holiday Season, K.L. Is Supporting: CityTeam Chester
CityTeam’s work with the residents of Chester, Pennsylvania truly embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Provide shelter. CityTeam shelter guests and food recipients experience the hope that only God can provide.