It could be easy to lose hope these days. Climate change, the Ukraine crisis, and the Covid pandemic’s aftermath dominate the international press. Closer to home, the headlines are filled with political scandal and the staggering rise in living costs.
As the cost of living crisis continues, here at CAP we are deliberately aiming to serve people who are most crippled by debt. Our reports show clients’ financial burdens are generally just the tip of the iceberg. Their situations are often complicated and heartbreaking.
How then do we not lose hope?
As I think about that question, I am reminded of the biblical story of two Marys who had completely lost hope. It was the day after the Sabbath, and they went early in the morning to care for Jesus’ broken body. Less than 48 hours before, they had seen him beaten, mocked and nailed to a cross. They had stood together as he breathed his last breath, and their hope died.
I cannot begin to imagine what was going through their minds that morning as they approached his tomb. Yet, as is the way with our God, the story wasn’t over. The women found the tomb empty, and as they cried out in despair, a man came to them who they mistakenly thought was the gardener. Jesus, in his kindness, compassion and grace, revealed himself to them, and their hope was restored in an instant.
Jesus went from there and found his disciples. They had gathered together in hiding, terrified of the authorities, but in walked Jesus, and their hope was restored. Next, he revived the hopes of Thomas, the two on the Emmaus road, and finally, he restored the hopes of Peter.
Jesus came to restore hope by revealing the goodness of the Father (John 14:5–13), and he is doing the same today. He is not hiding; he is making himself known. In the small, unseen places across the UK and the world, he is revealing the Father. Even more remarkable is that he is inviting us to come with him on that mission. He invites us into the story of making him known to a lost world. We get to be involved as he reveals his love, restores hope and draws his children back home.
I remember when I started debt counselling for CAP seventeen years ago. I was preparing to go and visit my first client and David Maxfield (who at that time was our Centre Development Manager) was training me. He said, ‘You need to remember, whatever the client’s situation, there is always hope’. That stuck with me over the years and has been proven true in thousands of people’s lives. I remember visiting a couple in Bradford who had two young girls. Before they called CAP they were seriously discussing ending their lives but for the sake of their girls they decided to phone us to give themselves one last chance. Over a couple of meetings and lots of phone calls with creditors I saw how God changed their lives. He brought hope into despair and altered the course of that family’s future.
There is always hope
Our amazing heavenly Father invites us to come with him as he brings hope into the most desperate situations. So, before you pick up the phone to make a call today or rush to another meeting, why not take a moment and pause. Remember the hope you discovered in Jesus and perhaps ask him, ‘What mission of hope are you inviting me into today?’