“Hope is the most evil of evils, because it prolongs man’s torment.”Friedrich Nietzsche
“A mission shaped church has a hope shaped mission.”N.T. Wright
I began the year by reading N.T. Wrights book – Surprised by Hope. This is a paradigm-shifting book that explorers the relationship between, heaven, the resurrection, and the mission of the church. Wright sets out to answer two questions:
- What is Christian Hope?
- What impact does that hope have on the mission of the church?
This book is both academic and practical as well as biblical and insightful. I would highly recommend it to you—you too might be surprised by hope!
Early in January, the Calgary Herald’s editorial comic intimated that optimism was awaiting burial in 2022!
So, I have also been reflecting on the difference between hope and optimism. Optimism is a good trait, especially when it is contrasted with its morose cousin pessimism.
But, hope and optimism are not the same. Optimism is generally based on positive trends or indicators that things are moving in a positive direction. Whereas hope is the “confident expectation of something desired”
The writer to the Hebrews says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”  Our hope—that is, our confident expectation—is not based on trends or indicators but in Jesus who is faithful. A drastic contrast to the cynical quote by Nietzsche at the beginning of this article.
As we look ahead to 2022, there may be some reasons to be optimistic, but our faith in Jesus gives us every reason to be hopeful. I want to conclude this article, with the words of an old hymn :
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus' name Chorus On Christ the solid rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand When darkness veils His lovely face I'll rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy day My anchor holds within the veil His oath, His covenant, His blood Support me in the whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay When He shall come with trumpet sound Oh, may I then in Him be found Dressed in His righteousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne 
 Hebrews 10:23 NIV
 On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand by Edward Mote