At the beginning of most years, I have a word or a scripture for the year that lies ahead. At the beginning of 2020, my word for the year was hope.  

You might say, “Well, Marcelle, you better wash your ‘spiritual ears’ out, because this is definitely not what hope looks like”. And to be fair, in the surreal reality of closed churches, schools and limitations on public places, I can see why you’d say that.  

But, I’m here to argue that 2020 is still the year of hope. Because hope doesn’t mean that everything will work out perfectly.  

Optimism vs. Pessimism vs. Hope 

Don’t get me wrong, I had the positive, optimistic vibes of the new year floating in my heart for the first weeks of 2020. But that isn’t what hope is.  

It isn’t the optimistic feeling that things are better than they’ve ever been, and that we should sweep the bad things under the rug.  

It also isn’t the pessimistic view that everything is about to go to hell. That things will only get better after everything has burned down that we can start over without all this nonsense.  

No, hope is the sober minded acknowledgement that we’re in a bad spot right now. But this acknowledgement is counterbalanced with trust that God will bring about salvation through this trying time.  

Our Hope of Salvation 

Keep in mind, salvation doesn’t have anything to do with the afterlife. So, I’m not saying anything along the lines of “It’s ok that so many people have died, because now they’re with Jesus.”  

What I am saying is that God is busy in the background. He’s bringing about a holier, more heavenly place on earth despite the terror of a pandemic. And I can already see it in stories that are being written about the future after the quarantine ends (which it will). 

So,  

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” 

Hebrews 10:23 – 34