With hope for the future
The Way of Mission can happen only with a genuine hope in what God is doing in you and the world.
Hope is different than positive thinking. Realists remind us that while a positive mindset is helpful in life, being naive is foolish and dangerous.
Real hope is grounded in faith. Real hope knows that a friend will be there in a time of need. Real hope sees the potential in a child and pours energy into developing her. Real hope sees how the world can look when an injustice is repaired and works to make that happen. Real hope knows that God is at work in us and in our communities and world — even as there is also real evil, loss and pain.
Hope Reveals Faith
When we have real hope, it reveals our faith in God. It reveals that our way of living — our Way of Mission — is based on more than ourselves. This hope changes how we see others and the world, even in dark days.
Jesus talks about hope in terms of “the Kingdom of God.” The more-modern version is “the DREAM of God” and reflects the dream of a better world that is more democratic, equal, has less poverty, less greed, more opportunity, more to eat and drink, and more ways to sustain ourselves than there were yesterday.
The Spirit of the Lord
Hope thus changes our vision.
We learn to see where God is repairing, and join that work. We learn to see where God is planting seeds, and we water them. We learn to see a future that really can arrive, and help make it a reality for those who are held back, oppressed, hungry, scared and suffering. Real hope shows our faith. It is key to practicing the Way of Mission.
Hope is recognizing that the work of God is like a river: its flow is directional. Sometimes the flow gets slowed- oh so slow!- even blocked. But God’s work is ever in motion, like a powerful river, around, over, and even through obstacles, always moving forward.
Watch for more about hope for the future
The Way of Mission is something we practice each day — never perfecting, but always at work shaping our lives. Check out the practices section of this website to find ideas for how to practice mission today, tomorrow, and across the rest of your life.
I’ve already written in Tract Evangelism I about little, lurid, hellfire-and-brimstone tracts, so hot they warmed the hip pockets of the worn Levi’s that carried them. But they weren’t the only tracts we used.
Tracts and fear have scared a lot of people away from Good News evangelism. Scared away people who ought to find a friend in Jesus.