May be that seems like a strange and somewhat abstract opening title.
Our teenage children have grown up in the reality of the fact their parents walked their own adolescence during the 80’s. So that has shaped for instance the music that they have heard as their parents remember and also still play today.
One particular song that I have played a few times recently whilst driving in the car, is by a band called Simple Minds and is entitled ‘Belfast Child’. It is quite a ballad type tune in a way and relates to the troubles in Northern Ireland. There is a cry for hope and a better future – for when the Belfast Child sings again!
The song connects me in strongly with memories of growing up but also with the yearning for hope of change. The Belfast Child for me acting as an image of the things that I yearn to seen altered, the things that stir my heart.
What is your ‘Belfast Child’?
Just this morning, I focused again on these words from the Bible,
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. (Romans 15:13)
The other day at a funeral, I referred to the phrase,
‘living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ‘ (1 Peter 1:3)
Hope in the Bible is not a may be.
Our son and I hope that our football team in the English Premier League will finish in the top four. It is a ‘may be’ (sorry to any Man Utd supporters who feel that is lacking conviction!). May be they will but may be not? There are good signs they will make it but is not certain.
We might hope that it is sunny tomorrow, there is snow next winter, that we get that job we want or pass that course. That peace will come to Syria, Iraq, even deeply into the hearts of those still divided from one another in Northern Ireland…. that the Belfast Child sings again!
May be we hope for change in our circumstances, for things to be different. Ever been there?
We are there right now concerning some things we are facing!
Hope in the Bible is not a may be!
Hope in the Bible is something that is certain.
God is the God of hope….
He is the source and giver of true hope. For those who have come to experience the love, grace, truth and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ, there is definite hope. Have you come to know this?
Yet let’s be honest… sometimes even followers of Jesus find it hard to truly trust, to have faith, to know hope as painted by Scripture. I know I do at times.
Can you and I bring all of our aspirations, heartaches, questions, confusions, may be hopes and surrender these into His hands afresh? To allow our ‘may be’ to be embraced by His ‘shall be’?
Which does not mean that everything will necessarily go as we would like! Rather it is a yielding of trust to the One who is not just the God of hope but is faithful as the One who is the ‘same yesterday, today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8).
He gives hope and as I quoted from Romans 15, such hope is available be the work of his Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth in our lives. Not a force, a feeling or vague religious leaning but God himself at work in us.
Jesus’ disciples were shocked when he said he was leaving them. But he promised Another just like him. On the day of crucifixion, all hope must have seemed like it was gone for them. Yet Christ rose again and true to His promise, the Spirit of truth was given once he left them.
The Holy Spirit is still given these days and among other things to give His hope.
Do you need fresh hope this day? Go to the Source.
May the Belfast Child in our lives sing again!