Advent Reflection: Hope
As Saint Louis University embraces the holiday season, students, faculty and staff members were asked to share reflections on the season's big ideas - themes that warm their hearts, ideas that lead them to seek greater truths and moments that inspire them to nurture the light of good in themselves and others through winter's darkest days.
Timothy Major is a new graduate from the School for Professional Studies. Associate minister at Central Baptist Church, a husband, father and professional with The Edward Jones Trust Company, he will give the benediction at SLU's 2019 mid-year commencement celebration at Chaifetz Arena.
As part of this series, Major shared his definition of hope and the ways it has helped him find new, positive ways to approach life's predicaments and the dilemmas inherent to everyday life.
Keeping Faith to Kindle Hope
As we approach the season of Advent, we are reminded of the sacred meaning of Christmas, in celebrating both the nativity of Jesus and His return. This time of year serves as a reminder that even in my darkest hour, I can still have hope. It's the kind of hope that gives me assurance and anticipation to what the season brings, which is joy, peace and love.
Hope is that feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen in our lives, to our lives and through our lives; in other words, it's a feeling of trust.
When you have hope, it's a want for something to become true with the belief that it can and will. We have hope with the sense that something good will happen, which is a product of our faith.
The Bible tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is based on that hope and without it there’s nothing. It's important to have hope because life can be difficult. Life has many obstacles, ups and downs, that can cause us to lose faith in the things we do, we see or feel.
Holding on to the Difference Between Giving Up and Hanging On
Hope is the very thing that brought me through my many dangers, toils and snares. My hope in my Savior has allowed me to approach my life in a way that creates a paradigm shift in how I think about my problems, predicaments and dilemmas. It's the belief that things will get better no matter the circumstances because hope allows me to view things from a different perspective. Hope helps me to persist and it gives me a reason to go on by providing me courage and confidence.
Hope is the difference between giving up or hanging on. I've personally learned that where there's hope, there's life, and where there’s life, there's hope, based on our expectation of what's to come. But more than that, on who is to come, our Lord and Savior.
Let this season of Advent be a reminder that we can have hope no matter what we endure on this Christian journey simply because, as God said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans, the thoughts I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Hope is that feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen in our lives, to our lives and through our lives; in other words, it’s a feeling of trust."Timothy Major, (SPS '19)
Our hope can bring us through anything that causes us to feel defeated. During this season, if you've lost all faith and trust, just know that hope is always the solution to a hopeless outlook; that there really is light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep walking.
Yes, it ‘tis the season to be jolly’ because we have an expectation of celebration in Christ, who's our ultimate hope!
God bless you!
Newslink's Advent Reflection series will continue through the holiday season.