All achievers have one thing in common, and that is hope. Without hope, anyone is defeated and succumbs to what is called failure. Twenty-seven years of imprisonment, without justice, is long enough, to cause an ordinary person to succumb. Only a rare breed maintains the focus under those circumstances. This is what placed Nelson Mandela among the iconic models of this world.
Helplessly watching a close relative going through a debilitating malignant cancer can be devastating. More than thirty-eight years, after losing a biological brother who died having endured cancer has not sufficiently healed my emotional pain. What makes death from cancer peculiar, when compared to other deadly diseases, is its impact on hope, affecting the sufferers.
However, credit can now be given to the medical profession, as there is now a glimmer of hope in fighting cancer. Those with hope focus on positive outcomes more than focusing on negative outcomes. People with the ability to sustain hope are commonly the long-sighted ones. They rejoice, even when going through nasty experiences in this world.
Hope is in tandem with faith. One cannot have faith without hope and it is impossible for a person without faith to have hope. Great achievers do not give up at the first attempt, as hope keeps them focused. Gigantic achievers go through several years of discouragement before finally realizing success.
Farming comprises people who are more hopeful than others. They invest in farming inputs, without considering the possibility of a drought. They are ever ready to confront the worst droughts, hoping for the best, in face of adversity. This is what sustains the farming industry. They may go through several years of successive droughts, without giving up.
Christianity is sustained by hope when taking God’s promises as authentic. To those believing in God’s existence, hope sustains everything about their own existence. They have confidence in what they hope for. This is different from those claiming to believe, without God in the picture. Abraham is alive today, because of the hope that Abraham projected.
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matthew 22:29-32 NIV).
Physically, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are dead, as not seen by physical humans. However, Jesus said they are alive. The condition of Abraham’s condition of living is sustained by the hope displayed by Abraham. What kept Abraham alive, as insinuated by Jesus? It was the confidence that Abraham conditioned himself to appreciate, so that his life remained, even after his death.
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV).
The assurance upheld by a hopeful person cannot be taken away from him. This is why Jesus said such a person is alive, even when known to be dead. These are the people whose happiness cannot be taken away by anyone.