HOW often we hear someone say, ``I hope so.'' It's a response that often follows on the heels of a somewhat encouraging remark such as, ``You'll be back on your feet again in a few days'' or ``You should be getting a raise before too long; you've certainly worked hard enough for it.'' Interestingly, the Bible gives much support for feelings of hope. Fundamental to the assurance of hope in the Bible is a refutation -- though not an ignoring -- of the fearful evidence of evil. God's followers witnessed many proofs of His care even in apparently insurmountable circumstances. Obedience to the Commandments given to Moses by God saved the children of Israel many times. David faced Goliath with confidence because of his trust in God.
This passage in Hebrews points to the legitimacy of hope for all those that worship the one God and strive to do his will: ``God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.''1 Our hope will be fulfilled as we're diligent in obeying the one God and in proving our love for others.
Later in the same chapter the writer speaks of hope as ``an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.''2
How are we to maintain our hope? Looking generally at what's happening around us may not give much support to hope. But again we can look to the Bible for help. The Psalmist prayed to God, ``Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.''3
The Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, has given the world a profound insight by showing the importance of spiritual sense, transcending the evidence that our eyes and ears take in. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality.''4
Wasn't it exactly this ability to see beyond the report of the physical senses that characterized the work of the Biblical prophets? When the people and their kings had turned to worshiping other gods and had become enthralled with material ease and comfort, didn't the prophets recognize their need to reform?
Now, it's not necessarily easy to maintain a spiritual vision of reality in the face of the aggressive claims the material senses make. It may not seem easy to have one God -- Spirit. We have to give diligence to this work. Yet the reward includes not only a greater ability to maintain hope but a practical change for the better in our lives.
Healings of sin and sickness through Christian Science, the harmonizing of relationship, business, and other difficulties, are the outcome of seeing beyond what the material senses may be saying, or even shouting. Healing is founded on discerning something of the spiritual -- something of the true, perfect selfhood of man as God's very likeness. Healing also demands that we live in accord with this spiritual reality through pure, Christlike thought and conduct.
The spiritual sense that strengthens hope and opens the way to healing can be developed and nurtured. We can pray for it. Following the letter of the law can be enhanced by gaining the spirit of the law. Then we can say, as did the writer of Hebrews, ``The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.''5
``I hope so'' can be more than a statement of optimism. There is a spiritual, unshakable basis for hope!
1Hebrews 6:10, 11. 2Heb. 6:19. 3Psalms 119:18. 4Science and Health, p. 298. 5Hebrews 7:19
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? II Corinthians 10:7