Recently, I read an interesting story of human behavior. Scientists studied a number of people whose lifestyles were causing health problems. They were looking for ways to help people change their negative behaviors.
Here’s what they found out. Information doesn’t cause people to change. Giving them the statistics of their situation and the consequences of their behavior didn’t cause the patients to change their behavior. Fear didn’t change their behavior. Telling them they were going to die if they didn’t change didn’t work.
So, what did work? Hope.
Talk to a father about walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and he’ll do whatever he has to do to be there. Tell a mother about watching her children grow up and she’ll pay whatever price she has to in order to be there for them.
Hope changes people. That’s why the gospel of Jesus Christ is such good news—such good and powerful news.
We believe Christ has a future for us. We believe He’s working His future in us now. We believe the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest experience of hope ever known by the world. Not even death can keep Jesus from His reconciling work.
I guess Paul knew what he was talking about when he wrote, “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know affliction produces endurance, and endurance produces proven character and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
As Christ-followers, we’re called to live in hope. We live in the hope that Christ is still working in us. We live in the hope that Christ is still working in our world. And we believe God won’t stop until He finishes what He started in His world and in us.
This is the hope that drives us.
This is the hope your neighbors want to hear about.
Jesus is the hope of the world.
And hope changes people.