Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Well, you made it through the first week of classes, whether in person or online. Well done! There are a lot of changes this semester. Classes moved online. Wearing masks. Big changes to how we get to gather and hangout. But I hope you found some happy moments in all the strangeness–seeing friends, starting a class that you are excited about.
Since March, we have all had to practice patience, and we have done our best to persevere in prayer. But I think it has been a lot harder to rejoice in hope. It is easy to lose hope, particularly if you read the news. Sickness. Racism. Violence. Unrest.
There is a difference between being optimistic and hopeful. To be optimistic is to see things in the most favorable light or to expect the best possible outcome. Optimism can be a good thing, but it is not the same as hope. For Christians, our hope means that we live with confidence in the newness and fullness of life and the completion of God’s purpose for the world. While we experience the uncertainty of this time and the pain in the world, we are still called rejoice in our hope in God.