Reviving Foolish Hope

By Willard Metzger

When hope is considered to be foolish, it opens the door for apathy and despair.

Yet hope and confidence are partners. They are dual ingredients for an atmosphere of optimism and assurance. It is when skepticism seeps in that the feeling of hope begins to wane. Soon, doubt grows and overwhelms the ability to anticipate a desired end.

When trust is dependent on one’s own ability, hope can feel quite vulnerable—especially when facing societal and systemic forces like climate change, poverty, or refugee and migrant rights. Individual actions can seem desperately inadequate, giving apathy plenty of space to occupy feelings.

When facing systemic forces, it can also be disheartening to focus on government and corporate entities. Government action is constrained by popular opinion and corporate vision is restricted by profit.

So, for public justice advocates—those bold enough to seek systemic change—from where is hope derived?

Because hope is feeling that desired change is feasible, it is important to base this anticipation on something that is achievable. God loves creation. God adores that which divine passion has given life. So the Spirit of God is active in restoring, reconciling, and redeeming all of creation.

I am thankful that God’s passion is not limited to humanity. If it were, hope would be fragile because it would be dependent on humanity. However, God’s creator love is expressed to all of creation. And God can be trusted to continually and consistently express that divine passion.

But trusting in God does not give permission for inaction. It is important to note that hopeful trust does not result in individual inactivity. Rather, individual activity becomes empowered by hopeful trust in the loving action of God. Indeed, individual activity sheds the weight of individual inadequacies. It also becomes unaffected by government and corporate constraints.

Bold action can be taken with confidence because it relies on God’s unwavering love for all of creation. The seemingly impossible can be pursued because what is possible is defined by the ability of God’s passion. And that passion is unstoppable!

This is the time for all people of faith to unleash their expectant aspirations from the inactivity of government and corporate interests. Instead, this is the perfect time to align our bold actions of confident hope with the passionate power of creation and the Creator.

When desperate need arises, it is foolish not to actively join hope to God’s abundant passion.

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