Turning hope into action
Thought for the Month with Rev Dr Richard Pollard, team leader, Fishponds Baptist Church
I’M sure you will agree that hope is a powerful thing.
When people are going through difficult challenges in life and experiencing tough situations where they feel there is no hope, these really can be the bleakest of times.
However, I have been encouraged in recent months by meeting many people for whom life is hard and yet they have managed to hold on to a sense of hope. I think of a person who we have had the pleasure of getting to know at Fishponds Foodbank. The individual concerned attended over 25 job interviews before finally being offered work. They said that they had never given up hope and that they had been encouraged in this by the knowledge that the Foodbank team was praying for them.
I have another friend who has wrestled with alcoholism for most of their life but is now putting their hope for change into action as they courageously journey towards being admitted into a rehab. One of our church members was homeless for 15 years with accompanying drug issues. However, through the support of local churches, their courageous character and a sense of constant hope which stemmed from a conviction that God was with them throughout - they never gave up hope. They are now fully housed and serving our city in brilliant ways through a variety of different volunteer roles.
Like all churches, the church that I lead (Fishponds Baptist) continues to be greatly challenged by the situations and circumstances of those who seem to have no hope. It is with this in mind that we have recently entered into partnership with the charity ‘Hope Into Action’, which works with churches to provide housing for the most vulnerable in society.
As a consequence, we will now be operating two community houses.
In the same way that we see so many individuals courageously putting their hope into action, we want to be doing the same as a church.
I recently read this wonderful quote: “With God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can imagine”.
These words speak of hope, a hope that is powerful and which can reach us in the very darkest of places – whether we have been out of work for a long time, battling with addiction issues or have simply become vulnerable through life’s many challenges.
The ultimate source and therefore greatest experience of hope is found in Jesus.
As the Bible says – Jesus is our ‘anchor for the soul, firm and secure’ (Hebrews 6:19). Together, let us put this most amazing and powerful anchor of hope in Jesus into action as we share our lives together and seek the very best for our community and city.