I read that quote this morning from the Zig Ziglar page of Facebook. It affirms once again that many good business practices align with our Christian principles. They are simply good common sense things that build people up. Without hope, a person can feel that there is no point in moving toward action.
The season of Easter--yes, we celebrate Easter for 50 days--reminds us that we are people of hope. Christ has conquered death and has offered us new life. If that doesn't fill us with hope, what will? The question that looms in my mind is whether or not we have any true sense of what an awesome gift this is to us, or do we just go through the motions year after year celebrating Lent and Easter without experiencing true conversion in our lives? is our relationship with God deeper today than it was five years ago?
In two more weeks we will celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost. This powerful feast reminds us that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will guide us into all Truth. Our relationship with God our Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, in communion with the Holy Spirit grows in intimacy when we allow the promptings of the Holy Spirit to truly guide our lives. That is definitely a reason for hope. So then, why does there seem to be a shortage of hope in today's society--even among Christian believers? When did we lose focus on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love? There is probably no single answer to that question; our modern culture has developed many allurements in recent decades intent upon distracting us from the Kingdom of God. If we find ourselves being led astray, what do we do to turn back toward God?
Basically, how do we become people of renewed hope? I believe that one good place to start is by being a person of prayer. If we allow our prayer life to suffer, a shortage of hope will certainly follow in due time. If intimacy and union with God is not part of our daily quest (prayer), and we put our hope in worldly things, the virtue of real hope is sure to dissipate from our lives.
Thus, I would add one more component to Tom Ziglar's quote from above. If you want to help someone--including yourself--invite and encourage them to pray. This will fuel their hope, and in turn, will give them motivation for action. That is when we have the opportunity to truly experience the fullness of the resurrection of the Lord.