We should strive to be prisoners of hope

Judy Brandon: Religion columnist

I have never studied the life of Desmond Tutu but I read an interesting article about him just last week.

Desmond Tuto grew up in Johannesburg. When he was grown, he did not appreciate the South African system of educating black students because it was a very inferior system compared to the one for white students. In 1960, he vowed to do something to help his people. He decided to study to become an Anglican priest.

Later, he was one of the major players against apartheid and was also a recitpeint of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu’s story is remarkable, but not the essence of what stirred me as I read the account of his life. What caught my attention was what he said: The Christian is a prisoner of hope.

How profound that was for me. We all at times make ourselves prisoners of things and not hope in Christ. Our best efforts are sometimes placed in things that are inconsequential for the long haul of life.

People are prisoners of jobs to make ends meet. People are prisoners of professions to keep self esteem and stance in the community, and to add to the arsenal of material goods. People are prisoners of habits that are not healthy. People are prisoners of the need for acceptance and admiration. People are prisoners of things such as new technology, the latest clothing styles, the best brands, the latest models in cars, and the best sales.

People can be the prisoner of the gym and their workout schedule takes precedence over anything else but a death in the family. People can be prisoners of unneeded medications to make them feel better, or people can be prisoners of substances because in their minds, they cannot make it through life without those.

None of these things brings hope. We can make a ton of money and when we die, that money stays in the world. We can get our bodies down to the best size and develop “buffness” that causes others to admire us. Yet the body is fallible and susceptible to diseases. We can possess the latest brands, the latest styles, the most expensive fashion in clothes and shoes and handbags, but does that bring us hope? We may have the highest paid profession and be the most admired in our community but when we die, we exit the world like everyone else: the paupers, the homeless, the feeble minded, the sick, the unknown and the weak.

On the other hand, what does hope in Christ bring? Hope in Christ means comfort in the midst of just living! I can’t turn to my new purse for comfort. Hope in Christ means assurance that my eternal future is secure. I cannot turn to my 401 K when I die. Hope in Christ means that my body, even though so feeble, will be resurrected when Christ comes. I can’t run to the gym before my funeral. Hope in Christ means that I will have an eternal home in Heaven with the ability to navigate with no effort. I won’t be wishing for the latest model car.

The Christian does have hope — hope in Christ who is alive and interceding on our behalf to the Father in heaven for our very present. Jesus gives us hope for the bad memories of our past, in that we can know our sins are forgiven and forgotten when we put our trust in Him. Jesus gives us hope for the future, and that means an eternal home with the Savior.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” (Jeremiah 17:7, KJV) As a Christian, I am a prisoner of hope.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: