We are living in very dynamic and challenging times. Wars and tragedy on every hand. Heartache and pain all around us—a time when many have lost their ability to hope.
This was made clear to me when I met Sarah. She was homeless and had been on the street for a long time. She was just asking for money to stay one night in a hotel. Sarah’s hopeless situation did not let her see past one day.
We paid for her to stay for two weeks in a hotel. She said, “You don’t know what this means to me. It gives me hope that maybe I can make it.”
Sarah had lost her job, her house, her family, and her dignity, but worst of all, she had lost her hope. She represents so many in our world today who are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances and have been robbed of their hope. Everything around us suggest that there is not much left to hope for. But I want to encourage you to remember the season we are in. It’s a season of hope. It is the season we commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Some call it Easter. It is a time the world recognizes this momentous event.
The day that some call Crucifixion Friday was a time of tragedy, challenge, and hopelessness. It was a time of great perplexity and ambiguity. It was a chaotic, challenging season and seemed to have robbed people of their will even to hope. On that Friday people were in despair. They were troubled. Friday was a time of discouragement, doubt, and fear—but that was Friday.
One must fast-forward to Sunday to understand the hope that is resident in this season. The resurrection of Jesus on Sunday provides us with overwhelming evidence that no matter how bad things may appear, there will be a brighter day. There will be a resurrection. Sunday reminds us that the night will soon be over and that the day is going to break. The Bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5, NKJV).*
This resurrection season is a season of hope. It is a time for people to know that we can hope again. This season reminds people that we will have crucifixion Fridays in our lives that may masquerade as COVID-19, or cancer, or the death of a loved one, or loss of a job, or whatever tragedy one may face. But Sunday will come.
Resurrection Sunday speaks hope to the despondent.
In the North American Division (NAD) the year 2022 has been designated as the “Year of Multiply.” It is to give people hope during a time they have lost hope. Multiply is a focus on exponentially growing the ministry of Jesus in all aspects. We want to multiply the healing ministry of Jesus, the teaching ministry of Jesus, and the compassionate ministry of Jesus. And yes, we want to multiply the hope we have in Jesus to a world that is losing hope. The multiply focus is about getting everyone who has been transformed by Jesus involved in sharing His love with someone who doesn’t know Him.
I want to challenge my brothers and sisters of the NAD during this resurrection season to remind people of the hope that we have in Jesus—and also the hope that Jesus speaks into every life and in every difficult situation. The good news is we can multiply all through the year. Not just in this season, not only during this time, but at all times. Let us join together and make this entire year—and beyond—a season of hope!
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
— G. Alexander Bryant is president of the North American Division.