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Hope without works’ll stay surely dead


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Hope without works’ll stay surely dead

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What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14 (New King James Version)  
WE?MIGHT?REPLACE “FAITH” WITH “HOPE” and ask the very same question, for hope is really faith in the future.
This is not to diminish Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s resolve that our Barbados needs hope now more than ever. God knows the Prime Minister is right. The entire world could do with a good dose of hope!
And for us Barbadians, Mr Stuart would invoke the latest launched gospel station – CITA 90.1 FM – to immediately take up the challenge of dealing with this disturbing lack of hope he has noticed on the island.
“This country needs hope,” the Prime Minister told the congregation of the People’s Cathedral at Saturday’s radio launch.
“We cannot afford not to believe in the future.”
Indeed! But hope must be etched in the context of ambition and effort – euphemisms actually for hard work.
Positive a thing as hope will be, it is not to be exaggerated into the impossible illusion, where ambition at best is fashioned into an all-or-nothing ultimatum, or at worst is distorted into a wait-and-see mode. Either is likely to come to naught.
Great effort, sacrifice and social care are required with hope.
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled”, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:15-17 (New King James Version)
For the good that Mr Stuart expects of our having hope, we must hone the art of finding that balance between faith in the future, ambition and effort, and realistic expectation.
There will be no gain without pain. And even if we fall, we will get up and go again, fresh in the knowledge of what we should not have done; for hope is not blind, nor is it finite; it is enduring.
It is thus when hope disconnects from reason and cause, we cry out to Barabbas – rather than to the Master – as the Prime Minister has alluded to. All of us are destined to die one day, but most of us still live with purpose, confident in the hope that we will make good of our lives, steeped in the faith that our works will redound to the benefit of our seed and the society at large.
We will have nothing less than that our hope, our faith, our works will not be in vain. We do so in Jesus’ name.

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