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  • Writer's pictureSt Bart's Church

Certainty in Hope

By Emma Stonier

Throughout Infinite Live we have been looking at Hope and what that means for us as Christians living in today’s society.

During my bible study a few weeks ago, I came across a familiar verse from Matthew’s gospel:

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

I have read this verse many times before, but this time the word ‘surely’ really stood out to me.

It really got me to thinking about this word and how we use it within our language today. Sayings such as ‘Surely not!’, ‘Surely they would have…’ and ‘Surely it isn’t…’ came to the fore. It seems that we have a natural tendency to follow this word up negatively.

Did you know that ‘Surely’ is used 741 times in the bible? But unlike our popular usage of the word not all of them are negative. Surely is not used in an uncertain tone in scripture. Mainly the word surely is used to provide certainty in times of uncertainty. As David writes in Psalm 23:6 ‘Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life’ and as Paul writes in Romans 8:33 ‘God will surely give us all things’, you can bet your bible that SURELY God will do as he promises.

But in times of uncertainty (and let’s face it, we’ve had a few over the past 15 months) it’s hard to hang on to that hope of ‘Surely’. We can often be filled with doubt and fear.

In Hebrews 6:19 Paul writes that God promises us a hope that ‘is like an anchor for us. It is strong and secure and keeps us safe.’

My auntie Carol was a great example of someone who held on to this sure and certain hope. She was a Christian for many of the latter years of her life and she was such an example of faith, always looking to speak of Jesus’ love to whoever she met, never afraid to spread the good news of Jesus even with strangers. She wanted to tell the world of the impact that this hope had been on her life.

When she sadly died of cancer in 2018, she had one of her favourite songs played at her funeral ‘Voice of Hope’ by Lara Martin. Give it a listen, it is a wee bit 90s, but I’m sure you will forgive Carol that when you hear the lyrics of the chorus;

You are the voice of hope The anchor of my soul Where there seems to be no way You make it possible You are the prince of peace Amidst adversity My lips will shout for joy To you the most high

It was a special reminder of what Carol thoroughly believed. She was in no doubt who her Saviour was and who was going to look after everything. It was a very timely reminder to me in a time of grief of who is in control. But it can serve as a reminder to us all that Jesus, the voice of hope will SURELY be with us through it all.

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