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Hope is not desperation

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By Mark Azzara

Dear Friend,

For decades I had a very hard time with one word in the Christian vocabulary: hope. I could never understand why hope was so important in the Christian faith because I only possessed the human perception of it. Humanity, by its actions, has poisoned the Christian definition by reducing hope to a desperate, last-ditch wish or desire. It recently dawned on me that hope actually is “joyful anticipation” — anticipating something that, without doubt, you know is coming because it rests on the promise of an eternally loving, kind, generous Lord. I now cling to that definition with all my strength and rejoice because I now comprehend it in light of who I know God to be. Living in that light is thrilling! Care to join me?

All God’s blessings – Mark

 

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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One comment

  1. Patty Dyer Bruininks

    Mark, this topic is of huge interest to me – how we can make connections between the theology and psychology of hope. One of the biggest differences, and you get to this when you talk about it as joyful anticipation, is that Christian hope is for something certain, when you have faith. Hope for earthly outcomes – even important ones related to social justice issues – are not certain. In fact, if we went around hoping for things that we absolutely were going to happen, we would be seen as a bit delusional. But both are in the future, and both leave room for doubt.

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