Free and fearless
Joyful and confident
Cheerful and courageous
Bold and sure
Do any of these words describe me?
How about you?
At the beginning of 2017, I embarked upon a hope quest. After observing many friends and acquaintances bemoan their state of hopelessness regarding the state of the world, the direction of national politics, the quickening decline of values and morals, their environmental concerns, their fears for the future of their children and more, I was puzzled. Many of my friends and acquaintances have given me the impression that they hold a sure faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, if their faith position is secure, what caused their hope in Christ to be so overshadowed with despair?
How can a people who confess to having a relationship with Jesus Christ – a Savior who abides in us, who empowers us and who offers every possible spiritual gift to us – be hopeless?
In my mind, a person with faith in Jesus Christ is one who definitely, categorically, and without question possesses a sure hope no matter the situation or circumstance.
This a bold declaration.
However, as I have studied hope in the Old and New Testaments, I discovered this truth:
Hope is integral to one’s testimony of life and faith in Christ.
I found this to be true again in Paul’s words to the Corinthian Church:
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
New International Version, 2 Corinthians 3:12
Once again the transliterated Greek word for hope is elpis. Elpis is the joyful, confident expectation one has in the eternal salvation offered in Jesus Christ.
The transliterated Greek word for bold is parrhesia. Parrhesia means to be free and fearless, joyful and confident, cheerful and courageous, bold and sure.
A bold, hope-filled person in Christ is open and transparent about their faith walk.
A bold, hope-filled person holds nothing back and speaks without reservation about what Jesus Christ has done in in her life.
A bold, hope-filled person enjoys an unconditional certainty of faith for when Jesus Christ and His Kingdom are ultimately fulfilled according to the promises of God.
A bold, hope-filled person is enthusiastic about the Gospel – never losing sight of the amazing gift she has been given in Christ.
A bold, hope-filled person allows the Holy Spirit to pour into her life without restraint – receiving the gifts of the Spirit with anticipation and with a desire to live into these gifts.
As I list the characteristics of a bold, hope-filled person of Christ, I ask myself:
Is this me?
I also ask:
Is this you?
If we chose to remember all that Christ has done for us – as believers of Jesus Christ – and instead of bemoaning the present realities of life – we focus upon the glory of Jesus Christ, His redemptive gift of grace and life, and His Kingdom to come – would we be more free and fearless, joyful and confident, cheerful and courageous, bold and sure?
Have some of us forgotten this bold, joyful, eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ?
Have some of us become chained to present-day circumstances that are here today and gone tomorrow. As a result, have we lost sight of the enthusiasm, delight and wonder of the Gospel?
You see, without a strong desire and expectation for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom to come, there is no reason to hope. Perhaps this is what ails some of my friends and acquaintances. They may have lost sight of Jesus among all the muck of in their lives and their fear of the muck of the future.
Therefore, I ask: Who are you, today?
Free and fearless in Christ
Joyful and confident in Christ
Cheerful and courageous in Christ
Bold and sure in Christ
If yes, then you are offering others in your sphere of influence an incredible, life-affirming testimony of what it means to live in Christ regardless of situation or circumstance.
And if not…what is holding you back from boldly and confidently living for Jesus Christ?
Will you stand upon the unconditional certainty of hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone?
This is my desire for you and for me. This is why I continue with my hope quest. I seek to be a bold, hope-filled person in Christ and live like it! If I do not, then my testimony as a follower of Christ, doesn’t hold much muster as a person of hope.
I desire to be bold!
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