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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

4 March 2011: Keith Evans, Petersfield United Reformed Church

Hope or Faith?

We are now enjoying the longer days and seeing the first flowers coming into bloom. This reminds us that the long cold winter will soon break into the much-awaited Spring, and with it the prospect of summer days and sunshine. Whether the reality will match up to our expectation remains to be seen but the hope of better things to come is something that sustains people in the darkest trials of life.

Hope is based on what we would like, and, as with the weather, is frequently disappointed. Faith, however, is hope based on promises, and the reliability of these promises is related to the reliability of the person who made them. God's promises have been tested down through the ages and never found wanting.

The Christian gospel is big on hope and faith, and, with Easter approaching, we have the biggest example in history of faith triumphing over adversity. Jesus, unfairly tried and convicted and dying in agony on his cross, had a firm faith in God's power to raise him from the dead. History records the resurrection on the first Easter day when Jesus' faith became reality. Whatever our situation, God has given us promises that can be the basis of our faith: forgiveness for past failures, a relationship with God, and, the biggest hope of all, a place in God's kingdom in the afterlife.

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