Focal Passage: Hebrews 6:13-20
C.R. Snyder is a University of Kansas psychologist. He is not widely known, even in academic psychology circles. He developed, in 1995, what he called the “hope test.” The test was designed to measure the general level of hope a person possessed and by doing so put them into one of three categories. Using a series of questions, visual stimuli, situational stresses and the observations of the people responding to each, Snyder was able to label incoming college students as having high, moderate or low levels of hope. Snyder discovered that incoming students in the high hope level group did best during their first semester of college. He discovered this by posing the following hypothetical situation to them:
“Although you set your goal of getting a B in a class, after your first exam, which accounts for 30 percent of your grade, you find you only scored a D. It is now one week later. What do you do?” Snyder also compared the actual academic achievement of freshman students who scored high and low on hope, he found that hope was actually a better predictor of their first semester grades than were their SAT scores. Snyder found that hope made all the difference. In summary of his findings, Snyder was quoted as saying, “People with hope simply do better.”
If Snyder is right, and I believe he is, if people with hope do better, then we Christians ought to be on the fast track to an enhanced state. We have hope, the hope we celebrate most at this time of year. We sing carols, but the fabled old hymn “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” may say it best:
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.”
As we enter into this season of advent, we turn our attention to an event two thousand plus years ago. We look to a night that was, for the most part, unspectacular. We see a city that was overrun with ordinary people. Our quest to answer “in whom” our hope lies sends us to the lowliest of places, a stable. The hope of all humanity, realized by we who claim His name as ours, is Jesus Christ, the baby in the manger. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus.