I still vividly remember the conversation. A senior student whom I had taught the previous year stopped by after school to chat. “Mr. Schmus, the police picked me up this weekend. I was sitting in my car near the beach cutting myself, thinking about whether to drive off the cliff…”
He proceeded to tell me things I never knew when he was a student of mine. His family was staunchly atheist, and his parents had given him lots of unfortunate advice, including to be as promiscuous as possible in order to gain experience.
A breakup with his girlfriend precipitated the immediate crisis, but this student’s despair went much deeper than that. He had lost hope. His heart had been repeatedly scarred, and he lacked the worldview to make sense of his suffering and the power of the Holy Spirit to heal it.
Sadly, I’m sure many of you have had similar conversations with students. Our world and our schools desperately need hope. The absence of it is devastatingly dangerous.
Many of us have seen the research, which points out that hope is correlated with numerous positive outcomes like greater happiness, higher academic achievement, and longer life, just to name a few.
This is why I am so encouraged by Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (NIV).
As ambassadors for Christ filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the power to step into our schools overflowing with astonishing hope. I believe this is one of our most potent superpowers as believers. We have the capacity to pour hope onto everyone we encounter and into every situation we face.
But when we walk into our classrooms, a parent-teacher conference, or a staff meeting, even those of us in Christ often don’t feel like we’re overflowing with hope. Why? I suspect most often the answer is a deadly combination of fear, doubt, and self-focus.
However, we have the ability to activate our “hope superpower” when we walk in confidence that God is at work in us and that He is working through us. My prayer is that God will use this hope-themed issue of Teachers of Vision to renew your hope…that tomorrow you would walk into your school overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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