This poem comes from Erik Bonkovsky, Pastor of City Church of Richmond. Enjoy!

Hope is not a slogan, from the left or from the right
Hope is not mere rhetoric—smooth words, or sound-bite
Hope’s not a politician smiling on the news.
Hope is not the promise that you will never lose.
Hope is more than words.
Hope is not a feeling, some swelling in your chest.
Hope is not emotion, indigestion, or unrest
Hope is not mere optimism, on the sunny-side of life
Hope is not a saccharine smile, pretended amidst strife
Hope is more than feeling.
Hope is not vague longing towards a wished-for someday.
Hope is not something kinda better, maybe, if you look in such a way
Hope is not finger-crossing, not biting lips in doubt
Hope is not praying that things—I guess, might–work out
Hope is more than wishing.


Hope is substantial. It’s weighty and it’s sure.
It’s concrete and definitive, solid and secure
Hope completes, delivers, never leaves us needing more
Hope is like an Anchor when we’re drifting far from shore
Hope never disappoints.

Hope is eager longing for the Day that will surely be
Anticipation of a better place, a better you and me.
Hope is our aching, groaning for the way things ought to be
And it’s knowing God will set it right—with perfect certainty.
Christ has done it. Hope’s achieved. There’s nothing left to do.
He did it all. It is finished. What He promised will come true.
Christ’s death bought us pardon, forgiveness from our sin
But hope comes from resurrection: the new life born within.

This hope is new creation, the restoring of all that is
And this hope assures us that all of us are His.
Hope’s a newborn child held at her mother’s breast
Through throes and pains of labor, finally there is rest
Hope’s a baby brother welcomed home at last
Hope’s the life beyond this life that surely holds us fast.
But hope’s also for the barren, the childless, forlorn
It’s the promise of real fullness for all those who mourn.
Real hope in Christ can dry away our falling, salty tears–
The tears that stain your cheeks, the kind that show your fears–
Hope wipes away those tears, like your knuckle or your fist
Hope guarantees forever what in this life you have missed.
Hope sees past circumstances, it trusts all the while
Behind a frowning countenance hope knows the Father’s smile

Hope isn’t for the good. (They haven’t any need.)
Hope is for the bad, for sinners—you and me
For the guilty it’s forgiveness; for the broken, to be bound up
For the sin-stained it is cleansing; for the thirsty, a full cup
Hope isn’t for the good times, when everything moves right
Hope is for the darkness. Hope is for our night.
Hope comes when we are weak, when we’re numb in pain and grief
Hope restores the old, the scared, any lost beyond belief.
Hope is second chances for those who’ve failed again
Trust in God’s good outcome when you can’t will yourself to win
Hope brings something out of ashes, makes beauty from our sin.
When we’re lonley strangers, it’s hope that draws us in.

Our pretending and our hiding and our denials, too
Reveal our need for hope—the need for something True
Hope is rest from striving, from being better than another
Hope is peace from violence, from brother beating brother
The times I’ve been most needy, most broken or put-down
It’s then that true hope mattered and turned me all around
When I’m dirty and I’m messy, with skinned knees and grimy hands,
I appreciate what hope is: what isn’t possible with man.

Hope is a final word when all else falls away
Hope is what still stands on that glorious last day
Hope comes to us this Sunday—emerging from the tomb
Rolling back your clinging doubts, casting out your shadow’s gloom
Death’s night has been eclipsed by the brightness of the day
Rejoice my friend, rejoice, there’s nothing else to say.
It’s Easter! Alleluia! Raise up your downcast head
He is Risen! He is Risen! Our Savior is not Dead!