There’s a saying you might know that goes something like this: ‘It’s not the disappointment that gets you. It’s the hope!’

I suspect it’s a paraphrase of one referring to despair being tolerable while hope delivers the killer blow, which is credited variously to sources from Shakespeare to a John Cleese movie character, to UK football commentators, to TV’s Ted Lasso.

In other words, don’t get your hopes up, and they won’t be shattered. Living by that maxim doesn’t exactly make for a joy-filled existence.

An even more familiar saying is, ‘where there’s life, there’s hope’. It’s an appropriate and somewhat uplifting refrain in light of recent natural disasters in many parts of Australia and New Zealand.

I’d suggest that there’s even more truth in the reversed expression – where there’s hope, there’s life. Along with love, hope is something we all crave. Without it, life can be incredibly tough. Seemingly not worth living even.

That’s why our faith is so critical. In God’s undeserved and all-encompassing love for us, in what he has done for us in Jesus and in what he works in us through his Spirit, we have hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, hope for eternity.

Such hope enables us to survive whatever disasters and tragedies we face. It re-energises us and empowers us, lifting us up to ‘soar on eagles’ wings’ (Isaiah 40:31). And it demands that we share the good news of God’s great love for us, as St Peter says, ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’ (1 Peter 3:15).

In this edition, we focus on the hope we have, even in the face of seemingly hopeless situations – and we are privileged to share some incredibly inspiring and hope-filled stories from around our Lutheran family.

You’ll notice some changes in these pages as The Lutheran enters its 57th year. As well as trialling a move to six editions to make our churchwide magazine more sustainable in the face of increasing production costs and diminishing church membership and subscriber numbers, we’ve refreshed the look and content for you to enjoy. I hope and pray that you’ll be blessed by reading this edition as much as we have been in bringing it to you.

God bless,

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