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Salvation Army leaders share reminder of hope after hardship

29 March 2022

Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson, The Salvation Army’s Australian leaders, encourage you to find a path that leads towards hope this Easter with the Salvos.

There are times when it feels as though the world moves from one tragic event to another. It’s certainly felt that way recently. Sometimes our personal lives can feel like that, too. But even in the midst of that hardship and heartache, there is a message of good news and hope. That hope is found in Jesus and revealed to us through the Easter story.

When we reflect on the events of the very first Easter two thousand years ago, we see it as a weekend that embodies the message of hope after hardship.

On the Friday, Jesus was betrayed, rejected, ridiculed, punished, unfairly trialled and hung to die on a cross. The physical and emotional pain Jesus experienced on ‘Good Friday’ – and his other days on Earth – helps him to empathise deeply with the difficulties we face in our lives today. In the moments before all the events unfolded, the Bible says Jesus began to be “sorrowful and troubled” (Matthew chapter 26, verse 37, NIV). Other translations express it as Jesus feeling anguished, distressed and heavy in heart. There is no situation you can face in your life that Jesus will not understand. He can come alongside you – no matter what.

Hope for life in all its fullness

In his darkest hour, Jesus also set us an example about how we can handle our own difficult situations: he approached God in prayer. God strengthened Jesus to face the troubles and pain that awaited him. Although Jesus could have stopped the ridicule, punishment or death on the cross at any time, he persevered. He knew he needed to die to reconcile people’s relationship with God, give a sense of meaning to our lives and provide us with hope for eternity. Jesus lovingly walked the path to the cross so that he could offer hope to the whole world.

Because Jesus held on to hope for us, we can hold on to his hope in our own lives when we face hardship. God invites us to approach him in prayer and ask for comfort and strength. He doesn’t promise to take away our troubles, but he does promise to be there for us, so we don’t have to face them alone.

However, the good news of Easter doesn’t end with Jesus buried in a tomb. Hope comes to us because Jesus overcame death. On Easter Sunday, he rose back to life. His action of conquering death means we can have hope that hard times will not last forever. Hope can emerge and joy can be found tomorrow. The Bible says, “[God] will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever” (Psalm chapter 16, verse 11, GNT).

Easter shows us that even when life seems hard or hopeless, there is a path we can take that leads to hope. Jesus says, “I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John chapter 14, verse 6, The Voice). Jesus is the route to a meaningful relationship with God the Father. And that relationship, with its sense of meaning and purpose leads to life in all its fullness and abundance.

There is a path to hope for you

Research undertaken for The Salvation Army late last year revealed a quarter of Australians were worried and stressed about their mental health. Other research, among people who had received emergency relief from the Salvos, showed that many of them did not feel valued (43 per cent) or loved (36 per cent)1. Figures like this break our hearts. We do not want anyone to feel this way because we believe everyone is valuable and loved.

This is what urges us to continue working towards our vision as The Salvation Army to “live, love and fight, alongside others, to transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.”

This Easter, we want to encourage you to seek support from your local Salvos. Whether you need someone to talk to, a place to develop meaningful relationships or somewhere to find spiritual connection, we are here for you. We can also provide practical support if your current situation is weighing you down. Last April, The Salvation Army’s Moneycare financial services provided nearly 4800 sessions of care and our Doorways Emergency Relief services provided more than 20,000 sessions of care to people in need2. Hope is available.

We encourage you to take action this Easter and seek comfort in God’s hope. He loves you and sent his one and only Son into the world to die for you. No situation you are facing is too difficult for God to handle. Jesus’ victory over death means you can live in his strength and your life can have a sense of purpose and an eternal hope. We invite you to visit your local Salvos church this Easter to celebrate this wonderful gift.
Find connection and hope at your local Salvos Easter event.

1. ‘In Need of a Little ChristmasCheer’, The Salvation Army Christmas research report, December 2021.
2. The Salvation Army PRSJ Department, EMC – summary data report for April 2021.

Wishing you a happy Easter filled with hope.

Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson
The Salvation Army Australia

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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