Tim Keller recently noted that all humans are hope-shaped.[1] What shapes us determines how we live and how we go forward into the future with confidence. Being hope-shaped is a gift from God. Romans 15:13

Yet, with a world that is rapidly changing, and a growing hostility to the Christian faith, the shift in culture includes an attempt to reshape human identity which of course impacts the shape of human hope.

With Christianity galloping up the racetrack, competing with the varying worldviews running in their own lanes and vying for the finish line, suddenly, Christianity is no longer the favoured one in the race and is now even seen as “the bad guy”[i] or the bad horse in the race, even though we are God’s vessels of hope. Whilst we as Christians are left wondering how we got here,[2] we are also acutely aware that God designed us to be hope-shaped and it is the truth of God as we run the race of faith that enables the renewal of a broken humanity to seek Jesus and sit comfortably in God’s design as hope-shaped because we have a faithful God.

As our world continues to emerge, what looks like a sophisticated society with God in the margins or pushed to the outer track, the continuing attempts to deconstruct the Christian foundations of our society also impacts how those without Jesus live with coherence and confidence on the terrain of an unstable racetrack. God has designed every human being to be hope-shaped. Trying to fit into the shape of hope that is anti-God will never enable humans to live with true hope or with future confidence.

Additionally, if Christianity is being marginalised and the world cannot reconcile the truth, then humanity is in crisis,[3] because they will continue to be curious about their design to be hope-shaped yet without answers. All humans are made in God’s image and are hope-shaped and will by design go on an authentic search for Biblical hope because the collective sub-conscious nature of people knows something is missing and as long as people keep riding on the wrong horse and a sit in a saddle that is not the right fit, they will not find true hope. The God-given hope-shape has been bent out of shape because it has been re-defined by godless people and this is not the prerogative of creaturehood; it is the prerogative of God, our creator. Only the King of Kings can give real hope.

Hope-shaped humans are made to live life orientated to the King, rather than orientated to a cultural concept of God that only wants the fruit of the kingdom or as Sayers says the progressive nature of our current culture means people seek the “kingdom without the King”.[4] God’s people living faithfully to Him will bear the fruit of the kingdom and of a hope-shaped existence. Christians will be the beacon of God’s light in the storm that hits our world and washes humanity up against the serrated rocks of our times, bereft of hope on their godless shores. Christians who are the light of Jesus can show the world what it truly means to be hope-shaped, encouraging them to look again at Jesus and watch as the He shifts the future from a dark passageway that leads to nowhere to one bathed in His light and truth, allowing them to live the way God designed them to live, with hope, fulfilment, and confidence. Matthew 5:16.

Friends, we live with the gift of hope and belief in God and who has created life to be hope-shaped and that’s what the world really wants.







[1] (Quote by Russ Ramsey: “Tim Keller wrote, “Human beings are hope-shaped…” (goodreads.com))

[2] Stephen McAlpine, Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World that Says You Shouldn’t, (The Good Book Company, 2021), 17

[3] Ibid, 75.

[4] Mark Sayers, Reappearing Church: The Hope of Renewal in the Rise of Our Post=Christian Culture, (Chicago, USA: Moody Publishers, 2019), 24.

[i] McAlpine, Being the Bad Guys, 10.