What is HOPE?
Websters dictionary defines it as
“to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true”
Let’s look at some quotes:
Learn from yesterday, live for today, HOPE for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. –Albert Einstein.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite HOPE. –Martin Luther King, Jr.
HOPE is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. –Desmond Tutu
HOPE is an anchor for the soul
HOPE is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting “no”
What I believe and know to be true is that HOPE.changes.everything…period. Hope doesn’t promise no pain. Hope does not promise no loss. Hope does not promise your prayers will be answered in your way…in your time or at all. Hope may not change your circumstances… BUT.GOD…tells us to HOPE. He tells us to have HOPE. He tells us He will give us HOPE. God IS HOPE.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE, and HOPE does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Romans 5:2-5 (NIV)
Where does your HOPE lie?
Health of yourself or loved ones
Your own agenda
What happens when you are stripped of one or of all of those things.AT.ONCE? what do you do, where do you turn, when you are PLUNGED in to the darkest of dark in the blink of an eye…no warning…no reminder popping up on your smart phone to let you know what is coming? Blindsided. Life changed in a split second…never to resemble what once was?
HOPE sounds like a pretty word. Doesn’t it? Well, maybe when we are talking about this kind of hope, “I hope for ______ for my birthday gift”
but then there are the things we HOPE for at a different level. What do YOU HOPE for.deep.down.in.your.soul? Your health renewed? A relationship restored? An emotional wound healed? Your finances replenished?
What if you HOPE for all those things but nothing ever happens? What if your health, lost relationships, bank balance, job status or anything else doesn’t change at all?
Who were you counting on fulfilling those HOPES for you? Do you think that the more you HOPED the more likely you would have that HOPE fulfilled?
You see, when we place our HOPE in our condition or circumstances or our own power or perceived needs we will ALWAYS be disappointed. It will not be HOPE fulfilled. It will be HOPE wasted.
How does a HOPE differ from a wish?
A wish is defined as “a desire or HOPE for something to happen” or when used as a verb “to feel or express a strong desire or HOPE for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen”…. Some similarities
But God does not tell us to “make a wish”, He tells us to have HOPE. It’s not a suggestion. It is a command. “have.HOPE”. He does not say, “hey, I want you to consider having hope”. Got it?
HOPE fulfilled by worldly measures does not produce anything that lasts…it does not produce anything with ETERNAL value.
I love the international children’s bible says in Romans 12:12
Be joyful because you have HOPE. Be patient when trouble comes. Pray at all times”
When life blindsides you. When all HOPE “seems” lost. Where will you turn? WHO will you turn to? What will you turn to?
God is no magic Genie in a bottle. He does not grant wishes. He fulfills our HOPES greater than we can possibly imagine and in ways we can never imagine. Hint… it rarely looks like what we think it will. Would you, could you, consider HOPE still exists EVEN.IF.YOUR.CIRCUMSTANCES.DIDN’T.CHANGE? Could you trust that there is something bigger going on with eternal value right where you are at now?
I am talking to all of you and even more so to myself. No matter what I have gone through…no matter what you have gone through… no matter what is coming… can you…can I…. have HOPE? True HOPE… in Him who tells us to HOPE.
Have I lost all HOPE … YES… more times than I could count. Sometimes multiple times per day. Sometimes so deeply that I crumble… not just for an hour… but for months. Why, you ask? Because every time I take my focus off of Him and place it within what this world has to offer…. HOPE is lost. HOPE is shattered. He hasn’t gone anywhere…it’s me. I have to find my way back to Him.
Focus on Him… and HOPE is never lost… HOPE is found.
My final thought is this:
In the midst of the darkest of days or the most dire circumstances…even the frustrations of the mundane… IF I don’t BELIEVE there is HOPE…then I don’t BELIEVE in God.
When is a time you found hope in what seemed to be a hopeless situation?