Thursday, June 6, 2013

Where is Hope When You Need It?


How many times each day do we say this word (or think it)? Probably more often than we realize. Think about the situations in which we use this term:

I hope I make it to work on time.

I hope there's not too much traffic on the road.

I hope my friend will call.

I hope I don't get sick after eating that rich food.

I hope I don't have to stand in line too long.

Okay. You get the idea. In general, I think people are filled with hope. My best guess is that hope is there because we are made in God's image. He has given us that quality because God IS hope. Our souls search for hope--probably in more earthly things more often than not. Ultimately, God is the hope that our souls are longing for.

So, here's a question: If we are (in general) hopeful, why do we often feel so hopeless?  

Well, the obvious spiritual answer here is because of sin in the world. But, I'm interested in exploring the less obvious answers to this question.

Have you ever felt like a situation was hopeless? I have. From my limited perspective I only see dead ends. An impossible situation with no obvious solution requires nothing short of a miracle. Because I'm not in the miracle business and don't know anyone else who is, that leaves only God to do it.

God recently reminded me of this word HOPE. I was feeling a bit down about some circumstances. Then I started noticing this word popping up all over the place. I got the message. God was reminding me that He is hope, therefore I can have hope. My hope is in God who is able to do considerably and abundantly more than I can ever do (Ephesians 3:20). God has my back. He's powerful. And, hello: Even the verse I have at the top of this blog mentions the hope God is going to give me. The Bible is full of hope!

Why then do we actually feel hopeless? Well, it seems that sometimes we lose track of the Truth. Knowing the Word will help and understanding God's ways are not our ways. The Bible clearly tell us that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33). When we're prepared for that eventuality and understand God's sovereignty (He is in control), then we can let faith take over. A very wise teacher recently said that confusion about circumstances are okay. Keep trusting and have confidence in God!

Emotion also has a huge part in this thing we call hope. When things are going well, we feel hopeful. (FYI: Hopeful is Full of Hope). Here's a practical example: Let's say you purchase a beautiful bush to plant in the yard. The weather is perfect--not too hot, not too cold, just enough rain and sun. The bush is starting to look beautiful. After a few weeks the rain stops and the temperatures soar. The lack of rain and heat begins to take its toll on the plant. There's no rain in the forecast and you have to go on vacation. If you're not there to water it every day, it's hopeless to think the bush will survive. The bush hasn't been in the ground long enough to put deep roots in the ground. So, when things stop going your way, you lose hope.

The things of this Earth will disappoint us. We can count on that. But, we don't have to believe everything our mind tell us. There are times we need to simply keep our eyes fixed on God and trust Him.

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