And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
2 Corinthians 1:10
“….set your hope” on Christ.
Romans 15:13 NIV
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.
As an orphan of sorts, I grew up despising hope. Gut level, “get away from me” despise. The chaos of my house left everyone feeling like they had to be in constant survival mode, preparing yourself for the blind-sided blowup. So you learned to live with your guard up and it is exhausting.
Early on, I learned not to trust hope. Hope felt like a flimsy friend trying to pull me into a pyramid scheme. It said, “You know, if you put your money here, it will triple and you’ll be set for life”, only for me to realize I trusted Bernie Madoff.
I became the rejecter of hope. I stood back and looked at hope with its vulnerability and saw safety in pessimism. I ran headlong to safety.
Hope seemed deadly.
Hope seemed disappointing.
Hope felt bad.
Hope was terrifying.
You see, in the world, hope is setting your trust in something. If you try to hope that someone or something is going to make your life better or intervene and save you and they don’t, you become angry and bitter and begin to build walls to keep that from happening again.
You tend to learn you logically don’t want hope in your life. It’s a sad existence. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize you are actually living without hope.
But, the truth of the matter is in the hidden recesses of your mind you pant for hope, you long for hope and hunger for it like you are withering away. The dichotomy of wanting hope and rejecting the risk of reaching for it is painful. The inevitability is to simply reject hope, even though it is the very vitamin to the soul's growth.
Discarding hope is not what Jesus wants and as believers, we need to learn our hope is Jesus. It sounds like a simple enough thing to try to do, but one of the hardest that an orphan can try to learn.
As an adult believer God came in and began to deal with me over my lack of hope. I was still living the orphan mentality of survival and not in the very real and lasting hope as a child of the King. He began to speak to me that I needed to linger in his hope. Not in the surety of my bank account or career or friends. Not even in the hope of a church, but in him alone. I needed to figure out how to place my very dwelling in the center of who he is.
The bible is very clear about this too. Even though it tells us the struggles of the world are many and persecutions will come, we are to still hope. In fact, it is a command to hope. Not a happy suggestion.
Where have you set your hope? Is it squarely on the shoulders of Jesus or is it on circumstances or things around you? I challenge you to start moving your focus from the safe pessimism to the beautiful hope of Jesus. Your life will never be the same.
Jesus is hope.
No one who hopes in (God) will ever be put to shame..(Psalm 25:3)
Dear God, may the Holy Spirit come and give us the wonder of hope. Show us that our hope is only in Jesus, that it is the very nature of who he is. Let us only look to him for that and challenge us this day to focus solely him. Amen