Hope is a very tricky thing. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but I wanted to return to the idea for a moment. Let’s look at one of the most important verses on hope.
For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?
The reason we hope is because we don’t know if we’ll get what we are hoping for. Imagine what you hope for the most. A spouse? A new job? A car? Your favorite sports team winning the big game?
What do all of these things have in common? We don’t know if they are going to happen or not. When they don’t happen we become disappointed and hurt. Some people actually blame God, but most of us do something else. We stop hoping to avoid disappointment.
I enjoy watching the TV show 30 Rock. Any comedy without canned laughter usually catches my attention. The jokes are so good that the audience doesn’t need a cue for when to laugh.
I was watching an episode the other day and the go-lucky innocence character, Kenneth, was trying to convince everyone to be more optimistic. Everyone was beginning to expect the worst to happen in their lives because they were always focused on the bad.
So, to illustrate his point, Kenneth threw his wallet out the window. He simply believed that everything would be OK. For the next 20 minutes of that show Kenneth had terrible things happen to him because he didn’t have his wallet. He was locked out of his apartment, he had to sleep at work, and lost his prescription which prevented his seizures.
Sounds like he would lose his optimism, but he kept on smiling and believed everything would be alright.
At the end, everything came together at the very last moment and Kenneth got his wallet back, but the rest of the characters saw how the events of their lives worked out for the best, too.
IT’S ALL GOOD
We can learn something from Kenneth. Everything is going to be alright. How do I know this? Because it is scriptural.
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
We know there is a good plan for our lives. We may not see it all of the time, but it is there. I can point to all moments in my life when things seemed hopeless and in hindsight know that God was with me. I look back on things that I thought were good for me, but God had something better in store.
Joyce Meyer says in Battlefield of the Mind, “Even if whatever is taking place in your life at the moment is not so good, expect God to bring good out of it, as He has promised in His Word.”
In other words, it’s all good because it’s all God.
FAITH FUELS HOPE
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
It may sound too simple, but I believe God makes it simple for us. It is us that makes it complicated. Just simply having faith, which is believing without seeing, will fuel our hopes.
We can always have faith in knowing that Christ wants to bless us. He always wants what is best for us. Sometimes we require correction or need to experience hard times to get to that blessing, but it will always come. God is not going to keep you waiting for a desire in your heart until your deathbed.
He puts those hopes in our hearts for a reason. They drive our lives in certain directions, but we can not compromise or become discouraged along the way. Remember that God is working all things together for good. You may not see it now, but it is there and you can’t lose hope just to avoid disappointment.
There is an old song by a British rock band called Reef that I like to listen to when things don’t seem to be going right. It is from the 90’s and may not be for everyone, but the ending lyrics inspire my faith. They go, “It’s gonna be alright“. It is not a “christian song”, but it still encourages me. Maybe you’ll get something out of it, too.