I used to think hope was a case by case thing, but now I know that hope demands to be your perspective.
For a while now, every month or so, I feel like I have been learning something about hope. This year I’ve decided to let it change me and my thinking.
It’s a powerful thing hope.
Here are some truths on hope I have been trying to apply so far this year:
-Our Hopelessness about a problem is a bigger problem than the problem.
-There are no hopeless circumstances, only people who do not have hope for them.
-Once people get true hope, their circumstances cannot stay the same.
-It’s ALL good.
Here are some thoughts on hope and how to get there.
There is a scene in the movie Donnie Darko where a bunch of high school students are watching a film in class. In this “educational film”, Patrick Swayze talks about how fear and love are opposing emotions that we act out of at the most primal level.
The title character in the movie gets up in the class and yells at the teacher about how ridiculous this is, enraged at the over simplification of the entire human emotional spectrum into just two base opposite emotions to hilarious end.
There is a common misconception here.
Fear and love are not opposites.
The opposite of fear and despair is actually hope.
You see FEAR is the confident expectation of coming and immanent bad, while HOPE is confident expectation of for coming and imminent good!
Fear and hope have an expectation about them.
You can tell when someone is afraid because they react to life out of this expectation of harm or that their circumstance will all fall apart.
We are not meant to live this way.
It is unhealthy.
Our bodies are wired to recognize danger and to survive if such danger is perceived to be immanent.
Picture this: When a deer is in a field and hears a predator in the brush it quickly stiffens up becoming alert to danger.
It enters a survival mode when sensing immanent danger releasing a chemical in the brain called cortisol.
This chemical is also released in human brains when we do not feel safe in our environment.
What cortisol does is shuts down non-essential bodily functions such as immune systems, hair and nail growth, and digestion, in favor of survival.
Sadly these environments can include being around your family, church, or even in your workplace. Really any group where there can be drama, accusations, expectations, or talking behind backs that is not addressed.
It is not good to have a constant flow of this chemical in your brain.
You will get sick and it is not fun.
Not dealing with things like this robs us of living life to the fullest!
What does this have to do with hope and goodness???
stay with me.
Of course in the past I have not felt safe in some environments.
Some fears I have had came from lies I was believing about myself and others that I did not talk about.
They are just in our heads.
I have heard it said that lies sound really good in darkness of our own minds, however, when brought into the light of day they are laughable, silly, and lose their power to separate us from others.
You know what someone who has hope looks like too.
They are expecting good for everything like its Christmas!
Scripture says, “And we know, with great confidence, that God ,who deeply cares about us, causes all things to work together as a plan for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 amp
I love the great confident expectation of good that Paul, the author of Romans, had!
but if what he is saying is true then why is their pain and suffering in the world???
Now were getting into one of the oldest questions ever.
Why do bad things happen???
I don’t know.
I don’t know why my Grandpa died but I do know that my Grandma found a close comforting relationship with God after.
I don’t know why my friends can’t have children but I know it lead them to adopt an unwanted little girl who now has a home and a better life because of it.
I believe this is what God working all things together looks like.
I have confident expectation that in my family, church, work, and even in our nation and the world that God is working all things together, even the bad circumstances, for a greater good.
I see it sometimes.
Sometimes I don’t.
But I have great hope that He has a greater story to tell than what I think the best outcome could be or even what I perceive is going on.
For my friends who do not feel like they belong or that their safe place doesn’t feel safe anymore, I urge you to find community.
Know that Jesus last promise was that He would be with us always.
Even in the night.
I saw a movie last Christmas where a man in WWII crashed in the pacific and was
captured by the Japanese and tortured in a labor camp.
(I hope none of you are in that situation right now.)
At the beginning of the film a priest talked about day and night.
He said, “The night and day are not opposed to each other but were created to be
The night isn’t even opposed to God!!!
He is in it even when we can’t see it and in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible, He call both the day and the night good.
In our country, family, and church to see that He’s working all circumstances, even the seemingly bad, for good of His children, Is eternal hope.
(His children, that’s you by the way no matter who you are!!!)
All of this leads me to believe there is something He is seeing that we are not (duhh, being omnipotent and all), but when we look back it’ll be so obvious how we grew or how it all worked out in the end.
You have survived ever circumstance you have ever been through!
We need His perspective.
So in your current situation know that God is working all things together in ways we maybe cannot see right now.
That from His perspective it’s all good.
That He is making all things new, and even when we cannot see it Jesus is with us because He promised He is.
This is what having Gods perspective on hope looks like. Not a circumstantial hope that fades based on your situation, but an eternal one that lasts and is not in fleeting things.
Jesus is as close as the mention of His name.
Try it every morning and in every situation you can’t see him in!
He is present. He is with us. He is Emmanuel.
He is the hope of the world who my hope is in.
I pray you would find safety in Him, that you would allow Jesus to be your safe
place, that the lies we believe that separate us from others would seem silly in
the light, that you would find community and belonging Knowing who you are and who’s
you, that it would negate that fear and despair and that you would realize eternal hope in your life.
Remember joy comes in the morning.
Call on the name of the God who makes all things new!