Are you a realist? Do you not dare to hope for the fear of being disappointed? Well, not only do I believe it is perfectly acceptable to God to hope, I think it is essential to getting and keeping a Godly mindset. If you missed our first two installments in this series, please check them out by clicking the following links:
Dare to Hope
In Joyce Meyer’s Book ,I Dare, she shares an old Peanuts cartoon featuring Lucy and Linus sitting in front of the television set. Lucy says to Linus, “ Go get me a glass of water.” Linus proceeds to ask her why he should when Lucy does not do things for him. Lucy then promises, “On your 75th birthday, I’ll make you a cake.” Linus then goes to get the requested water while saying, “Life is more pleasant when you have something to look forward to.”
Life is more pleasant when you have hope.
Hope is the expectation of good. We should always have hope that God has good for our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper and not harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.
This is my favorite scripture.
Because it gives me confidence that God is working in my midst even if I can’t hear Him, feel him, or see Him. This, my friends, is faith. Faith is present tense. It is the belief of truth in someone (God) or something (His Word) without empirical proof.
“I do not seek to understand so I may believe, but I believe so that I may understand, and what is more I believe that unless I believe, I shall not understand.-St. Anselm of Canterbury
Now, I also love Jeremiah 29:11, because it gives me an expectation of good to come (hope). You see, hope is future tense. When I believe that God will continue to work in my life, no matter my circumstances, I have hope. I have this expectation of God because I have faith in the truth of His Word; I have faith in His promises.
This is where people get tripped up. Biblical hope is the expectation of good based on the promises of God. It is not just wishful thinking of the name it and claim it variety. Yes, I believe God answers prayers. Yes, I believe God will give us the desires of our hearts. However, I believe it so long as our desires are lined up with God. If what we are praying for is not the will of God or biblical desires, then I do not believe those things will come to fruition. This is why it is adamant we have a strong relationship with the Lord. When we are close and walking with God, our desires line up with His desires.
For example, “ I hope for a new and better house.” Is this the biblical definition of “hope?” Not necessarily. Why? Did God ever promise me a new and better house? First, let me check the Word of God….mmmm….nope…no promises there. Did God ever speak into my heart that He would provide me with the house of my dreams….nope.
Be careful that what you are “hoping” for is of God.
If what you are wanting is not a promise of God or not in the Word of God, then it is a dream…a wish. It is okay to dream and wish, but be careful that this dream will not leave you disappointed or angry with God if it doesn’t come to fruition.
Almost 4 years ago, God spoke a promise into my heart. It got me excited. It gave me something to look forward to when my life around me began to crumble (my husband lost his job, his mother died, conflict arose in my church, etc.). I had a confident expectation of good to come. I had hope in this promise. As time went on and I didn’t see this promise come to fruition, I began to lose hope. “Did I hear God right?” “Was this just wishful thinking on my part?” Deep down I knew I did, but I let the doubts creep in. In 2016, I began pulling away from the things I was doing in that area of my promise. I stopped writing my blog. I did very little speaking and teaching. My Adult Sunday School class was not a priority, and my lessons (and the class) suffered. When I lost hope, it took me further away from His promise and God.
Hope is a vital element to our walk with Christ. If our thoughts are hopeful (based on the promises of God), we will have joy in our hearts, which strengthens us and helps us live with passion and enthusiasm. It gives us the ability to keep going when our circumstances scream otherwise. If we let our thoughts run wild and fear to hope in order not to be disappointed all we do is open the door to Satan and allow him to keep us stuck and close the door to God and His promises.
I refuse to let Satan have power over me. Today, I am choosing hope. Today, I am choosing Christ. I may not see the fulfillment of God’s promise right now, but I have hope that I will someday. It is that hope that brought me back to writing. It is that hope that has reignited the fire in my heart to teach and preach the Word of God.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,