This is a crazy and challenging time we live in, nothing like it in many decades. Hope is needed to navigate this time with; Covid illnesses, vaccine or no vacs, mask or no mask, job termination, small business failings, loss of loved ones, broken relationships, depression, anxiety, suicides, weak leadership in America and the list keeps going. One can spend their time thinking about all these things, letting fear have its way, and loose sight of the HOPE that’s available!
Noah Webster dictionary says hope is “a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable”. Many right now feel afraid and hopeless much of the time let along having a slight expectation of good.
I recently spent a couple of weeks wrestling with a little anxiety, thinking about all that could go wrong and being on earth to live through it (I’m actually a pre-triber).Then I was able to get my focus on the right person.
I use to love going to the plate to hit, knowing I was going to put a ball in play hard somewhere for a potential hit. Loved the confidence factor. I also spent some time on the other end feeling little hope when it felt like the opposing team had 25 fielders. Do you currently feel like the odds are against you in your current situation? Stay tuned!
Hope can come in false buckets people, government, political parties, ones confidents in their skill set and their portfolios. I’ve experience putting my hope in some of these only to feel it’s disappointment.
In the mid 80’s, I had a friend that had three degrees (real estate, finance, seminary) and first in his class in all three, very smart man. With one degree in seminary, how could one go wrong with trusting? I put a lot of trust in this friend on a real estate venture. I was naive and lazy to allow this person to make financial decisions. The end result was loss of half my portfolio, and a lost relationship, a loss of confidence in people and a wavering faith. If a best friend could betray trust, what about everyone else? This was a perspective changer. One that eventually put balance on relationships for me.
I struggled with depression for several months as I wrestled with all the financial issues that almost took everything, while in the midst of trying to play ball on the field. This is not to discount a relationship that had become my best friend and agent. He took a hike to the west coast when things went south, leaving me with a mess. The loss of relationship was staggering as well as struggling with my relationship with God who, in my mind at the time, had allowed it to happen. I felt hopeless and in despair.
I had started the downside of my career and was struggling to hold onto the assets, in such a manner, that was out of my league. The good news I was able to regain my losses in a few years through extending my baseball career two more years. But not without a gut wrenching period. At that time, my hope had not yet settled in the right place but I was heading in the right direction.
Confidence in ones own skill set eventually runs dry, no matter how good one thinks about themself, stuff happens. Let’s take sports. An All-Star in baseball fails 70% of the time. A good NFL Quarterback fails 50% of his throws while a good NBA basketball player fails 50% of the time on his shots. Sports offer failures but many other places failures are not an option. There are plenty of other places of business where one can get a big head and put hope in themselves. Hope in self is really pride, and unchecked very dangerous, many fall to the wayside each day.
One becomes aware of where they’ve put their hope when losses occur! Where do you put your hope? How confident are you in your current situation?
Hope is also not a wish. Webster Dictionary says this, “Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety”! Do you find yourself wishing or hoping?
Do you see the difference, a wish can be accompanied with pain and anxiety”! Hope always gives pleasure or joy.
In the middle of hardship its hard to FEEL the good, feel hope. That’s when you put on your thinking cap to logically process, “there will be an end to the madness”. Get out of your heart for a minute and use your head, when faith isn’t found in the heart, look to the mind for balance.
Jesus said, ‘I AM the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me”! I find HOPE in what Webster Dictionary again says from a spiritual stand point; “Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises”! I trust your hope is in the right place because Jesus is coming back soon to gather His children!
Hope is really found outside ones abilities, skill set, assets and trusting people. Hope is found in Gods promises. He has beautiful plans for us on the other side of fear. This approach diffuses difficult situations and makes real Hope matter.