To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Whatever happened to HOPE? Surveying the populous landscape, I see so many people living in a tormenting spiral of futility. When someone feels hopeless, it is difficult and often impossible for them to find the way out of challenging circumstances. This leads to a great sense of emptiness and even helplessness. I confess, there are days when I too have felt the talons of hopelessness griping me, trying to become a stronghold in my life.
12 “Hopes deferred make the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy” (alt: “it is a tree of life.”) Proverbs 13:12 (The Living Bible)
Unrelenting disappointment can make us feel sick inside. You could interpret Proverbs 13:12 as “Hope deferred is spiritual heart disease.” On the other hand, when our hopes become a reality we are full of joy. A dream come true fuels the life force within us.
Hope is like a circus high-wire. Faith walks the tightrope of hope, bridging the gap between the unseen world and the world which our conciseness can perceive. Without hope, our faith is insufficient and unproductive. Hopeless people often become faithless people. On the other hand, hopeful people are more likely to be faith-filled people.
1“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]. 3By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 (Amplified Bible)
Faith can only reassure us of “the things we Hope for.” It serves as proof of what we cannot see. By our faith we recognize as real fact what is not yet revealed to the senses. For example, faith enables our minds to accept as an absolute fact that the whole construct of time and space (the world which we perceive as reality) was set in motion by God through principles which are invisible to us right now. Wow!
When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.” – Charles A Allen
There is no shortage of hurts, sicknesses, troubles, and financial woes in our world today. Family problems, challenging marriages, catastrophic issues and geopolitical concerns abound. As a result, people everywhere are losing their hope and ability to trust. It is my opinion that our society suffers greatly as a result of silent desperation.
So what exactly is hope? According to the dictionary, HOPE is to desire something with an expectation of obtainment. Hopeful people live with anticipation not disenchantment. When we have hope, we have an expectancy that the things we hope for (and dream of) will one day be a reality. Hope enables us to find purpose and meaning in life. And when we add faith to our expectations (by putting our trust in God) our hopes gain substance (Hebrews 11:1).
Trusting in the Almighty unseen Spirit is more than just a blind leap. Because we have hope, we intentionally place our faith (absolute trust) in God expecting an answer from Him. Look at what happened to a miserable crippled man as recorded in the New Testament Book of Acts,
1-4“One afternoon Peter and John were on their way to the Temple for the three o’clock hour of prayer. A man who had been lame from birth was being carried along in the crowd, for it was the daily practice to put him down at what was known as the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, so that he could beg from the people as they went in. As this man saw Peter and John just about to enter he asked them to give him something. Peter looked intently at the man and so did John. Then Peter said, “Look straight at us!” 5 The man looked at them expectantly, hoping that they would give him something. 6 “If you are expecting silver or gold,” Peter said to him, “I have neither, but what I have I will certainly give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” 7-11 Then he took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankle bones were strengthened, and he positively jumped to his feet, stood, and then walked. Then he went with them into the Temple, where he walked about, leaping and thanking God.” (Acts 3:1-11 Phillips)
Peter and John had a supernatural ability working through them. Because of the Liberator Jesus, they believed in Almighty God without question. They also knew that His authority was with them and his power would flow through them. Peter made sure that the lame man was paying attention. He said, “Look straight at us!” For his part, the lame man did two things. First, “he asked them to give him something.” Second, he looked at them “expectantly.”
It’s amazing what can happen when we focus our attention in the right place and ask with expectancy! Clearly the lame man was imagining he’d get a few coins for his troubles. But God doesn’t offer just momentary relief from our distresses. He delivers remedies for them as well – not always as quickly as we would like and sometimes the “fix” may not be what we want. Have you had a rise up and walk moment lately?
What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” – Rick Warren
The bible also records details about the extraordinary life of a man named David. Through many difficulties and adversities, David would often remind himself not to lose hope.
Here are a few of David’s prayers to God:
- “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39: 7 NIV)
- “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42: 11 NIV)
- “Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalm 25: 4, 5 NLT)
- “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,” Psalm 33: 18 NIV
- “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 25: 3 NIV)
- “Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope.” (Psalm 119: 49 NLT)
Israel’s legendary King David expected God to keep His promises. That hope is what empowered him to trust God completely. Today, our hope is built upon the trust we place in the Divine Spirit (God) as a result of the teachings of the Liberator Jesus. His mission was to reveal the truth about God and to implement the plan of redemption for mankind. Getting to know who Jesus really was (and is) and why he visited this little water world, brings hope into your life and it keeps that hope alive.
And PLEASE, don’t go by your feelings. Your emotional state changes like the weather. People who live by their emotions are much more prone to instability. No matter how miserable your existence may seem, there is ALWAYS hope. You may not be able to see or feel anything that causes you to believe this right now, but hope is there for you notwithstanding. “Hope is the anchor of your soul” (Hebrews 6:19)
Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
God really wants you to be acquainted with the Liberator Jesus – not as a religious figure – as a person. Jesus not only knew the only way to the one true God – He IS the way. He alone can show you the truth and give you an amazing hope filled life! When you die, he is the road that will lead you home!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29: 11 NLT)
What do you really need right now? Whatever it is, talk to God about it. Close your eyes and pour your heart out to the Divine Spirit – the creator of all things. No matter how fanciful, foolish or bizarre this may seem to you, just do it! The Liberator Jesus said,
22-23 “If you only have faith in God””this is the absolute truth””you can say to this Mount of Olives, ‘Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and have no doubt! 24 Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours!” (Mark 11:22-24 – Living Bible)
Are you a Christian? If so, this promise fell from the lips of your Liberator. Do you doubt his word? Is he a liar? A fraud? A lunatic? Maybe it’s time you stopped second guessing the God who made you and simply do what he asks – look to him with expectant trust. Or else, just walk away.
Here is my prayer for you,
“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.” (Romans 15:13) And with a heart full of hope, may you put your absolute faith (trust) in the God who is able to do whatever he wills whenever he wills it! AMEN!
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656