Editor’s note: “Living on Purpose” is a Kentucky-based religious column provided free to the Bartlett Express. We also welcome local columns with similarly universal messages; send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope is one of those dynamic words that deserves the title of catalyst when it comes to change. It is a spiritual attribute that God’s people should have on hand at any given moment because it is filled with life, enthusiasm and energy. Your first reaction to the idea of hope may be one of skepticism because you are thinking, “It’s easy for someone to talk about hope when you do not understand what a terrible condition my life is in.”
Well, I may not have walked in your shoes, but I also know that being negative and giving up will not make the situation better. It’s true that health, finances, sorrow, family and marital disagreements are very serious problems but remember that God cares and desires to help you today.
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31.
Many times, we think we know what is happening, but the Lord wants to remind us that hope is believing in what we cannot see. In other words, we already understand what our difficulties are but we need hope in order to receive the solution.
Listen to Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Trusting that God is not only able to help us but actually desires to take care of our circumstances, gives us confidence that He will intervene. When we know that He is faithful to respond to our prayers, we cannot be held in bondage by our doubts and sadness.
Hebrews 6:18 reminds us, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”
When we look up the world’s definition of hope, it is described as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” and is also associated with other words such as, desires and dreams. Many associate hope with wishing, but wishing and fantasizing is a half-hearted whim, that changes from day to day. However, spiritual hope is associated with the reality of divine truth! This God kind of hope is more than waiting to see who wins the ballgame or if the casserole will taste good. This is a hope based on who God is and what He has promised! Biblical hope is a sure anchor of the soul based on solid evidence of His character and nature.
Hope and faith work together as we see in Hebrews Chapter 11 and verse 1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Now we are realizing the key ingredients in believing is a confident expectation and anticipation which literally moves the heart of God.
Listen to these words from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: “Hope is a dynamic force, a reality filled with power. It can bring the weak back to strength. It can bring the sick back to health. It can turn failure into success. No wonder St. Paul included it as one of the three great principals of Christianity: faith, hope and love. What’s the condition of hope in your life at this very moment? Does it get up with you every morning? Does it carry you confidently through the day? Is it still there, soothing and sustaining you, as you fall asleep? That’s what God intended when he created this shining quality and poured it into us at birth. If cares, worries, fears and discouragement have gained a stronghold in your mind, then you need to open the windows of your soul and allow a strong, fresh current of hope to come surging through.”
Yes, sometimes our journey takes us through the dark nights of the soul where we battle against fear, anxiety and discouragement, but having a sincere hope in God can allow Him the opportunity to fill our mind and conscience with contentment and happiness.
“Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13.
Written by Dr. Billy Holland, who lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl. He is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. He wrote “A Lifestyle of Worship — living in the awareness of God’s presence,” and his new CD is “Keeper of My Soul.” To learn more, visit billyhollandministries.com.