What makes children living in poverty-stricken conditions cling to each other with gigantic smiles on their face? HOPE! In this article, I want to inspire you to look at hope from a little child’s perspective. Aren’t we children of God? As a child of God, you must remain hopeful despite life’s unpleasantness and or your painful conditions.
Dictionary.com defines hope as a noun and a verb: Noun:
1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
2. a person or thing in which expectations are centered, ex. The medicine was her last hope.
3. something that is hoped for, ex., Her forgiveness is my constant hope.
1. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
2. to believe, desire, or trust
For Christians, hope is a noun. Hope is a person and has a name—Jesus Christ. (ref. 1 Timothy 1:1) Our expectation is centered on Him—His birth, death, resurrection and ascension, (1 Peter 1:3). Therefore, we look forward to and wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:27 NIV). Our confidence is in His sovereign rule, and we trust Him to keep His promise—never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews faith is in Him and we trust in and trust.
When hope (expectation) is deferred (delayed), it makes the heart sick—disappointed and depressed. This sickness affects your whole being. But when desires and expectations come forth, it is like a tree of life, (Proverbs 12:12) So keep expecting, believing, and trusting God to come through for you.
As stated in the definition, hope is the ‘feeling’ that what you want can happen, or the event will meet your expectation and turn out for the best. Unfortunately, feelings fluctuate and are not always reliable. If hope is diminished to your feelings, you risk the onslaught of negative thoughts. Therefore, instead of redirecting your thoughts, believing for change, and expecting better, you spiral into the sea of despair and hopelessness—convinced nothing will turn out for your good.
Your Thoughts Matter
In Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 1 through 9, God spoke words of comfort to the Israelites through the prophet, Isaiah. He also invited everyone to enjoy an abundant life that differs from what we would consider as normal. The following list distinguishes God’s thoughts from humanity’s normal way of thinking.
Come buy wine and milk and eat without money. Everything is free!
What God offers is free; you’re spending money on natural things that do not satisfy.
Come listen to God’s words; they are life-giving and life-nourishing.
Pursue God; pray to Him.
Abandon your way of life and way of thinking.
Return to God; He is merciful, and He’s generous with forgiveness.
Why would God extend this invitation to abundant life—a life that satisfies and gives hope? His answer is found in Isaiah 55:8-11. This same answer speaks to every follower of Christ today. Therefore, you should not dismiss God’s thoughts (word) because of your feelings of hopelessness.
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it, Isaiah 55:8-11 NIV.
God’s Plan Includes Hope
God’s agenda differs from ours. He is concerned about souls and His eternal purpose (Isaiah 55:6-7). Therefore, His way of carrying out His plan and eternal purpose is different.
To never lose hope means you must submit totally to God’s will and His way of doing things. The way to submit to God is by constantly saying “yes” to Him, praying, studying His Word, the Bible, loving and serving others. Submission to God’s plan includes hope. He is the “Hope Giver.”
Of course, it is easy to be pessimistic and think negatively. However, you must be intentional about changing your way of thinking to align with God’s will so that you don’t lose your “Hope”—Jesus Christ.
The Selective Thinking Formula
I have experienced some “seemingly” hopeless situations since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. However, that was before I grabbed hold of faith and begin focusing on God’s Word. The word of God reveals His thoughts stated above. My way of thinking changed when I used the selective thinking formula.
Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. -Philippians 4:8 GW
Apostle Paul penned the formula for being intentional about controlling your thought-life. If you can control your thoughts, you can control your emotions. Thoughts govern your life. If you do not control your thoughts, that is prone to negativity, you become vulnerable to deception and emotional instability.
The Hopeless Influence
Feeling hopeless affects you psychologically, physically, and spiritually.
For example, hopelessness made the disciples abandon Jesus and hide in fear after His death. The external circumstances (Jesus’ arrest) gave the appearance that there was no hope. They did not expect any good or change for the better. Therefore, they did not trust Jesus’ promise to rise from the dead. Although He told them of his impending death and resurrection; they did not comprehend or remember.
So, it is with us. We lose hope when we do not believe in God’s promise. Thoughts and fear dim the light of hope. Like the disciples, we often feel hopeless because we equate hope with external circumstances. If Christ is our personal Savior and Lord, we have hope despite the present situations. We find hope in His Word because He cannot lie regardless of what we see or feel.
Your Hope is Secure
If you are a born-again follower of Christ, you can expect better things, things that come with salvation. Although you will face difficulties in this life, never lose hope. You must have great confidence and hold on to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for your soul. (Ref. Hebrews 6:18-19).
Whatever situation or circumstance you are in, I pray you will not lose hope. Dearly beloved, I want to remind you that your hope is eternally secure in Christ. His resurrection from the dead and His ascension has secured our position in heavenly places in Christ. What God promises will be revealed, either in this life or thereafter. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Jesus Christ is your hope. He will fill you with joy and peace amid difficulty if we trust in Him.
“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 NIV).
I pray that you never lose hope in Jesus the Christ, the Living Word of God!
©2023 Queen E. Phillips. A Majestic Publication. All rights reserved.