What Are You Hoping For?
How long have you been waiting?
What have you have stopped "hoping for" because you know it is not going to come about?
"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).
This is just one of the many passages we could use to talk about hope, and the distinctive way that Christians understand hope.
God is the source of hope. He is the God of hope and it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we become hopeful people. All true Christian hope has its source in God, the power of God, the love of God, the goodness of God. We do not manufacture hope on our own. We do not deliver hope on our own. In a very real way, the work of Christian leadership is to connect people with the true source of hope.
Hope is generated as we TRUST in God the source and provider of hope. There is a choice you and I make. That choice is to have faith in, believe in, trust in God and His promises. For the skeptical and cynical, for the doubting and the disappointed, for the angry and discouraged - this is understandably hard. It will be a process of learning to trust in the God of hope.
Joy and peace (two highly valued affections of the heart) depend on hope. Now, when everything is going fine, what life is on cruise control, when everything is working out, that is not when we even think about hope. Instead we are satiated and full, satisfied and content. It is when life is not working out, when things are hard and the prospects dismal - that we lose our joy and peace.
Your joy and peace will be at the mercy of changing circumstances, UNLESS you have the presence of hope as your companion. Christian Hope makes it possible to have steadfast joy and peace even when life is hard. If you are lacking in peace and joy during a hard time of life, that is an indicator of misplaced hope and a mistaken trust.
I'll come back to that thought tomorrow as we finish this short look at HOPE.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International