I Really Hope I Win the Lottery of Life!
What really is hope and is it the same as when we say, “Oh I hope that I can get a . . .,” “I hope it all works out like I want,” “I hope they don’t sue me!” “I hope my team wins today.”
How does hope relate to the need to gamble our way through life; is hope strong enough to stand in the face of uncertainty?
Hope is a mindset which we learn to develop. It comes more naturally to some than it does to others but the positive outlook of hope makes a huge difference to how we live. It’s more than just the glass is half full/ empty attitude, it’s more than optimism. With hope we learn to look at a situation and recognize the positive elements it presents. Circumstances may look bleak but we have learned to hold on to hope: hope that the situation is merely a tool and that behind that tool is a God who cares about us and wants us to succeed. The events may change but the attitude of the God who cares remains the same; he cares and wants us to succeed.
It is in understanding that fact that we gain the power to continue on through life, we see the answer to depression and find the energy to press on, not by gritting out teeth and using all our willpower – this is not some mental game or test of our personal strength – but by the serene knowledge that really, all is well. Throw the negatives if you must but I can’t be shaken from my hope. My hope is based on the faith I have that God is in ultimate control and will not let me down. Really, all is well!
Why are you downcast and so disturbed? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God. Psalm 42
We learn to stop looking at the dark side of each and every situation and instead remember that God will come through for us – that is our hope and the antidote to our hopelessness.
But this hope is not about wishful thinking and the denial of reality. It is a positive mindset based on the declaration of faith: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29
The way of faith recognizes the truth of those words and lets them permeate through our minds until they affect our demeanor and our attitudes. This is a process and it’s one we learn.
When calamity comes the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have hope. Proverbs 14:32
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall, I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3
It is the faith foundation which makes this hope different from the wishful dreaming kind of hope. “I hope it doesn’t rain today” is not in the same league as hope based on God. With the weather deal we have no control over what happens and we will simply have to accept what comes, it doesn’t have any power to transform our life and won’t destroy us. We might get “cabin fever” or we might let rain make us grumpy but it’s hardly an earth shattering event (unless it’s your wedding!) The hope we are referring to is the deep-seated confidence that keeps on surging into our attitudes that God is in control (whether we can explain exactly how or not) and events are not out of control. Good will come out of even the ugliest of situations because God cares about us and he has good intentions towards us.
Nor is this some “cupboard love / prosperity thing” – it is not an opportunity to manipulate God into becoming our servant. It’s based on what he has already made known to us so there’s no need to play positive thinking games; we simply accept the information we have been given and let it affect our attitudes. It is a gift from the God who is able to save us in every situation. We do best when we learn to focus on the God who cares about us rather than on some miserable situation we are facing. The situation will change but God will not change his mind towards us.
This is the mindset we are developing: we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts. Romans 5
Does faith have a place in all this? Where? What?
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11 Hope is our effervescent demeanor which reveals we are on the trail of faith. We are irrepressible because we understand that there’s more to life than meets the eye. Much like an iceberg, the biggest part is hidden from view; it’s the same with life. Our eye of faith sees and connects with God and we become people of indomitable hope. Others may have trouble understanding why we are so full of hope and we can explain it –
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3
We know that whenever we are tempted to become negative and hopeless that we only need to meditate on the character and promise of God to release the power of hope in our lives once more. This life is no game of chance when we know where we are going and who is going with us.
Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 1 Corinthians 13
We come to a new year as extraordinary people because of an extraordinary God.
Way to go!
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Posted on December 31, 2011, in Active faith, Leadership, vision and tagged despair, faith, Hope, Jesus, optimism, perseverance, positive attitude, Religion and Spirituality, winning the lottery. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.