What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What is it that helps you persevere through difficult circumstances? What is it that motivates you during the week? For Christians, I believe the answer is hope. What is hope? I like John Pipers’ way of defining it. He says that hope is the futuristic aspect of faith. Hope is the confident expectation in God concerning the future.
Hope is not simply wishful thinking. We trivialize hope with statements like, ‘I hope it doesn’t rain today’ or ‘I hope there isn’t a lot of traffic’ or ‘I hope my wife doesn’t realize I forgot our anniversary’ (Yikes!….Hopefully that is hypothetical). Hope is being so sure in God and His character that you say things like ‘I know God will be faithful’ and ‘I know my God will not fail’ and ‘I know He is good and will bring good from this somehow.’
True Christian hope allows us to see the world differently. Where others see doom and gloom and walls and dead ends, we see light and redemption and open doors and possibilities. When we walk through difficult and trying circumstances we know that ‘God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.’ When we start to feel paralyzed with fear of failure and we want to give up, we recall that ‘He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.’
Even for us who are walking through difficult marriages, strained family relationships, and challenges with friends, we know that the gospel is all about reconciled relationships (us and God and us and others), according to 2 Corinthians 5:19. Here’s a very practicial thing to do today. Think of 1-2 negative and discouraging thoughts that discourage you on a regular basis and drain your motivation. Write those thoughts down and then go to the Bible and find a verse that speaks hope over those negative thoughts. Once you’ve found those verses I want you to type them out and tape them on your bathroom mirror or in your car where you will constantly be reminded of God and His promises.
I’d like to sign off with this blessing from Romans 15:13 today that says, ‘13 So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.’