Hope is overrated

English: "Mountain of Despair" -- pa...

English: “Mountain of Despair” — part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, DC. Image is that visitors pass through the Mountain of Despair to the “Stone of Hope.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope is overrated.

It’s a crap shoot that gambles away our perseverance against the odds that one day our circumstances will improve.  It’s a blind wager that spiritually bankrupts.

It has no substance.  There’s little reason to believe that things will get better.  We just want them to, and we naively believe that’s enough.

Often times hope takes no effort because we’re just waiting for the stars to align in our favor.  Since we believe that our situation isn’t up to us, we do little or nothing and wish upon a star.

Allegorical personification of Hope: "Hop...

Allegorical personification of Hope: “Hope in a Prison of Despair” by Evelyn de Morgan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simply waiting it out can lead to artificially numbing the pain of the struggle in the most convenient way.  You know what that looks like for you.

Our kind of hope is based on our desires – the way we want things to work out in our lives.  So even if we get to achieve our humanly conceived utopia, it often doesn’t measure up to expectations.

But, fortunately, the hope I’ve been referring to isn’t the hope of the Bible.

Hope found in the Bible is different from today’s version. The Greek word means: Confident expectation of eternal salvation (NAS NT Greek Lexicon).

It’s not a wishy-washy anticipation of what we’d like to happen.  It’s not waiting for an unfeeling universe to give us our due.  Things will get better because God said they will.

It’s living out life with a purpose more grand than our comfort and a reward beyond our wildest dreams.  Things will get better. It may not be in this life, but it will be for eternity.

Because we trust in Jesus, we know that our suffering isn’t arbitrary.  He uses it for our good.  So we don’t just bear it, we look for how he is improving us through it. Instead of lessening the pain in addictive ways, we attack the area in our lives that God is bringing to our attention.

Bible hope can change your world by changing your outlook.

Have you ever been in a job you hated?  When new employment was secured, what was work like that last few days at your old job? Nothing mattered!  Bothersome coworkers no longer affect you.  Your cramped office and awful hours no longer bring you down because you know they are even more temporary.  The days are good not because conditions have changed, but because your confidence in the future has changed you.

Imagine living life like that – as if you can bear the worst conditions because your mind is already set on something greater.  The Bible uses the word hope to define faith in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV)

God says that real faith, the kind that he commended the heroes of the Bible for, is derived from trusting in him for our future – that, ultimately, he will make things right for us.

If your quality of life is based on chance, it’s time to upgrade to real hope.  Put your trust in Jesus and look forward to a real future.

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