Ep.1221: How Do We Keep Hope Alive?
What hope does for us and what we need to do for it to keep it vibrant
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Theme Scripture: Romans 8:25
Hope is a critical part of the human experience. Without it, our lives would be overrun with despair, doubt and difficulty. It's intertwined in every part of any experience that contains even the smallest measure of doubt. Without it, we would end up meeting the uncertainties of each day with our own internal and unanswerable uncertainties. The results would be disastrous! The fact is there are different interpretations of what this kind of optimism really is. If we place our expectations in seriously questionable ideas, circumstances or people, we will undoubtedly end up with high levels of disappointment. So, how do we keep true hope alive? For Christians, it all begins with striving to understand what biblical hope really is. Once we grasp this, we begin to see that hope in its most complete form is absolutely transformational.
First and foremost, let’s establish the difference between a true hope and a wish. When we wish for something, we have an emotional attachment to whatever that thing or circumstance is to be a reality. I can be having a bad day and wish it would end. I can be short and wish I was tall. I can apply for a job that I am underqualified for and wish I would get it. None of these wishes have a direct link to the reality of my life. Developing and banking on wishes generally brings us disappointing results.
Genuine hope is different
The New Testament word for hope means "expectation." Hope from a biblical standpoint, then, has its basis in truth and not in any emotional desire for something to be real. Biblical hope is based on things that are outside of ourselves. It is based on principles of righteousness and godliness. And it is based on the fact that God does have a plan. Biblical hope is something to aspire to because it works. It requires effort and constancy on our part, which is a far cry from the emotionalism of a wish.
With such a stark difference between hopes and wishes, you’d think we would avoid the entire wish thing and hold onto the solid expectations that hope brings. Theoretically this is doable, but practically this is challenging. It is far too easy to dilute true biblical hope with generous portions of my own desires and perspective. It's just too convenient to take sound scriptural principles and prophecies and customize them to fit my personal viewpoint.
Check out our March 21, 2022 podcast, “How Do We Keep Hope Alive?” for more. We lay out the awe-inspiring scriptures that reveal how God shows Himself to be the fundamental basis of all biblical hope. We look at the several steps needed to not only lock on to truth-based biblical hope, but also how to apply it along the way. Finally, we look at the hopelessness of our world and uncover how to be filled with hope in spite of the mess we are in. Join us! Genuine hope is something you don’t want to live without!