When we were children, discovering the wonders of the world, expectations, desire and hope were a natural part of us. We were fascinated by fairytales and hoped that our prince would one day come; we hoped that there would be a pot of gold at the end of our rainbow and that good would always overcome evil. We never expected anything less. When things didn’t initially go our way, when we were not allowed to go out with our friends that night, or we got a no when we asked our parents for money or even when that boy we liked from afar didn’t like us; we always had that expectation deep inside that good things would come our way because that’s the way things are supposed to be. We were always hoping for something.
However, as we get older, we start to develop cynicism as we start counting our disappointments one by one. After one disappointment too many, we start counting the cost of hoping, trying to gauge whether or not we can really achieve what our heart desires. When we can’t see a definite way out of a situation, we choose not to hope rather than face the hurt of disappointment yet again.
A blessing came into my life recently that reminded me of an old flame of hope that I almost allowed to die out. I was waiting and praying for this blessing for what seemed like forever and each time I expected it to happen, it didn’t. There were times that I thought that I was so close that I could taste it only to find it out of reach once again. So I stopped thinking about it, even praying about it. I switched my focus to other things deciding to “use my faith” in other areas. But the deeper truth was that I wasn’t really using my faith, but was carefully avoiding disappointment. I stopped hoping for something that I knew I wanted just to spare myself from heartache.
The Holy Spirit led me to look more closely at something I read all the time; ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for…’ (Hebrews 11:1). I realised that without hope we can’t have faith. Hope gives birth to faith. We cannot have faith if we have lost our ability or our courage to hope! That is why we are born already being able to do it. It is our God given ability. Even to believe in God, we need hope, because without it we can’t have faith and without faith we are nothing.
So, what have you been too afraid to hope in again? Where have you been so hurt that to even think that things will ever change seems too far fetched? I challenge you to dare to hope again, but hoping in the way that God intended, the way you did when you were a child. You see, to hope in God is to believe that the good things He promised will come to you; it’s just a matter of when. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:24-5)