Friday, March 01, 2013

What is Hope?

        How is Hope different from "wishful thinking"? See if you agree. . .

Some people declare that Hope is not logical, and the intelligent thinker will abandon such a childish concept and plunge ahead in their search for the ultimate desire:  success,  recognition,  ample finances,  etc.

This was the outlook of a guy named James.  He wasn’t completely egocentric, but he was very observant.  He saw who got interviewed on the TV programs and the newspapers.  He found news reports on the Internet.  None of these people were shy about talking about themselves and their achievements.  Even someone who had a spectacular failure was right back on the stations, smiling and assuring everyone that there were so many new possibilities, now that he’d taken those first steps of exploration.

James didn’t want to get to old age with some worthwhile achievement not even attempted.  Of course, he’d like his family to be proud of him, but even without their backing him he really wanted to prove himself to himself. 

One day after work, unwinding in the local coffee house James spoke up and found some great conversation when he asked for their opinions of the idea of Hope.

Every person who believes that there actually is the Creator of All, and who realizes the fact that all people have failed to be perfect — these people are on the right road to realizing the full dimension of Hope.

Our Maker gave us two tremendous gifts, first the gift of life here on earth, and secondly, the ability and the freedom to choose.  If we choose to turn from Him, then we can.  If we choose to turn to Him, and be directed by Him, then we can. 

It is possible for us to use our freedom to deny our Creator, to choose to disobey His directions and to corrupt our convictions.

Now, He doesn’t just let us make such a foolish decision without giving us little reminders of Who He is and how much He loves us.  He allows circumstances to come our way that are designed to give us pause in any rejection of Truth.  Like a parent who scolds the disobedient and defiant child and then uses punishment to teach a lesson, God may discipline us with diseases and disasters, but this can make us stronger.

When we wake up to the fact of cause and effect, and open our hearts to the fact of God’s loving presence then we can receive a certainty that we can be forgiven of our shortcomings, careless responses, angry actions and words, in fact — all those things under the title of “sin.”   And then we can embrace HOPE. 

  It was food for thought, and a challenge to James . . . 

By Elaine Hardt ©2013