Spiritual Vitamin: Hope
by Pastor Ted | October 23, 2013SPIRITUAL VTAMIN: HOPE
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the subject of hope. It’s not just being an optimist. A lot of people confuse hope and optimism. An optimist sees the glass as half full and the pessimist sees the glass as half empty. But hope sees that the glass is held in the hand of God. This is good news if you happen to be a pessimist. You feel like you can never be hopeful. But the truth is, you can be pessimistic and hopeful. You can recognize that even in a world where things aren’t perfect, God is still in control. That He still holds things in His hands. But in a world, such as the one we live in today, how can you and I have hope? Well God gives us four steps we can use to get the hope we need to life to the fullest. Paul tells us about this in Romans 5:4 “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.”4 Steps to hope:
1. Get yourself a little problem! That’s pretty easy. God says it starts with suffering or a problem. Are you going to have problems? Yes. And if you are going to have hope in you have to learn to deal with them. The incredible thing is that God takes those very problems, that come into our lives, and He uses them for our good. I don’t know how He does it but He uses them to give us hope.
2. Get yourself a little patience! This is a little more difficult. Romans 5:4 “We know that suffering produces perseverance [or patience]” Growth requires both of those things – problems and patience. It just takes time for some problems to be solved. Some problems in our lives we can solve pretty quickly. But there are many others you just can’t solve them right away. As you patiently wait, God develops your hope. “The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.” Romans 15:4
3. Get yourself a little perseverance! “Don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” James 1:4. God starts to change us. He starts to develop us. But it requires us to stand firm in the face of adversity. Hope emerges out of the fire. If you find someone with great hope, you can know that they’ve been patient, they’ve endured and persevered through some great trials in their life.
4. Get yourself a little promise! “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1st Peter 1:3 “But I have hope when I think of this: The Lord’s love never ends His mercies never stop.” Lamentations 3:21-22 “…those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23. That’s just three of them! There are so many promises in the Word of God that will help to build hope in your life. All you need to do is read them, learn them and then place them in your heart so that you can call on them when the problems come.It isn’t difficult to figure out where hope comes from! It comes from the resurrection. The resurrection started with a cross. Hope begins at the darkest places of our lives. The cross tells us that God not only understands our pain but He can turn our pain into a spiritual vitamin: hope.