The above is a link to a video that goes along to an audio of words on the subject of hope. What the speaker says makes some sense, but it also brought a couple of other thoughts to mind. One thought was the memory of once asking God to take away my hope…and this lead to the second thought: that people decide not to hope when they are certain they know their future. See, the reason I asked God to take away my hope years ago was because I believed that hope brought me nothing but discontentment. In that moment of asking I felt that I knew exactly what my future held, and that hope was just the presence of naive dreams.
Then God took away my hope. Instead of feeling relief at His answer to my petition, I felt even more discontentment. (It’s a really weird circumstance to describe and I’m not sure I can do so accurately, but I’ll try.) I couldn’t believe that how I had decided my life would go (outside of ‘naive dreams’) was such a devastating let down. I did not have hope and because I didn’t have it there was no reason to dream. There was no reason to want more out of life, or to try and do more for others, I had decided my life would never amount to more than a narrow box-like a tunnel with no light except the distant eternity I knew I was promised.
Needless to say, I asked God to give me hope again. Since then I have discovered that hope in itself is a promise from and fulfilled by God. I have also learned something about those naive dreams (and I continue to learn…hashtag just keep growing ;) ). The dreams weren’t necessarily naive, in fact they were very realistic (though the majority of them have yet to come true…), but they were still narrow, sort of like that hopeless tunnel. God has shown me that even my dreams can limit the power I give Him in my life. His dreams for me, and for you too, are so much greater and more detailed, good, and lovely than our own dreams.
All this is to say, I guess, that we shouldn’t limit God with our hope and with our dreams or with deciding not to hope at all. The intricacies of His plans are playing out in life right now. As the speaker in the video said, we need only to trust Him and surrender our hopes and dreams to Him. Not that we don’t have them, but that we acknowledge that they are in His hands. Much easier said than done, but surrender is a daily and even momentary decision. It takes work. I also want to note that dreams take hard work, and even though we surrender the outcomes and current circumstances to God, we should do our absolute best at the work we put our hands to. The rest is in God’s hands. We should always remember that we don’t have it all figured out, and there’s no way we ever will.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8:24-25 (NASB)