“…my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Lamentations 3:17-18
Hopelessness. It’s the reckless abandon of expectation. It suffocates dreams and knocks down vision. It puts out the hottest fire in the most zealous soul. Hopelessness stalks under the brush of disappointment, pouncing at the first sign of weakness in our faith. It is the aim of our adversary. He seeks to steal our joy, kill our passion and destroy our destiny. And the way he accomplishes this? He feeds us a lie that is laced with truth:
“It’s too good to be true. Don’t get your hopes up.”
Gods promises, he argues, are too good to actually be real. He tries to convince us they are a far fetched fantasy, that has no real chance of coming true. Like a fairy tale existence, many of us have bought the lie that what God has said and declares about us, is too good to be true.
So we settle. We conform. We compromise. We miss out.
That’s the enemy’s goal; to convince you not to get your hopes up, so you’ll settle in the rut of complacency, never reaching the full measure of Christ’s bounty He has promised us. (Ephesians 3)
For many of us we expect lesser things and so that’s what we get. We don’t really expect to live in our higher calling, because it’s unrealistic.
To us, reality is based on our perception. The things we can see, touch, hear, think…to us all those things are possible. But God isn’t limited by the walls of the mind or the borders of the heart. Instead, He bypasses what we call barriers and sets a new stage for reality. He uses a way higher than ours to bring us in.
Hopelessness is when we try and bring God down to our level. Hope is when He brings us up to His; where He shares His heart, His plans and His vision. Hope is based on something much bigger than ourselves. It’s based on the fullness of Christ. Hopelessness on the other hand, is based not on the abundance of Christ’s strength, but on the lack of our own.
The biggest trap we could fall for today is this: Don’t get your hopes up.
That’s what the world would tell us. We hear it from Drs and bankers, from friends and foe. We rationalize and scrutinize our plot. We weigh our chances to safe guard against disappointment. We’ve grown skeptical of the supernatural. We have tasted the manna but forsake the fruit of the promise land.
So why do we take the bait? Why do we fall for the lie, “it’s too good to be true “?
Because it’s bigger than us. Bigger than our perception and so it’s unbelievable to the natural man.
Just the thought of God cloaking Himself in humanity, submitting Himself to suffering to the point of being beaten and broken by His own creation, is unbelievable. But the story doesn’t end at the cross, that’s only the beginning.
Then when all thought hope was lost-the grave shook with resurrection power, as the Lamb roared in victory over death and the grave, silencing hopelessness.
Some would say that was unbelievable. But He wasn’t done.
He then appeared to over 500, commissioning and confirming, over a 40 day period, at the end He rose again. This time it wasn’t from within the earth but from the earth. He ascended on high, and as He did so did all those that would believe. He cloaked the believers in the same resurrection power, arming them with authority and placing purpose on their heads. With this final act He set all who would believe in Him on the higher way; above hopelessness.
Christ has disarmed the bandit of hopelessness. He has sabotaged the enemies attempt at annihilation. He gave us hope.
Hope in a new day. Hope in victory. Hope in love. Hope in purpose. Hope is restoration. Hope that will not disappoint. (Romans 5:5)
You see hope doesn’t disappointment because it’s based on the permanence of Truth. The unshakable foundation that states: He is ours and we are His…forever.
You see all that’s why all this seems too good to be true. It requires faith; the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
How tragic would it be to hope only in what we can see, only in what we can rationalize.
Faith calls us to see things that aren’t as though they are. To step above what we can rationalize and to believe…to believe there’s purpose in all this, the believe that it’s not over.
Hope promises to deliver what good intentions cannot; contentment.
You are mistaken if you believe this is it. That suffering has the last word, that violence and hatred have ransacked peace.
Hopelessness causes us to believe the charade of darkness. Don’t buy it. Don’t take the bait.
No matter what has suffocated your hope and stolen your happiness, now this:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies are never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Hope is based on the permanent love of God, not the temporal threat of suffering.