"The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself, and not to abandon it to his enemy." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Quincy Adams
I've been thinking a lot about hope and optimism vs realism lately. It seems to be coming up in a lot of conversations recently... I talked about it with a student of mine as she's been struggling with something, and with a friend who wrote about it in her blog last week, and with friends who are trying to get me to see the light, and move the heck on from something in my life. Hope makes me do the dumbest things. It makes me believe that the impossible is possible, or that the unknowable can be known. Hope can determine whether I'm happy, or when my hope's been deflated, it can decide that I'm going to have a bad day.
Hope isn't always bad thing. On bad days, hope in a better tomorrow is what gets me out of bed the next morning. In difficult situations, hope is what keeps me pressing forward. Without hope in this world, people would be miserable.
Even with hope in this world, people are miserable... because we hope in the all the wrong things. Obviously, as a believer, I know that its what we Hope in that makes all the difference. As a Christ-follower, our hope is found in Him. Jesus, whose love is unfailing and everlasting, is our Rock, our Redeemer. He's given us everything to hope for... Jesus is my hope.
To know this and to actually live it out is the greatest struggle I have between my flesh, and the new life I've been given in Him.
Hope. When placed in Him, it means new life, light in the midst of an impossibly dark place.
When placed in things or people... it leaves us chasing something that can't ever be caught.
I pray to be a person who really does rely on Him to be my hope in this world... to be the thing that I chase after.
He is jealous for me.
"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5
"But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." Psalm 33:18
"But now, Lord what do I look for? My hope is in you." Psalm 39:7
"My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:81
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:17-19
"Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your savior, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security."
"Sometimes I go to God and say, "God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth, I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already. God's already put me so far in debt, that if I were to live to one million millenniums, I couldn't pay Him for what He's done for me. " A.W. Tozer