Depending on where you are in life Hope has a different meaning. As children we were hoping to grow up and be just like Mommy or Daddy. As teenagers we were hoping to finish school and find the perfect mate. As young adults we were hoping to save enough to enjoy retirement. As older adults we are hoping to age gracefully. Hope means different things to different people!
Hope is the state of mind that believes and desires a positive outcome to situations in your life. It is the feeling that things will turn out for the best. It is consistently looking forward to that positive outcome to something planned in our life. Hope is going through life expecting with confidence that everything is going to be OK. Hope is cultivated when we have a goal in mind and are determined to achieve that goal because of the plans we have in place. It’s not a fantasy but something that has been thought out and planned.
Although Hope means different things to different people I believe there are at least 4 common aspects to this thing we call Hope. Research has shown that hopeful people have these common traits:
- H. Happiness. It was Allan K. Chalmers who said, “The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Hopeful people are happy because they have confidence they have done everything possible to ensure a positive outcome to situations in their life. It’s not a silly happiness but a calm assuredness with life.
- O. Optimistic. This is a by-product of knowing that we have done everything within our power to reach a certain goal and now it’s in God’s hands. It’s a type of surrender. To accept the things we cannot change after we have done the things we could for a positive outcome.
- P. Peaceful. Hopeful people are also peaceful. There is no frantic aura around hope. It’s the calm that comes from having a plan and working that plan and then turning it over to God.
- E. Excited Expectation. As Christians we stay in expectation of Jesus’ return to this world. We stay excited because we know that He holds our future and the plans He has for us are plans for peace and not evil with hope and a future with Him in Heaven forever.
There are times in life when the future looks bleak. When it seems nothing is going our way or working out the way we wanted. That’s when we need to remember that the greatest hope in our faith is that of eternal life. This hope is based on Jesus and our relationship with Him. Stay strong in that knowledge.
When things look the darkest we must still rejoice in the suffering, knowing that the suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope because God’s love has been poured into our hearts. If we continue to hope for what we cannot see we will wait for it with patience.
It was Norman Vincent Peale who said, “Where there is hope there is life.” When God closes one door, He’ll open another one. Keep watching with Hope for that next open door.
One of my favorite hymns says:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Keep believing in your God given abilities and trust in Him and stay Hopeful!
I’m in this with you!
~ Mary Ann Blount