whatever your going through, ‘get’ your hopes up!
I had a bit of an epiphany this week which took me way back to my roots and reminded me (in quite beautiful terms, just ‘why’ I originally fell in love with the Jesus I asked into my heart … ‘why’ I chose to put my trust in Him and His leading, rather than continue along my own broken path, and ‘why’ my hope (in Him) has not been disappointed! So … here’s something for those of you that need a little epiphany too … enjoy :o)x
“The message of the god news of Jesus is the message of hope. But if you feel hopeless, the gospel is going to fall on deaf ears. It will not take root in you”.
So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:9)
When Moses first came back to Egypt, the Israelites were hopeless. They were slaves and brick makers when Moses came peddling hope. Moses told them, “God has sent me to take you out of Egypt.” He showed them signs that convinced them. He gave them great hope that perhaps God was real after all. They began to believe that the God of their fathers cared about them. Moses raised their expectations of life.
But when Moses went to Pharaoh to deliver this message, Pharaoh responded by increasing the workload of the slaves and making their lives even more difficult than before. After that the Torah says that “they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage” (Exodus 6:9).
“Don’t get your hopes up,” people say. Nothing is as painful as misplaced hope. The higher your hopes, the further they plunge.
Sometimes it is hard to listen to hope because of our despondency. Having dared to hope in the past and having been betrayed by that hope, we resolve not to be hurt again. One way to avoid ever being hurt again is to refuse to hope. The pessimist is actually afraid of hope.
After facing disappointment, it is difficult to hope again. When we set out to accomplish something for God, our initial enthusiasm cools quickly as we face difficulties and setbacks. For example, a person sets out to make peace with his enemy, confident that this is God’s will. But his enemy takes advantage of the gesture and aggravates the conflict. Or perhaps a person goes to witness to others about his faith by bringing the good news of Messiah, but it seems that no one receives the message. Or a person may resolve to take on some significant life change. He wants to improve his character or break free from some addiction or pattern of sin. At first he makes a strong effort, but almost immediately he fails in the attempt and ends up just as bad or worse than before.
The pessimist claims that he is just being a realist, but despair is not reality. The heart of the pessimist is really saying, “I am comfortable in my despondent state. Please don’t raise me out of this state, because I can’t stand being teased with the chance of happiness. I would rather be unhappy than risk the chance of disappointment.”
Such an attitude, however, is the antithesis of faith. If we truly believe in God, we should be incurable optimists, living in a constant state of expectation. If God is on our side, we cannot lose.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
When you know you cannot lose, you have nothing to fear. You don’t need to be afraid of disappointment. You don’t need to be pessimist to protect yourself. You can afford to be an optimist. The world needs more of those. God wants to raise our expectations. He wants us to get our hopes up.
As we set out to do good, to be good (or at the very least, to do better and be better) we can rely on God’s compassion, His promises and the power of His name to get us through the discouragement.