**If you would like to listen to this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the audio version.
My March theme is commitment. At first, I totally wavered on this commitment I made in January to write about commitment.
Ironic, I know.
See, I wanted to talk about commitment in March because I personally believe this is when we are least committed in our year. Or maybe that is just my perception since I live in the cold Midwest.
Don’t get me wrong, but come the end of February, leading into March, my hope is fading fast. If you remember my post from last week, I told you I believe our reason to commit boils down to hope. The hope for better.
But, Minnesota in March is dreary. Outside is no longer white. It isn't green either. It is just 50 shades of brown. Cold snaps require more time inside and everyone becoming a little stir crazy and completely annoyed. The, “I’m bored”, syndrome is in full miserable force. Oh, and the weather is deranged, in which one day it will rain and the next snow, making us all a little batty and leaving us wondering if winter will ever end. On top of all that, we now start to realize we won't be able to button those shorts from last year and there's no real drive to change that fact.
We make it through every year though. That’s why we Minnesotans are tough.
Actually, I don’t believe it’s toughness, I believe we are hopeful.
This feeling of hope…
Let me go back just a step. One of my mentors made a podcast titled, “Hope is a Problem”. That got me fired up. For the longest time I didn’t listen to it. Then I decided that I needed to hear what she had to say. Let me tell you, it was eye opening.
See my mentor, she’s not a Christian. Her view on hope is a worldview. Looking at the world’s view made me realize, hope is a problem. Hope to the world is a wish. When you think about a wish, what action does it make you want to take?
None. It’s just a wish. Don’t you just wait on a wish?
That’s the problem. The world’s hope is dependent on something in this world working out and you benefiting from it. We hope we feel better. We hope our life improves. It leaves us waiting and comes from a sense of lacking.
This view of hope is kind of depressing. We see all that we lack and just cross our fingers for something better.
Good news ladies! We can totally reject this hope because we have God’s hope.
Yep. There is a big difference between the two.
Hope is not the problem. The problem is the world’s view of hope.
Biblical hope is certainty. The biblical definition of hope is CONFIDENT EXPECTATION of what God has promised. The best news yet…God doesn’t go back on his promises.
Lets take a few verses from the bible and swap out hope with certain (or certainty).
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you CERTAINTY and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
And CERTAINTY does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
May the God of CERTAINTY fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
But if we are CERTAIN for what we do not yet have, we wait patiently. Romans 8: 25
See?! If hope is a certainty in God’s promises, we can EXPECT what he says in his word then. It’s not a wish. It’s an expectation; it’s KNOWING what is to come.
Lets apply this biblical hope to real life.
How would you show up in your life differently? What actions would you take?
See in this sense, hope is a commitment (which is an action and an emotion). It is a commitment to stay faithful and to choose to be certain of God’s plan, not ours.
So ladies, don’t use hope in the meaning that you cross your fingers wishing for things. Don’t be of this world. Use hope as an expectation of great things from GOD.
Use it to make choices to take action in your life KNOWING there is something better in your future.
Just like we Minnesotans do. We hope for the warm, beautiful weather to come. Not as a wish, but as a knowing it will.
A few last thoughts so you don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself wishing. Hope doesn’t come naturally. Satan wants to destroy hope for us. That is why the world’s view of hope is so twisted. We must constantly remind ourselves that we are not wishing. We are certain. We are certain because God told us in his word.
I’d like to remind all of you and myself that struggling to hope is normal. Look at the psalmists. They constantly wrote about hope and how they wrestled with it. But they kept committing to it over and over again. They saw hope as the best choice and so should we.
Commit to that hope for a future and take the action to get to that expectation.
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
Boom! Now that makes me want to hope God’s way!
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