As we continue to look at how to experience hope, I want to point out that hope is not having a goal or plan for your life to achieve. Some people are very good at having a plan for their life while others are not. A good example of this is my late wife Barbara who was always looking forward to something new and how to achieve it where I was content to live day by day. I have heard over the years a scripture used to promote goal-setting for your life – Proverbs 27:11 which says “Where there is no vision the people perish”. However, this scripture is not about goal setting but more about hope – the word vision can be translated as Revelation or Divine guidance. Let us go back to the scriptural definition of hope – “Favourable and confident expectation”. Hope is something that we are experiencing now – it comes from the power and presence of God in our lives. Understanding and applying the word of God to our lives builds hope in the way that we live. Romans 15: 4 says: “That we through the patience and comfort of the scripture might have hope”. This is reinforced in Psalm 119:130 which says: “The entrance of your word gives light” and in Psalm 119: 11 Your word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against you”. It is not a matter of reading the bible but allowing the revelation and inspiration of God’s word to be part of how we live.  I am so encouraged by the truth of Romans 5:5 which says: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”. Again the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit is made very clear – our expectation we receive from the Lord does not bring us disappointment to our lives but gives us joy and peace in our everyday living. I now want to look at another aspect of living a life full of hope, I want to look at what happens when we do not live with hope. The opposite of hope is doubt and doubt is usually expressed by a negative attitude and mindset. I believe this mindset is a tool of Satan to rob us of the joy of living God’s way. As I have reflected on the times that I have been negative I have learned that this is a learned behaviour – The more I am negative the more acceptable it is to me. I am challenged by Romans 14:23 which says: “For whatever is not of faith is sin”. This means being negative is a sin and we should repent instead of accepting it as normal behaviour which takes us away from enjoying our Christian life.  Hebrews 12:1  says: “ Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us “.  A negative outlook can only be changed by repentance because repentance means to change the way that we think. It is good to recognize the plan of Satan so that we can live with a favourable and confident expectation in the Lord.

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2 thoughts on “Experience Hope Part 3

  1. There wouldn’t be alot of Christians that would consider thinking negative is sinful, either about themselves or life in general is sinful, but as the verse says “Works Without Faith” is sin. If I am not thinking about myself or my circumstances in a positive faithful way, we’ll I am sinning. Joy only comes from thinking about Jesus, well for most of us, we are focused on happiness from our good happenings.

  2. I thank God I was born with a happy, positive disposition. I meet a lot of negative people and they are miserable, christian or not. Thank you Lord for all the joy you bring to my life.

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