Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
Hope is a beautiful thing. Hope begins when we anticipate something of promise. If you are sick you may be hoping for the time when you are well. If you are jobless you may be hoping for the time when you have a job. If you are empty you may be hoping for the time when you are full. Hope is a great way to look toward the future. It inspires us to a more positive disposition. It is very hard sometimes to have hope when you are discouraged. It’s like having a dark curtain pulled down over your eyes about the future. Yet hope has the ability to let us peek through the darkness into the light and find encouragement.
When we place our hope in God, we don’t stop doing the things that matter. I still go to the doctor when I am sick though I hope for wellness. I still have my car serviced though I hope it will never break down. When we rely upon God, we are placing our hope in the One who has the ability to see the future before we arrive there.
There are obstacles to hope. A bitter disposition is a barrier to hope. Anger, hate and past failures can get in the way of hope. These mindsets can distract us from the promises of God. We need to let go of these past patterns of thinking and embrace the future God has for us. This is easier said than done.
There is also one other disruption to hope and it is success. There’s a story about an artist who painted a beautiful masterpiece. Every day he came in and admired his former work and failed to get any painting done on his future projects. His teaching master destroyed the painting, whereupon the arrival of his student he watched as he searched for the painting everywhere. Finally, the master asked his student for what was he looking? “My painting” he answered, “I can’t find it anywhere.” The master said, “I destroyed it because it was impeding your progress. You can’t get any of your work done because you can’t get your mind off your past success. Let it go now and move on with the work at hand.”
I wonder how many times God wanted to shake some past success out of our minds so we would pick up with the work at hand. Set your hope in God and on the things God desires and you will be full of hop--not only for you but for everyone you meet. May your days life be filled with the hope of God from this day forward and forever more.
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