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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hope: What Is It?

What is hope? I am not planning on answering the question right now, but just want to begin the discussion. I found Wikipedia's small synopsis on hope interesting, so I will post that for starters. Read it and let me know what you think. Wikipedia says:

"Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude."

"When used in a religious context, hope carries a connotation of being aware of what Christians see as spiritual "truth"; see Hope (virtue). In Christian theology, hope is one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), which are spiritual gifts of God. In contrast to the above, it is not a physical emotion but a spiritual grace. Hope is distinct from positive thinking, which refers to a therapeutic or systematic process used in psychology for reversing pessimism. The term false hope refers to a hope based entirely around a fantasy or an extremely unlikely outcome."

Wikipedia continues.....

"In some religious contexts hope changes from being a verb to a noun. For instance, when Christians say they have hope in God they are not saying they hope God will give them good things and make their lives happier but that God is in fact, their hope."

Oh, yes, I do have some very definite thoughts about hope, so this is not a complete quest, if you will. Let's define it, let's see what our life manual, God's word has to say about it. Do we really have hope? Is there a time when the Christian cannot have hope? What makes us feel like we've lost hope as we often hear or perhaps even think?

I will be out of pocket for a couple of days singing on a worship team (something I would find difficult to do without hope) at a conference about an hour away. This allows for a couple of nights at a hotel, but for me more than likely, away from a computer. I'll look forward to your thoughts, scriptures, and challenging each other in the area of hope!


Nancy said...

Hope always remains...Faith makes it possible to hope...And hope gives way to love...Jesus our Blessed Hope...

1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Brenda said...

I'll just add that being priveleged to be called a daughter of the Most High God, even when I'm feeling hopeless, I can still rest in the true hope that can only be found thru our Father.

Kathy said...

Nancy and Brenda, thanks for chiming in on this subject of hope, which really- boiled down, is the same as the object of our hope-Jesus. Jesus our hope helps us as we see His work in us, remembering that HE'S going to complete it, that He won't leave us like we are. I find great hope in that.

Knowing He sees all things and knows all things-I find incredible hope in that.

That He left us a history book and a love letter in His word, the Bible. I find great hope in that.

Nancy said...

I really like the thought of a history book and a love letter...History shows us our utter hopelessness in our human state and character...The love letter tells us Jesus will never give up on us, whispering always to our spirit, His promise of love for us..."Here this now...I will always be with you, now and forever..."

Kathy said...

Nancy, that is so true.

Kathy said...

Nancy, just to comment further on what you said, the times He has whispered those kinds of things to me has helped me grasp and be at rest with my own personal history. This weekend on two or three occasions, it became clear to me in various circumstances, it's His battle not mine, it's about Him, not me, it's His work, not mine. It doesn't mean He doesn't care, in fact in means the opposite...He didn't intend for me to fight these battles on my own, pull myself up by my own bootstraps, etc.