It could be a new job offer, or a potential relationship or friendship or you name it. It might have the potential of being awesome, but on the flip side, if it doesn't work out, we'll be devastated. And when reality sets in and our brain conjures up all of the previous times where we've been disappointed by hope (and conveniently leaving out all of the times where good things have worked out for us), we have to weigh the pros and cons. And if the con of having hope is that we could be disappointed, that's bad.
So obviously, the logical step, then, is to protect ourselves from this potential disaster and gamut of emotions by throwing off this thing called hope.
Hope. This one tricky little word that somehow we have fooled ourselves into believing is dangerous. Is devastating and a liar and out to hurt us. But is it?
Well...no- putting our hope in hopelessness does no more to help our life, our walk with God or even our human psyche than actually having hope. Romans 8:24-25 puts it this way:
"For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."
Hope is most evident when we can't see- when it doesn't exactly seem possible, when, without a sovereign breaking in of the power of God, it's not possible. That's where hope thrives.
And what if we put our hope in these impossible situations and God doesn't come through? Aren't we left worse off than if we hadn't had any hope? Well, yes and no. If we become disappointed at God and decide to swear off hope and trusting Him in the future, resisting the process and journey He has us on, then yes, we can be left worse off.
But many of the Biblical writers understood that while "hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12), they saw deferred hope as part of the process of refinement. They saw deferred hope as a way to practice contentment.
James writes, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4).
And Paul writes "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (Phil. 4:12).
When hope fails, it is not the same to say that Jesus has failed us. Instead it is all a part of His divine plan and His divine process in our lives, working to produce a pure and spotless Bride in us. Working to produce extravagant lovers and sanctified individuals for His glory and for our benefit.
Especially in the impossible situations. Either you will see the miracle of the Lord in His divine intervention. Or you will see the miracle of the Lord in the changing of your heart as He produces patience and contentment and a more pure love.