A few thoughts on the subject of living and maintaining a HOPE filled life;
Firstly, where does our HOPE come from? 1Peter 1:21 carries a great promise but why is it so hard to come by in the reality of daily life?
Many people suffer with a chronic disease called insecurity. We get our feelings of apparent security from how we are perceived by others, how successful we apparently are in the eyes of the world and its standards, whether we are popular or not and many other drivers that provide a never ending stream of constant worry, anxiety and lack of fulfillment. I know because I’ve been there. I remember walking around years ago outside the community centre where the church I had planted was meeting in 15 minutes time. I was stressed out telling God I was rubbish at public speaking, rubbish at leading, rubbish at pastoring, rubbish at everything! It was in that moment of darkness that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me along these lines;
“yes, thats true your sermons and other stuff havent been that good really…’
Talk about kick a man when he’s down!
But then came the killer blow…deep inside I had a sense that God said to me;
“But you are my son and I love you…thats all that matters!” Its straight out of Romans 8:15 (which is incidentally one of the primary reasons I think that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is so fundamentally important).
It cut me up and went straight to the heart of the matter! Heres the thing; Who cares how sophisticated, clever, successful etc etc that people think you are. You are a son of the Living God, the creator of the heavens and the earth. Its what God thinks that really matters… isn’t it? Yes, we need to do our best but if you make affirmation from people your primary goal it’ll floor you.
So who cares if you preach a bad sermon despite trying your best, or you’re not the best looking and most popular bloke in the pub. (I would also add here that sometimes we just need to grow up!)
Once we have our inner security sorted the rest kind of flows from there. Heres a few more thoughts that follow on from knowing where our HOPE comes from;
- Do Hope filled things. What you do, you become.
- Kill off pessimism and cynicism. Theres no place for this in Kingdom people. We are children of light, hope and faith.
- Learn to instinctively believe the best and give the benefit of the doubt. Once you lose the ability to do this and to trust, the enemy has captured your heart.
- Remember that the gospel has a happy ending…we’ve read the last page right?
- You were worth dying for.