Truths That Transform: The Foundation of Hope
An old Rich Mullins song called “Pictures in the Sky” contains this line:
“Down here on earth it’s hard to keep in mind
When the days are hazy the sun still shines.”
This shows the importance of perspective – what we see is determined by where we are, where we are looking, and whether we’re seeing with physical eyes or spiritual eyes. Hope is like that – it’s based on perspective. Circumstances like debt, bills, unexpected expenses – these can cloud our vision and dim our hope. Maintaining hope in the midst of these types of circumstances is a matter of maintaining perspective – the ability to see above the clouds.
Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). These are the words of a person who sees beyond the immediate circumstances. Of course, we know that even Job wasn’t able to maintain that hopeful viewpoint through all of his suffering. Suffering (including financial “suffering”) can wear us down over time, dominating our thoughts and dimming our hope.
How can we keep hope alive in the midst of financial or other difficulty? Everyone’s response to difficulty is a bit different, based on temperament and background, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
Hope is based on faith, not fantasy. Hope is more than wishful thinking. Hope is based on faith in something that we can’t see, but nonetheless know is real. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith and hope are tied closely together. Fantasies like winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune from a long-lost relative don’t provide real hope. Instead, trusting in a God who loves us, who has a plan for us, and who provides for our needs gives us hope.
Hope is anchored in obedience, not outcomes. Emergency funds will be wiped out by unexpected, well, emergencies. Anticipated raises or bonuses may fail to come. Debt retirement plans may take longer to execute than anticipated. If our hope is based on outcomes, it will rise and fall with circumstances only partially within our control. However, if we’re faithfully following where God leads, remembering our place as stewards, God honors that obedience over time, which validates and increases our hope. Obedience is in our court; outcomes are in God’s hands.
Hope stores its treasures in heaven, not here. Colossians 3:1-4 tells us to fix our hearts and our minds on heaven, not on earthly things. Hebrews 11:13 tells us how the “Hall of Faith” members retained their hope: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” Hope and faith come from an eternal perspective, rather than an earthly one. Hope is not based on a certain amount of money in a retirement account or even on a balanced budget; it’s based on a faithful, good, and powerful God – One who is always on our side.
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean in Jesus’ Name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand”
Good Sense Movement Team
Good Sense Movement
Transforming Finances! Transforming Lives!