Gilland: Hope makes a big difference

I had an interview with a guest recently, and he referred to himself as a “glass half-full kind of guy.” I chucked inwardly at that description, thinking about the many times I have heard that phase as a descriptor of one’s outlook on life.

It is very fitting, and a helpful image to have, because every one of us has to deal with life and its daily situations that call out our perspectives. Our situations may be different, but we are all going to be challenged deeply by life’s many ups and downs.

As I analyzed this image of that half-full or half-empty glass, I asked myself this question, ”What makes a person more positive, not just in that specific moment, but every day, generally speaking?” The first thing that popped in my mind was a simple four letter wordhope.

As important as hope is, it seems today to be in short supply in many sectors of American life. More so now than in recent years, people are facing challenges in even the most basic needs of their lives (can you say baby formula?). If there was ever a time that we need to be “glass half-full” people, it is right now. So, how do we get this secret sauce of hope?

We go to the source. No, not the government for another stimulus check. But to God and His word, the Bible.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 ESV)

Hope is like a valuable asset that we can invest, and with it, we can believe for the promises that have been given. I heard one preacher define hope this way: “Hope is the constant expectation for good.”

That seems simple enough, but hope’s ultimate source is truly found only in God and not in any other entity.

Hope is not an empty wish. It is not a “roll of the dice” where we “hope” for a good outcome. Our hope is solid and tangible, and based on the living God, the maker of heaven and earth. It is not up to my efforts, or my best wishes for a better outcome.

My hope rests on the unchanging nature and goodness of God. And He is good, even if our circumstances are not. With hope in Him, I can walk through the difficulties of life, trusting that their waters are not going to overtake me.

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