Nah. I don’t do that. Seriously; I don’t do hope. And I don’t think that’s the same thing as being hopeless. I’m not hopeless by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that I prefer to know for sure. I like guarantees; to be in full control of my outcomes. I must admit that when it comes to stuff like this, I’m an avowed skeptic; of the old school of doubting Thomas. I prefer to see and touch first. I don’t like to hope for anything; I’m pretty much averse to the idea of hope.
Now, here’s what I mean.
If I can’t afford, control, or determine an outcome, I prefer not to hope for it. Once an outcome is outside my sphere of control, I would typically not bother with it. If it happens, good. If not, no problems. But the idea of hoping for something I can’t make happen, is definitely strange to my way of thinking.
I’m sure hope is a good thing. It’s been called the magic ingredient of life. Yes, I get all that. It’s just that I don’t like to function in its realm. Period.
So, let’s talk about hope.
No doubts, hope is a very powerful force; so powerful it plays in the same league as faith and love. They remain.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:13
In other words, once they get their grips on any stuff, it’s nearly impossible to wrench it out of their grasps. They have a death-like grip on anything they touch. They never give up their own. Love is like that. Faith is like that. Hope, too, is like that.
And that’s where my problem with hope starts. Like faith and love, hope never fails. It doesn’t give up. However, unlike faith and love — who hold their goods in visible and practical manifestations — hope preserves her wares in the realm of the invisible, and intangible; in the realm of promises.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
~ Romans 8:24
Just imagine that: hope that is seen is no hope at all.
So, as long as hope has anything to do with it, it stays unseen. Think about that. If your dreams are in the hold of hope, they’ll remain unseen and fictitious. If the prophetic words you received are held by hope, they’ll remain just that: prophecies.
This is why I’m not in the business of hope. If my stuff is in the grips of hope, I would usually see if I could pull it out of there; otherwise, I would simply delete it from my mind.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12
But hope by default — due to its nature — is always deferred. So to live in hope is to have a perpetually sick heart! Could this be the reason there’s a lot of depressed and frustrated hopeful people? What a paradox!
The body may be able to live in hope.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,
~ Acts 2:26
I doubt, however, whether the soul can survive in hope for long. A deep-freezer could preserve the body for thousands of years, but would kill the life in a matter of hours. Hope is like that. It can keep your dreams, and the prophecies you received, in an embalmed state. In this state, you can see the dreams; you can imagine their outlines; you can remember the texts of the prophecies, plus the circumstances under which they were given — but they will always remain unseen, intangible, and fictitious, as long as hope is the custodian.
So, while it’s cool, I just don’t do hope. I’ll rather do faith.
Permit me to show you a subtle but powerful distinctions between faith and hope.
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Thessalonians 1:3
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
~2 Thessalonians 1:11
Look at it like this:
Faith produces works and acts.
Love prompts labour.
And hope? It inspires endurance!
Why does hope inspire endurance? Because hope that is seen is not hope at all. Nobody hopes for what they already have. So, when hope is involved, it inspires endurance because it’s never going to give it to you. It simply tells you, “Wait, just wait, and keep waiting. Everything would eventually work out better in the sweet bye and bye. You don’t have to do anything. Just wait and endure.” So you wait; and you wait; and you wait. Then as time flies by, you become more miserable and frustrated. You may eventually get lucky and resign to fate. But that’s just it. You lived in hope, and died in hope.
Hope is linked with endurance. When you see someone hanging in there, doing nothing, but expecting that things will change—on their own, by an act of God, or the intervention of someone else—you are looking at hope.
Faith, on the hand, is linked with work; with action. Faith without work is dead. If what you call faith is devoid of courageous, risky, prone-to-fail actions, you may be looking at wishing and hoping here.
I have nothing against endurance —patience. As a matter of fact, patience is a highly valuable capacity; a holding capacity, to contain, control, and shape the flow, rhythm, pace, and even direction of time. Patience is a component of wisdom; a powerful force. But, I would rather not couple patience with hope. Whenever you couple hope with endurance, you have what I call the ‘mummy syndrome’— that is, your dreams and prophecies become embalmed; frozen in time and eternity. They remain real, but beyond your time and space experience. They never become facts on ground.
I don’t like that at all.
Instead, I prefer to link patience with faith, because that way I get more realistic results. And by faith here I mean wise, courageous, and prone-to-fail actions; what I do as a result of what I believe.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
~ Hebrews 6:12
When I couple patience with faith, I inherit what has been promised. This is because, unlike hope that inspires endurance, faith produces works and actions. So, when I link endurance with action, I create the type of tenacity and perseverance that takes my efforts from seed-time to harvest-time.
Hope is not without her merits, though; in fact, as I noted earlier, she plays in the same league as love and faith. When she has her hands on anything, she can preserve it intact. And being classed together with those powerful virtues, she must have her place in the scheme of things. I believe she does.
I believe that hope should be the custodian of certain things:
- Things we don’t want to experience in real time and space. For instance, the resurrection of my body
- Things beyond our control; we can’t do anything about it in time and space.
If I’m not that interested in enjoying anything here and now, and particularly if it’s absolutely beyond my control, I let hope keep it for me — for instance, the resurrection of my body. I don’t expect that to happen in this present life. This body has to die first. So, before I exit this present human body of mine, I would assign it to hope.
But if I want to experience anything in real time and space, and I I can do something to make that happen, I’ll shift it into the realms of faith and love.
What this means — and as I’ve seen in my life — is that if you want the dreams in your heart to become facts on ground, move against hope.
This was what Abraham did. He got fed up with hope and moved against it!
Against all hope…
~ Romans 4:18 [BNIV]
Then, he shifted from hope to faith.
…Abraham in hope believed…
~ Romans 4:18 [BNIV]
And his dreams materialized as facts on ground!
…and so became the father of many nations…
~ Romans 4:18 [BNIV]
Do you want your dreams to materialize as facts on ground? Then, after the order of Abraham’s manoeuvre, move against hope, and move into faith. Here are some practical steps to help you:
- Remove those dreams from the grip of hope.
Think of all the things you can begin to do right now to make those dreams come true.
- Then, decouple patience from hope, and attach it to wise, courageous, prone-to-fail actions.
That is, be persistent in executing high quality choices and decisions daily that would create the results you want.
Ultimately, the key to enjoying what you want here and now, is a radical paradigm that embraces contentment, personal development, personal responsibility, wisdom, and courage as cardinal virtues of being. Rather than hope for realities outside my control, I accept what is here and make the most out of it.