Choose hope over despair

I raise the value of hope to you for it is vital to an abundant life, yet there is so much occurring in life that can drain one of hope, which is called despair. And with despair comes a draining of life’s energy, its vibrancy, and joy.

There are three questions to ask and answer about hope:

  1. What is it?
  2. Why choose it?
  3. How to get it?

What is it?

Hope is an inexhaustible fountain of life-sustaining energy. Anyone and everyone can drink from it, as much as one wants. It is essential to a full, joyful life yet one must choose to dip one’s cup into it and drink of it. We all have a thirst for hope. You cannot have too much of it; it is impossible to drown in hope. Dip the cup and drink.

We use the word “hope” in many ways. For example, we hope it doesn’t rain, we hope to win the game, and we hope to score an A on the test. This form of hope is wishful thinking.

There is a more valuable understanding of hope; it is of confident expectation. It is not hoping for something but hope in someone, like yourself. For example, “I place my hope in my ability to get through the difficult times; I hope to make a difference in the world. I hope to change.” Hope changes things when things seem impossible to change.

Yet, since we are all imperfect, simply placing our hope in ourselves is limiting. This means that we must look for hope beyond ourselves, something greater than ourselves.

Why choose it?

Note, first, that hope is a choice. We can choose hope or not. Sadly, we see more and more people choosing the alternative. Take, for example, the recent movie, The Joker. In one commentary on the movie, the Joker is seen as someone who has failed in life and, rather than choosing hope, chooses instead to destroy what others have built. His joy becomes the destruction of the joy of others. There is too much of this distructionism in our world today.

On the positive side, hope has an almost infinite offering of advantages. Hope can change lives, overcome obstacles, remove fears, and generate enthusiasm. “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” (Helen Keller) We all have our dark days and must confront the demons that seek to destroy us and rob us of the truth that hope can overcome darkness and our demons. With hope, you may fail (we all do, many times) but you are not a failure—you can become a success. With hope, you may lose (we all do, many times) but you are not a loser—you can become a winner. Choose hope.

How to get it?

There are several practical ways to get hope. You can read books, choose to be positive and eliminate negative self-talk, spend time with hopeful people, and focus on the good values that you have learned. You may even talk to a psychologist who can help reverse negative thoughts of hopelessness. But these and other avenues have limitations. To truly immerse yourself in hope, you must discover the source of true hope.

Here are typical self-help books and books about astrology and crystals.

Part of the difficulty in discovering the source of true hope is that it is not tangible. We can’t grasp it like a tool, we can’t count it like money, and we can’t see it like a movie. It can be felt, however, not with our fingers but with our souls, our inner selves. And this can be a scary leap to take. Hope requires belief; belief requires faith.  

There is only one true source of hope—with its components of belief and faith—and it is worth your full energy and life’s focus to discover it. Search for hope with these hints:

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Job 11:18

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

1 Timothy 6:17

Parting words

Choose hope. Search for your own pathway to hope, being guided by wisdom and something greater than yourself and not a false god. Become truly hopeful and then become a fountain of hope to others.

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