“What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.” A. W. Tozer

Sermon #59: Hope - Christian Exhortation

I hope I find you in the best of health, both spiritually and physically, and may the good Lord bless you as you read this article.

I have observed and have become totally convinced that there are just two kinds of people in this world, and the lives of these two kinds of people are as different as day is to night. Only two kinds, not more.

There are various trials and tribulations in this world, but only two kinds of people. There are various levels of poverty, but only two kinds of people. There are various forms of sicknesses and disease, but only two kinds of people. You put the two groups under exactly the same difficulty and they react in totally different ways. It’s amazing!

Whatever situation you might be facing right now, you are either hopeful about it or hopeless. These are the two kinds of people that I have been referring to. One kind is made up of the hopeful and the other is made up of the hopeless. You are either hopeful or hopeless; there’s no middle position. And I find the word ‘hopeless’ quite disturbing!

You need to stay armed with hope; it's critical.

But what is hope? The Random House College Dictionary Revised Edition defines hope as, “The feeling that what is desired is also possible, or that events may turn out for the best. To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. To believe , desire or trust.”

Let me give you some of the characteristics of hope:

First, hope is not passive; it’s active, energetic. Some people think that to be hopeful is the same thing as sitting down on the doorstep and staring at the horizon, waiting for something to pop up. To me that’s not hoping at all; it’s sheer idleness! Goethe said, “Sitting and waiting is not my way of doing things.” You surely need the same mindset. If you sit and wait, then you are doing nothing. If I see somebody sitting down looking sullen, I would think that something will be the matter with him. Hope is active! If you hope for something you don’t sit and wait for it to manifest; rather, you bring it into manifestation. Hope is not passive; infact, real hope is a turbo-charged driving force. If it doesn’t drive you, then it’s no hope it all; it’s something totally different!

Second, hope never relents; it just never surrenders. The hopeful persevere. That's the power of hope. The hopeless never persevere and some of them never even attempt a thing; all they do is shout at others. If you are hopeful, it means you have the feeling that what you desire is possible. That’s positive thinking. It means that you have reasonable confidence regarding what you look forward to. So nothing could stop you from working towards that which you hope for.

Third, hope does not disappoint, unless it is the 'sitting and waiting' type. The Bible also teaches that hope triumphs over difficulties (Rom. 4:18).

What problems are you facing right now? What difficulties? What ailments? What level of poverty? The result of these circumstances on your life will depend on whether you are hopeless or hopeful about them.

Mark my words - hopelessness is a killer. It kills the spirit first, then the body follows. So from today, make a deliberate choice to be always hopeful. You've got to learn to look beyond the circumstances.

God bless!

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