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Sermon #102: Hope - Life's Motivation

 

I have observed and have become 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. That is the message of this textual sermon.

There are various difficulties, 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 sickness 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 challenging situation you might be facing right now, you are either hopeful or hopeless about it.

These are the two kinds of people that I have been referring to - one kind is of the hopeful and the other is of the hopeless, with reference to a specific challenge that they might be facing in their lives.
 
You are either hopeful or hopeless about your current situation; there's no borderline position on this. Some people are hopeful sometimes and hopeless the rest of the time - they switch groups now and then.

A snapshot of society at any point in time will reveal these two kinds of people - the hopeful and the hopeless.

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.” This definition demonstrates that hope is a good state of being. It is a feeling that what is desired is possible. It is a 'confident look-ahead!'.
 
How could one go on with life if they have the feeling that what they desire is not possible? What would such a person live for?
 
In hope, one has the feeling that what they desire is also possible, or that events may turn out for the best.

In hopelessness, one has the feeling that what they desire is impossible, or that events may turn out for the worst. 

I just cannot even try to contemplate the status of the hopeless. Can such people find the fire of life?

The hopeful look forward with confidence; the hopeless remain in dense darkness.

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, 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.” Actually, sitting and waiting is not 'doing'. 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 would be wrong with them. Hope is always active; it does not waste time sitting on the doorstep!

If you hope for something, for example, you don't sit and wait for it to manifest; rather, in your hope you bring it into manifestation. Real hope is a turbo-charged motivational force! If it doesn't drive you, then it's not hope; 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; they simply have decided not to have the energy to!

If you are hopeful, it means you have the feeling that what you desire is possible. Now that's positive thinking. It means that you have a reasonable expectation regarding what you look forward to. This hope then drives you into 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 impact of these circumstances on your life will depend on whether you are hopeful or hopeless about them.

Mark my words - hopelessness (despair) 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. Remember, even in death hope abounds!

Trust in God. Be encouraged. Live inspired. God bless!