Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
When you hear people argue about God being a man-made construct I always wonder what they think about the concept of hope. Hope, in general, is experienced by other animals in simplistic forms. My dog hopes that a piece of my dinner will fall off my plate in to his mouth. And given his level of whining and drooling his hopefulness can get pretty intense. But if my dog were to say, get cancer, would he understand the hopefulness of being cured? When my previous dog, Molly was old and ill we called in a woman who does home euthanasia. As the drugs were administered into Molly’s body we gave her a feast of her favorite treats. She resisted succumbing in her desire for one more treat. But was she able to hope to not die? To hope that something better awaited her after death?
It seems throughout God’s animal kingdom creatures were gifted with just enough mental capacity to meet their basic needs. It’s obviously so or else we’d see them building super computers and skyscrapers. The animal kingdom doesn’t concern themselves with their fellow animals’ living conditions in far off lands, much less those in the house next door. As humans, God instill in us something that no man can truly explain. A sense of the past, the present, and a hope for the future.
It’s that hope, that “looking forward to God’s good work” in our situation that is so uniquely human. And I praise God for it.
Like love, hope is found in many forms. We can hope it doesn’t rain out the baseball game. We hope we get the job. We hope our vacation turns out the way we dream. We can hope for a better life. Hope for a cure. Hope for a child. But the hope God really wants us to rely on is the hope based on trusting that what He has in store for you and I is for good.
We can have hope that the trials we currently are going through will teach us something important and will leave us with something good. We can have hope that God has a good plan for not only ourselves but for our families who believe in him. We can place our hope in a future beyond this place more glorious than we can imagine.
I’m so thankful God gifted us with this unique brand of hope. Without it we have hopelessness and despair. We would be left only with anger and disappointment and confusion.
When I look around these days, I can see the destructiveness from lacking in God’s hope. The aching and yearning for answers. It leads people to depression, violence, and self- harm. But that’s because deep in each of us is the knowledge that brokenness is not the state God wants for us. Its foreign in our bodies and therefore makes us uncomfortable and unhappy with life. We desire to be hopeful. Some of us just haven’t accepted the prescribed method – God.