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The Hopers-March 18, 2024

What are you hoping for?

Monday Morning Devotion-March 18, 2024

The Hopers

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.   Romans 12:12

*from April 2015

          All of us are hopers.  Not hoppers, those are bunny rabbits and have two "p's" instead of one.  We all hope!  So, we are hopers.  In fact, like the song says most of us have "High Hopes."  I won't go into my favorite line from that song here about the "silly old ram who thought he could butt a hole in a dam because he had high hopes." :)

            Anyway, everybody hopes.  John Ortberg ("Know Doubt") says "We are all hopers.  We are creatures who cannot stop wishing.  We are four-leaf-clover collectors.  We wish on the evening star. We grab the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey and break it believing that the one who gets the longer piece will get his wish."  So, we all hope.

            Stop and think about how many times you have uttered a "I hope."  Such as  "I hope…something happens."  Maybe you hope a check will come in the mail, or you will have a favorable response to a presentation and get the business, or hope you will be able to fix something or figure out a problem.  Yes, we "hope for the best" throughout our lives.

            Hoping can be heart-breaking especially when what you are fervently hoping for doesn't come through.  So sometimes we don't dare share our greatest hope.  We keep it a secret.  It is as if telling it would let it escape.  Then, it will never come back or get answered.

            Maybe by sharing our hope with another person we feel like we are opening ourselves up to ridicule or judgment.  We may feel the big hope that we have harbored in our heart will be made to look like nonsense or at least unimportant or trivial.

            Sometimes our hopes when exposed to light don't seem as magical or huge as when we were thinking about them in private.  There is a sense of, uh…hopelessness that creeps in.

            In an on-line sermon by Jack Wellman I read that the difference between the world's view of hope and the biblical definition is: "the world's hope is a 'hope so' whereas the biblical view of hope is a "know so."

            The biblical view of hope "changes the way we live.  It changes our perspective about what we are going through today. "

            Pope John Paul II said, "without hope there is no faith."  That's why we continue to hope.  Since our faith is in the Lord we have hope. 

            "Hope is faith waiting for tomorrow.  Faith requires belief, and believing is what we do with our minds.  Faith requires commitment, and committing is what we do with our wills.  But faith must also have hope and hoping is what we do in our hearts."

            That's why I gain so much comfort from my favorite scripture.  Yep, here it comes again. You've heard it and read it in these devotions before.  I don't think we can be reminded of this too much.  Jeremiah 29:11.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future."

            Because of our hope, that is grounded in faith, we are able to make it through even the toughest of times.  Hope is a very important part of our makeup.  It is found in the Old Testament 70 times and 59 times in the New Testament.  Throw in 11 times for "hoped," one "hope's," and a "hopeth" and that's a lot of hope.

            Alexander Pope (1688-1744) wrote a poem called "Essay on Man."  In it there is a timeless phrase.  People quote it often without even knowing who wrote it.  "Hope springs eternal in the human breast."

            Basically, that means that people will keep on hoping no matter what the odds.  We continue to hope that things will get better.  We feel that there is always hope, no matter what happens.

            People with high hopes become leaders.  CR Snyder, co-author of "Making Hope Happen" says 'It's exhilarating to encounter high hope people.  How they think about life is infectious.  They leave trails of energy and positive feelings wherever they go.  Hope is harnessed as an evolutionary engine, the concept of human improvement---inspiring us to go forward, do better, achieve great things."

            I read this on-line ( and it makes sense. "On a personal level, hope is good for us.  High-hopers procrastinate less, can withstand discomfort and pain more (twice as much, studies prove) and are less anxious and have fewer depressive symptoms that their less hopeful peers."

            "Success, wrote Winston Churchill, is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. We encounter obstacles all day long, but a hopeful person generates more pathways through.  The difference between getting there and getting stuck is a matter of mindset.  We can give up at hurdles or we can continue to hope, approaching all the intervening obstacles as just another monkey bar."

            When King David was nearing the end of his time and was told by the Lord that it was his son Solomon, not he, who would build the temple to the Lord he gave Solomon these instructions:

            "Be strong and brave.  Get to work.  Don't be afraid.  Don't lose hope.  The Lord God is my God.  He is with you.  He won't fail you.  He won't desert you until all of the work for serving in the Lord's temple is finished."

            David was telling Solomon not to focus on fear, but to get to work.  And when our life's activities are committed to the Lord, those high hopes will be realized.

            Yes we are hopers and with good reason because our hope is in the Lord.  And oh yeah, that silly old ram did butt a hole in that dam.  "Oops there goes a billion-kilowatt dam." :)

Monday Prayer:  Lord, we have high hopes, and it is exciting to know that when these are grounded in our faith and trust in you, they will be realized.  Amen!


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