Give Up on Your Irrational Hope

Give Up on Your Irrational Hope

Nine years ago I started an organization called Summit Leaders. I had some big hopes and dreams for that organization. For years I was certain that I was going to meet one person or one event would happen that would take my little dream to the next level overnight. It never happened like I wanted.

I got tired of having my dreams dashed to pieces. So much so, that if something promising showed up on the horizon I tried to not get my hopes up. In the last few months I have just begun to see the growth I’ve hoped for over the years, but it has taken a longer time than I ever wanted. The nine-year process of disappointments has really caused me to rethink what it means to hope in God. Proverbs 13:11-12 is an articulate description of where I now stand on hope:

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

I’m pretty certain that the first part of that verse applies to more than just wealth. Things that come too fast just won’t last. To get where you really want to be it happens little by little. Strong hope lies in incremental growth.

I don’t know about you, but most of the time what I’m really hoping for is instant gratification. I want a magic trick. Something from nothing. I want the strong relationship to magically appear. I want to win the lottery. So I pray that God will use all of his power to give me what I want – right now. We hear just enough stories of this happening for people that we believe it will happen for us. (But truth is, the stories we hear of overnight success are never the full story. There are no overnight successes.)

But God works through processes. He uses The Law of the Farm that Jesus talks about in Mark 4:28: “The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.” A harvest doesn’t appear overnight. It’s a process and that process always works. You can trust the process.

So the question I now ask myself is this: Am I looking for God to do a magic trick or am I looking for him to be true to the processes he put in place?

God can do whatever he wants. He can easily make something from nothing. But more often than not he uses the processes of sowing and reaping that he designed. This is a cause for great hope in my mind. It’s a rational hope. We can hope with confidence that when we sow we will reap. We can be confident that he who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. We can work hard, pray hard, and sleep hard knowing that God is working his processes behind the scenes at all times – even when we can’t see it.

Feel free to sit around hoping that God will do a magic trick. He’s a gracious God and he might just do it. But if you want a hope you can sink your teeth into I’d hope in the processes and promises God put in place.

When your hope is based on the process and promise of God you won’t be disappointed.

…so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… Hebrews 6:18-19