It’s been a minute since my last correspondence, real busy, but thankful that God is still in the Blessing Business! A lot has been going on in the world, good and bad; for me, I just had to stop watching the news, understanding that they only report the bad not the good that goes on, but somehow I find myself turning on the 10 o’clock news every night and getting upset if I missed the first 10 minutes because that’s usually when they tell you all the bad things that happened in the world or in your city! You ever notice how you feel after watching so much negativity? It causes anger, bitterness, and in some cases, despair. Think about it. When you see injustice, or hear of some child being hurt and abused, your emotions are flooded with feelings of anger, malice, and if you could, vengeance; but since you can’t directly help that person or child, you feel hopeless, which brings about despair. This makes you mad, and may cause bitterness towards a certain person, group of people, or organization. For instance, if all you see on the news and Internet are African Americans being killed or abused by the police, watching enough of this will make you hate the police and even become afraid of those called to serve and protect. Now the reality is that all police are not bad, just like I don’t believe that because I went to prison that makes me a criminal, thief, murderer, or whatever other labels others may think of me. The word felon, especially, it’s as if I was different from the rest of the world, they don’t know me! I am so much more than they could ever understand. Upon hearing this word, it even caused me to have some reservations about whom I was which quickly dissipated as the depths of my soul cried to my mind: You Are A King created by the Almighty God under the King of Kings, which reassured me of the Hope that is in my heart “Jesus.” So with that let me share something with you, and it’s called “Hope.” Yea, I know what you’re saying, ‘how can I have hope in this situation?’ It’s like a story I read about a little boy who pessimistically defined hope: “Hope is wishing for something you know ain’t gonna happen.” It has been said that a man can live 40 days without food, about 3 days without water, and about 8 minutes without air—but only 1 second, without “Hope”! The greatest enemy facing man today is despair (absence of hope). Looking at the world we live in, people are committing suicide, giving up on life in general because they believe there is no hope.
Especially in prison, as days, months, and years, go by with nothing changing in your situation; this surely could bring about an attitude of despair. I truly know how that can be, feeling like there is no hope, which is just an illusion to keep you in a state of confusion. When you’re confused, you can’t think or focus. That’s why there are over 500,000 mentally unstable men in the world of incarceration who have lost hope due to the point that reality has been lost to them, which is a lie from the devil. First, lets look at what hope is not! Hope is not “wishful thinking”: an attitude or belief that something you want to happen will happen even though it is not likely or possible based on an unrealistic view of the world. Some call it daydreaming; you imagine or wish without any effort or planning for the object wished for. For example, I wish to be rich and therefore, I will be. It’ll just happen! That sounds ludicrous; even playing the lottery, you have to do something, but I wouldn’t advise that either. Anyway let’s look at what Hope is by looking at the 8th chapter of Romans, verses 18-20, 28 (Read whole chapter 8).
“I consider that the suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory to be revealed to us for the creation waits the eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. The creation was subjected to futility not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it in hope. And again we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
We see wishful thinking is not what Paul was talking about when he writes of hope. The verse above begins with an honest acceptance of what is real! Even Paul understands the world is not what we would like it to be. Far from being an ideal world, it is filled with pain, tragedy, and loss. I don’t believe Paul is saying that that’s all there is to life; he’s just saying that we need to acknowledge what is real. We, ourselves have seen and heard of pain and suffering, even to the point of experience. The verses declare that hope comes from a realistic view of the world, and this view of the world is only possible through faith. Because faith demands that we see the world with open eyes and yet discover God acting in it. Faith gives birth to hope, for hope, when it sees the world as it is and comprehends the presence and activity of God, dares to reach into the future believing that the same God of grace is already there preparing the future for us! As the writer of Hebrews declares, this realistic hope that we all can partake of as children of God: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction or evidence off things not seen (Heb. 11:1). No matter how dark the situation, our hope dares to believe that God will do in the future what God has promised. Hope is founded in God. And like faith, hope is finally vindicated because God is faithful. Faith grounds us in God; hope opens us to God’s future. In 1 Corinth 13:13, we see the three building blocks of our walk with God: Faith, Hope, Love, and we know the greatest is Love. Our Lord Jesus would have us build our lives solidly on faith, but God would have us accept the future that was promised us and this can only happen through the spiritual gift of hope! Even Abraham in Romans 4:18 (NLT), kept hoping, when there was no reason for hope—believing that he would become the father of many nations. We are just like our forefather, always abounding in hope! And always, Remember to THINK!
Until Next Time,
(I AM PURPOSE)
Words To Ponder When Talking With God!
Romans 5:3-5 “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”