Hope is a Valuable Commodity!

Hope emerging

Hope is such a powerful commodity. At this time of collapsing value in the stock market, collapsing trust in political leaders and even in political systems, the question arises “Where is hope?”

 

Let’s consider several areas of life as we know it and how hope impacts upon them:  At the basic level of individual motivation, men are fundamentally driven towards action and the hope of success. They know that certain actions produce results, and are driven by the desire to achieve desirable outcomes. Women are drawn towards relationships and knowing each other more. They know that getting to know people is rewarding and keeps friendships and families together and healthy. They are both urged on by the hope of the outcome they want. Healthy families are the basis of hope for our society.

Let’s look at society and what it is based on:  Our western society, particularly in Britain and America was based on the hope of the Kingdom of God. That is to say that our laws, judicial system and principles of business started out from Biblical precepts, and are built on the clear understanding that obeying God and submitting to His truth results in healthy society and consequent peace and prosperity. This is another way of saying that living God’s way is to live in the hope that obeying his principles will bring about His pleasure and we will all benefit from His blessing.

For many generations Christian society and culture were based on a hope in the afterlife resulting from obeying God in this life. The Christian message offers blessing in this life, but the over-riding goal is our hope in the everlasting world to come. This hope is steadfast and certain, and provides a solid bed-rock for our society and institutions in family, education and the business world. This is a hope that permeates every aspect of life and thinking in our culture and daily living. Our hope in God and hope of eternal life motivates us to live well and to do good. In this way hope is the engine and power for a strong and stable society.  Living God’s way does not just open up a possibility, a chance that things will work well, but a certain and definite commitment from God.

In this generation we are seeing a new kind of hope being offered. This is a false and temporal hope. People are being seduced across the world with hope of becoming rich and hope of being lucky in life. The infection of false hope is seen in every walk of life. We are hypnotised with the wafer thin ‘hope’ of winning the lottery and becoming super-rich in a day. Many hard working families long for the day that they might have a dream holiday or afford a luxury car or enviable home. The essence of the hope the world is offering is short term, wishful thinking, luck based, and faintly possible.  It usually requires someone else to suffer less good fortune to make it possible. The very concept of a lottery is a deception that rakes in millions of dollars from millions of people who cannot afford to throw money away. They are given a fleeting taste of what feels like ‘hope’ in return for wasting their money on the smallest probability of winning. The book of Proverbs says that money quickly gained is soon lost.

Modern thinkers want us to be raised with the random and impersonal concept of evolution as being the way in which we all came into being. We are fed on the belief in democracy and the rightness of the majority. All of this conditions us to think in terms of possibilities and probabilities and ‘luck’ as the route through to good fortune and positive outcomes. Little wonder that we easily adopt the world view of hope as a sense of “things might get better, if we could only close our eyes and dream a little longer or a little harder!” Most drug abuse and alcoholism is a result of people in pain wanting a sense of hope.  But, they get a counterfeit, a feeling of positive elation that can be bought for a moment.

Hope in God is certain and defined, making for a solid and consistent society. Hope in luck is vague and relativistic, without a reference point and is drifting. Hope in luck will ultimately lead to social collapse and possibly violent hatred, as people turn on each other with nothing real or eternal to look forward to. The Bible warns that without vision, the people perish. Vision is a form of hope.

 

This post is a part re-publishing of the chapter written by John D Manwell: “Hope that makes a real difference” which was first published in the book“HOPE – when everything seems hopeless” by Thomas P. Dooley, Mall Publishing Co. ISBN 1-934165-20-4

(C) Thomas P. Dooley 2008.  Used with permission

 

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