When you can't wait on hope

Don’t you hate that, “We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news” conversation.

It’s always followed up with the question, “Which one do you want first?”

Neither! Why don’t you go back out the door, fix the bad news and then come back in here with just good news… sound like a plan?

But, it never happens that way. Taking the good with the bad just seems to be one of the natural processes of life:

  • You get unexpected cash, and the car breaks down
  • You get some time off, you get a cold
  • You get married, you… wait, I think you get it

It’s a pattern that plays out almost everyday, but the blessings are hard to see. For example, you would not have had the money to fix the car (bad news) if the unexpected money hadn’t showed up (good news).

This same pattern seems to be confirmed in the Bible:

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience.

Hope, that’s good news, right? We like hope.

Waiting, not so good news. Can I pay for the fast pass please, I got stuff to do.

Biblically, there is a symbiotic relationship between hope and waiting. While I can’t think of a single person who enjoys waiting, there really is no true hope without waiting, and waiting without hope is just desperation.

Consider this, if you claim to have hope, but have no sense of waiting, praying, urging, expecting you really don’t have hope. You just have a word.

Sometimes we like to say we have hope, but we really aren’t waiting for or expecting anything. We just use the word hope because we want to convince others (even ourselves) that we really are in the game.

  • Regarding a marriage: “Well, I hope he comes around, but…”
  • Regarding our finances: “Things may get better in the next quarter, but…”
  • Regarding our health: “I hope I can lose some weight, but…”

These could go on and on and on.

We need to understand that if we really are going to experience hope, we have to enter into active, eager, expectant waiting.

If not, we’re just talking smack… to ourselves.

The other half of the equation is the same. You can’t really wait in a healthy, productive way without hope.

Waiting, without hope, produces anger, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and even depression.

  • Waiting for a companion, but not expectant they will ever appear
  • Waiting for a promotion, but sure you’ll never get it
  • Waiting to feel better, but doing nothing about it

 

I believe that waiting without hope is one of the most self destructive patterns of behavior in which a person can engage.

It silently erodes your will. Discreetly decays your confidence. It deliberately decimates your character.

You might be asking yourself how to put this knowledge into some kind of productive application. I’m glad you asked.

Hoping and waiting together are ingredients of another concept, faith, or belief.

The words faith and belief are all over the Bible, but our contemporary use of them is not how the Biblical terms were used.

In the Bible, faith/believe meant to trust in, rely on, lean into. You may say you believe in a lot of things: Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and professional wrestling to name a few. But, you really don’t believe in flying until you get on the plane.

Faith/belief isn’t something you do in your head. It’s something that comes to life in your hands and feet. It’s something you hope for and wait upon.

Whatever it is that needs to change, happen, arrive in your life don’t just hope and don’t just wait. Practice faith.

Your marriage, your kids, your job, your health, your future all deserve your whole effort; hoping and waiting. Hope, pray and plan as you eagerly expect, dream and wait.

Hoping and waiting hold hands. You should hold theirs.

 

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