Lately, I have been seeing so much hopelessness in the lives of friends, co-workers, and family members. Some of them know it is on them; you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their conversations. For quite a few though, they don't see it. Actually, most would look at their lives and listen to their conversations and say for all appearances sake they seem pretty hopeful. However, I've noticed one major difference between them and the people I know who are truly hopeful; the source of their hope.
On the one side, those that are truly hopeful find their hope in the unchanging, foundational source of Jesus Christ. On the other side, those that appear to have hope, find it within themselves. There's only one problem with finding it within ourselves. We are broken. Life has dealt nearly all of us some hefty blows. Some from the very people we thought would love us and protect us, while some came from our own stupid choices, and others simply came from just living life. Either way, we are all affected by this life and seek for ways to relieve ourselves of the pain, the hopelessness.
I know that longing for relief all too well. I've had my share of pain, some caused by others, but a lot more caused by myself. See, in my pride I thought I could figure it out, laugh it off, numb it away. In essence, I thought I could perform my own surgery; because in all reality that is what all of us are in need of, heart surgery. Our whole lives flow from our hearts, both physically and spiritually. The problem is that our hearts have been pierced repeatedly throughout our entire lives by the arrows of rejection, neglect, abuse, and the like. There is one arrow though that is self inflicted, pride.
Pride is the one poison that whispers sweet nothings into your ear promising life and freedom from the pain and hopelessness, only to deliver internal death and separation. Separation from what you ask? From the one true source of Life and Hope, God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. I lived in that prideful state of hopelessness for way too long, 15 years before my date of salvation and then again nearly 10 more years after my salvation.
That's right, as a Christian, a Christ follower who loved God (to the best of my broken humanity's ability), who read God's word regularly, went to church, strived to be the best Christian he could be and who knew he was called by God. Oh, I professed with my mouth the “hope” that I knew I was suppose to have, that I cognitively knew I had, but deep in my heart had never experienced it fully. I had a taste of that hope at my conversion and that sustained me for a couple of years while God implanted some foundational Truths in me, but then He needed to start the process of sanctification to rid my heart of anything and everything that was not of Him. Funny thing, I'm pretty sure I prayed a prayer like that numerous times in my early years. I for one am grateful that God answers prayers and extremely grateful for His perfect timing.
So what I have found, is that pride and True Hope cannot exist together, especially in the life and the heart of a Christ follower. As long as pride is sitting on the throne of our heart, there is no place for Jesus, our Hope and our Salvation. That means we will have to humble ourselves and trust that God is who He says He is, can do what He says He can do, and will be all He says He will be. That's a scary thought for most of us. After all, the last time we trusted someone that much it did not end well for us. Well I'm here to say that taking that step of faith, humbling myself, and trusting God was the best decision I have ever made. To be honest though, all I really needed to do was humble myself and receive His gift of grace. That's really the only decision any of us need to make. He is faithful to meet you where you are and walk with you through the fire. Stop stabbing yourself in the heart with your pride and receive His healing touch of eternal Hope. It will be the most freeing thing you've done.