What is Hope? Where does it come from?

Random thoughts. Not a thesis.

My pastor suggested Sunday (while touching on the relationship between hope and faith) that hope (like faith) is evidenced by action.

And that got me thinking.

Hope is not a passive thing.

It is active. Whether we really hope may be shown by what we do.

It is also a type of dependency. We’re hanging on something outside ourselves (and probably outside of our control, or we would have made it happen already).

In contrast, despair is really a type of arrogance.

I’ve never heard a better definition than Gandolf’s in The Lord of the Rings: “Despair is for those who see the end beyond all doubt.”

It claims a completeness within one’s self, then is crushed when (surprise!) that source becomes inadequate for the task at hand.

Despair only reveals the smallness of the one despairing, and probably a lack of humility to look outside to greater resources.

When I was in high school I was taught that people once believed it was the eye that lit up what is saw.

Just now I cannot imagine how anyone could actually have believed this, considering the size of the eye, and what it supposedly illuminated (and the limitations of night and day…).

But taking it as an idea, I feel this is a good analogy/reminder about hope:

Hope is not something we produce. It is like light to the eye. The eye does not illuminate, it opens to receive illumination.

When we acknowledge our need and look outside ourselves (especially when we look to God) we are no longer limited to our own resources, and I think that is what enables us to hope.

6 thoughts on “What is Hope? Where does it come from?

  1. I love the idea that the eye does not illuminate, it opens to illumination.

    Reminds me of when Christ would say, “He that hath eyes to see, let him see.” Meaning, open your heart to illumination by Him who directs our paths for good.

  2. (this is more in response to the questions you asked me in a previous comment than to this post)

    I think your new look and picture are great! they seem to all show up ok.

    A funny thing happened recently…you mentioned something in a post and my heart almost stopped. I knew (vaguely, not closely) another Amy, who has a lot in common with you, who had done that same thing you had mentioned, and I thought for a moment that you might be someone I knew once. But I’ve since cleared it up – your pictures helped with that. How funny!

    Another thought on hope – it is more than wishes. Not “I hope it doesn’t rain” but a Person. God. All our future, all our hope, in Him.

  3. I love the idea that hope is expressed with action. It’s not dormant, and it really does take depending on God. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  4. From an article by Carolyn Mahaney:

    God is not sympathetic to my unbelief. Why? Because fear, worry, and unbelief say to God that we don’t really believe He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ps. 86:15). We are calling God a liar.

  5. Nice to “meet” you!

    Good thoughts here. I have known so many moms who end up in despair or just discouragement and STAY there. I think we all feel sad at times. For me it usually means I need a nap! But living in despair has to do with your view of God and the world…

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