It has been over a year since I last wrote on here. Slightly embarrassing and I hope to do better, but 'hope' is the topic of conversation today, so lets get into it.
Hope is built around what we have faith in and what we have faith in, is build around what we love. We love something or someone so we have faith in that and cary a hope with that faith. When we do this we give power to whatever we hope will be or come to be of our faith. We give power to what we love. The power behind faith, hope, and love can then build us, drive us, encourage us, but it can also crush us. Now, I will be honest, I am no philosophical genius or theologian, and most of you are probably already super confused, and I honestly probably have this all backwards, but I can only speak from my own personal experiences and the things I have experienced with my clients, so lets dig deeper.
A lot of us, myself included place our hope and faith in the wrong things all in a search to be loved and accepted. We have a expectation (hope), we trust or believe in a process (faith), we reach the end and the outcome dictates a response. The outcome now holds the power. Where we hoped to find love and acceptance now has control. Let me explain how I see this play out with my clients.
Someone comes to me with a goal, but that goal is usually rooted in some kind of desired outcome: that they will be more desired, loved, accepted or even trusted when they achieve this physical outcome (lose the weight, gain the muscle, run faster, jump higher ect.). They have faith in me, themselves, and the process. If the goal is reached, the outcome will provide a sense of achievement or gratification, happiness. This outcome, however, is typically only momentary and doesn't fully satisfy this deep rooted desire for love or acceptance. The sense of belonging begins to become normal or their achievement begins to draw less attention over time, and slowly they retract to the their original circumstances. Sometimes it can take just a few weeks to retract, sometimes it can take years, but eventually when the outcome we hoped for fizzles away, our faith dissipates and we are left in the end defeated. Almost, as if it were all for nothing.
This power of hope though bends far beyond the realm of the gym. No matter what the circumstance, when hope and faith get misaligned we can give power to anything or anyone in life. You had faith in a person, your family, your friend, you had faith in yourself, your efforts, your hard work, your drive, your own strength, your passions, your gifts and abilities, but they can all seem to come short. The outcome never fully meets the desire you had hoped for, or like the gym maybe it does for a time before you feel like you have to do more to keep the outcome from slipping. We have all been there, significant others let us down, or don't respond the way way expected, boss wasn't happy enough, the score wasn't as good as we wanted, a friend didn't come through when you needed them the most.
I've been there myself, more times than I would like to admit. I start putting hope in things that I shouldn't only to have them leave me feeling crushed or defeated. So what do we do? Hope in nothing? I don't want to leave you with that, because that would be hopeless, but instead I'd like to challenge you to hope in something greater. Hope in something too good to be true. Find your deepest longings and desires and put your hope in something that will fulfill those needs and desires for love and acceptance. Put your faith in something unchanging. Something eternal. Something that will never fail, even when you do. Me? I've found my love, and acceptance in Jesus. He does all those things for me, but I can't tell you what to do, only encourage you to dig deep, love yourself, have faith, and hope in something greater.