Bible Reading: Romans 5:1-11, Hebrews 6:13-20, Psalm 27:13
Ever been deflated?
Deflated is when you’re sitting quietly on your own and somebody promises you your dream device. You’re bursting with so much ginger and excitement, counting sleepless nights until D-day. You finally get to the point when it’s supposed to happen and fiam, nothing.
Almost every Nigerian child can relate (bicycles, bicycles, bicycles). No matter how old you are, it can be very heartbreaking to long for, plan for, or just be in expectation for something, only to be met with an ‘ela’ (incase you’re wondering what this is, kindly refer to the profound message “I see Jesus” by IniOluwa Akin).
Disappointment is definitely a hard pill to swallow. King Solomon put it this way, “hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12)
Beyond the immediate heartbreak though, I believe disappointment has a way of causing us to try to protect ourselves against any more disappointment. It’s human nature to want to defend ourselves against unpleasant circumstances. So we build defences, theories and philosophies all in the attempt to keep expectation minimal. After all, you cannot be disappointed if you had no expectations in the first place
Maybe you began the year with a trailer load of hope and expectation. You were gingered for all that you had planned! Plans for your marriage, your kids, your finances, your business, your job, your academics, that trip to the Bahamas. Now you’ve had to quietly fold the plans away (or wash them down the toilet) because things didn’t work out the way you hoped. Or maybe things didn’t go too badly for you, but you feel you just need to quietly lower your expectations and everything would be just fine and dandy.
If we’re not careful, disappointment will quietly but surely steal away your sense of hope.
Whether tiny disappointments or mighty disappointments, they have a tendency to quietly chop away at the joy, the passion, the courage and the audacity that comes with living full of hope. If we don’t pay attention, disappointment will put drags on our steps, a slump on our shoulders or just simply blow out the fire of expectation inside our hearts. That’s the point when the Twitter bio changed to “Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be”
But God wants us to love full of hope and expectation! The Christian life is not a sorry, sloppy, foot-dragging trek to heaven. It is a joyful, passionate, audacious, faith-filled race that glorifies Jesus!
How can we live hope-filled no matter what life throws our way? I believe that the following handles would be very helpful:
- Root Your Hope in Jesus
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:2-3 MSG
Life is what it is. If 20220 has taught us anything, it’s how unpredictable life can be. And so we simply cannot look to circumstances as a basis for our hope because they will fail us, just as people will disappoint us. Our sense of hope and joyful expectation must be rooted in something (or someone) far surer than life (and people) with all its (their) shenanigans. We need a rock solid anchor with a track record that we can depend on. And who better to depend on than Jesus!
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8
Wow! Because of Jesus, I have every reason to live full of hope! When I had nothing to offer except sin, Jesus died for me! What?! Talk about boundless love! Why then should I wake up on any given day and allow depression?
The creator of the Universe loves me without inhibition! I have every reason to expect God’s goodness in every waking day of my life! I can dream, I can make bold and audacious plans, I can hope for the very best. He loves me!
- Steady Your Hope With Conviction
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the loving” Psalm 27:13 NKJV
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living” Psalm 27:13 NLT
True hope is based on a conviction, not some flimsy on and off emotion! Hope is not some feel-good optimistic vibe about the future. Thats a high. Hope is what gives you a reason to take on each day with fresh joy (Rom 12:12) Hope gives you something to believe for, which pleases God (Hebrews 11:1, 6) and moves mountains! (Matthew 21:21). Hope births boldness and audacity in you! (2 Corinthians 3:12)
“Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary” Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT
When you feel a deflation coming on, don’t try to switch on an emotion of hope. Simply go back to what you believe about Jesus. Go over the story of the Gospel again. Go over every good thing He’s ever done for you. Say it aloud to yourself. Remind your mind of every statement of who Jesus is to you. Steady your hope with conviction!
Something to Pray: Lamentations 3:21- Would you take some time today to recount every experience where God showed up for you this year and thank Him for His faithful love to you?
Taiwo serves as a Volunteer Leader at Sycamore