Hope = Trust
When I think of where I find hope, my mind goes to where I put my trust. I put my hope in the same places that I put my trust. My favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Replace Trust with Hope, and the message is the same. Go ahead, reread it.
Trust is Hope.
I love to be in control. I’m the oldest of 3, so I always made the rules. I was the captain of pretty much any team I was a part of. I served as President of my high school class. I’m type A by a landslide. And I’m a 3 (Achiever) on the Enneagram. Control is my jam.
Until I can’t be in control. Then I struggle.
Through that struggle is when I have (slowly) found hope to be my only source of comfort. Although I can’t control outcomes or results or situations or relationships, I’ve learned that I can control where my hope is. And many times, that’s about the only thing I can control.
Hope is a choice that I have to make for myself… day, after day, after day (after hour, after hour sometimes). It’s not the flip of a switch, (in your deepest King James voice) “Today I determined I will have Hope in the Lord forever!” Nope. It’s a day-by-day and hour-by-hour choice. “Today I will not worry, complain, and let myself get down about the unknown and lack of control I have over my future, job, or relationship. Instead, I hand this situation over to You (again) God, and I put my hope in the plans that You have for me.”
I’ve learned this many times before. God’s plan for my life - and for YOUR life - is far greater than the plan that I spend months evaluating, stressing, and worrying about. Literally, SO much greater. I’ll give you an example:
When I was deciding where to go to college, I basically narrowed it down to two options: (1) Go to Indiana University and attend every basketball game ever or (2) Go to Taylor University only to play volleyball. A few weeks after my visit to Taylor, the volleyball coach called to say she had offered a spot on the roster to a setter that was 5 inches taller than me. Okay, decision made - IU it is!
God had other plans.
After an unexpected visit from a recent Taylor alum, my entire outlook changed and I knew Taylor University was my next step after high school for reasons far beyond volleyball - besides it was out of the picture…. until it wasn’t. I decided on a Monday night that I’d be going to Taylor without volleyball, and I was okay with that. But, like God does, plans changed again! On Tuesday night, Coach Motheral called to offer me a spot on the team as a setter. The 5’10” setter hadn’t accepted her offer.
God’s plan all along was for me to go to Taylor and play volleyball. But He knew that my Taylor experience would not equate to what He wanted if I went to Taylor just to play volleyball. He took volleyball away to open my eyes to why He wanted me to go to Taylor, and after doing so, He brought volleyball back into the picture. Had I followed my own plan, I wouldn’t have enjoyed Taylor for what it is far beyond just the game of volleyball. And quite possibly, I may not have gone to Taylor at all! And if that were true, I wouldn’t be writing this today, I wouldn’t have been in 4 weddings this past year, and I wouldn’t have met Josh Lane (a story for another time) - among so many other things.
God’s plans are far greater than my own. And I am SO thankful that they are. The freedom that comes from knowing that my hope is in the One who is God and was once fully man; the one who is almighty, all-knowing, and omniscient; the one who sent His Son to die on a cross for me, that is unmatchable. And because of that, my need for control and my worry and my anxiety are relinquished to the hope that I have in God’s power and plan for me. He’s got this.
What is your hope in?
Choose it. Rep it. Live it,