Hope is such a powerful force. It's what keeps us thinking and reaching forward. It's what keeps us afloat in the ocean we call life. Without hope one sinks into the depth of darkness quickly losing direction and purpose for their own existence. Trust me, I know first hand.
At the young age of 14, I had lost all hope. I had sunk into the darkest pit imaginable without the slightest inkling of how to get out. I confided to an adult that it was so dark I could not see what way was out. I likened it to a muddy pit because all effort to claw, climb, scrap my way out only landed me exhausted, miserable and scrounging for the strength to get up and try again. That pit was a hopeless depression that produced anxiety and dread along with many other things.
Dread was like a 100-pound blanket I carried around with me. It sapped every ounce of strength I had leaving me too tired to do normal everyday things. Dread is the fearful expectation of bad; terror of the future. Dread, dread, dread! The very word sounds awful, and it is! What could be so bad in the future to cause one to dread? What is it, ahead of us, that could cause terror? Well, for me, it was the idea that nothing would ever change. The idea of staying in a perpetual state of darkness and pain produced dread. Oh my! That is such a scary thought! However, as heavy and exhausting as dread was, it was no match for the power and strength of hope.
Hope is the expectation of good in the future; it is to look ahead and feel what you desire can be had or will turn out good. My first experience with hope was only discernible to me and no one else. It came when I least expected it. It came as I was listening to another teenager tell a story of how God helped them and I had a thought. I thought, "If God helped them, I think God will help me." Boom! Here is your introduction to HOPE! It wasn't a simple thought. It was hope! Like an unseen ingredient in your favorite spicy dish to eat, hope is the unseen ingredient to a powerful breakthrough. Hope is not showy at all. If you allow hope instead of dread to "simmer" long enough pretty soon it rolls to a boil. That boil overpowers dread and instead of fearful expectation you now have a confident expectation. Confident expectation boils until all of a sudden you begin to see faith rise like steam filling the air around you.
My prayer for you reading this today is that you would experience the power of hope. I know too many Christian stuck in dread. Whether it be dread of a certain day, event, memory, task or future in general, it doesn't matter. God wants to give you back that missing ingredient. He wants to turn that dread to hope and that fearful expectation to good expectations. He wants you to experience life to the fullest and part of fullness comes from a boiling hope!
If you find yourself in dread I pray that you begin to see, hear and comprehend all the good God has planned for you today, tomorrow and the next day and the next day and...you get the point!
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely
with joy and peace because you trust in him.Then you will overflow
with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13 NLT