No Shame in Hope
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5 NIV
It’s crazy how you can hear something years ago and never realize how much it still affects your life today. For me, that is “Don’t get your hopes up.” It’s a common saying that is meant to protect. It’s said so that you won’t get disappointed or embarrassed if what you’re waiting on doesn’t come through. I don’t know where this saying originated, but I feel sorry for whoever said it. Because I would hate to live a life where hope is a bad thing.
I’ve been hoping for a lot of things in my life lately. While some things have come through, others I’m still waiting on the outcome. It is a good and not-so-good place to be: where you’re both nervous and excited to see what happens. As I was thinking about all that is going on and began to get a little bit worried (you know how that goes), I started thinking about those words: “don’t get your hopes up.” Deep down I know that God brought me to the opportunities in front of me. So why was I afraid to get my hopes up for the things that I believed was a part of God’s plan for me?
Fear is the enemy of hope. I was hearing those words because of fear. So I stopped myself. I reminded myself why I wasn’t afraid of getting my hopes up. I knew that this opportunity was from God. And if I’m afraid to hope for it to come through, that would mean I’m either afraid of God disappointing me or I’m afraid He won’t do what He said. I reminded myself of the good plans I know God has for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
It is inevitable that things in life will disappoint us. Sometimes things won’t work out. But God will never disappoint us. He wants us to have hope, because He wants us to look forward to the future He has planned!
If you refuse to have hope because of fear, you’ll miss out on some pretty amazing things. Hope is worth the disappointment and possibility of being wrong. You will survive disappointment. When things don’t work out the way you want them to, you’ll be okay. But don’t ever feel bad for having hope. Don’t ever be ashamed of your ability to look past all of the things that don’t make sense and believe in the best outcome. That isn’t foolishness. That’s faith.
The one thing we don’t have to hope for is that God has the best planned for us. We already know that He does. So get your hopes up! Fear doesn’t stand a chance against confident hope in Him.
“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