As Believers, we are supposed to be people of great hope. The kind of hope that expects good because God loves us and is fighting for us. I’ve long recognized that I’ve been a person of wishful thinking instead of hope, and my faux hope waxes and wanes with each turn of a circumstance. I have wanted the kind of hope “that does not disappoint (Rom 5)” because it is rooted and grounded in the love of God. I didn’t know how to get there, so I asked God to show me.

Yesterday, I had a random worry stuck in my head. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of it. I tried reminding myself of all the evidence to the contrary, but it wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t pray it away or distract myself enough to get rid of it. This morning, I had an epiphany; worry is the antonym of Biblical hope. In fact, worry is hope’s ugly identical twin!  And if I can understand worry, I can understand hope.

I have a rich history of worry. I worry about things when I have ZERO confirming evidence. A negative belief starts in my head, and I cling to it no matter what circumstances say. And sometimes, my persistent worry alters my behavior to the point where I help create the problems I was worried about.

I often worry because adverse events in the past have shown me it is possible to have unexpected, life-altering, bad incidents occur. However, since becoming a believer, I’ve lived a life full of surprising good. Yes, bad things still happen, but God has always wrapped those events in grace and turned them into something good.

Yet, despite all the beautiful blessings God has rained down on me for the past 18 years, I don’t sit around hoping for unexpected delights that might be lurking around the corner. I even had the incredible forgiveness of my significant student loan debt (a shout-out for public sector loan forgiveness!). Still, I don’t waste “what if’s” pondering the possibilities of sudden wealth. Nope, I save all my what-if-ing for imagining calamities that might befall me.

That shows me that evidence of good does little to displace worry. Worry isn’t tied to proof; once it’s stuck in our heads, it defies logic. That, my friend, is what hope is supposed to look like! A belief rooted in the love and goodness of God stuck on repeat in our brains.

We stoke worry with our imagination and are never concerned we might get disappointed if our imagined disaster doesn’t occur. We believe we are working on disaster preparedness with our worries like they have redemptive value. And when the disaster doesn’t hit, we move on to the next worry de jour.

What if that is how God wants us to use our imagination for all the promises He gives? We would sit around and ponder all the good outcomes without fear of being disappointed. Our hope would be rooted in the Who, and we could leave all the hows and whens to Him.  Imagine the bliss!

Hope says, “I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I know Who will make everything work for good!”  Worry says, “I’m going to prepare for the next shoe to fall by imagining all the disasters that might happen and plan accordingly.”  Hope is convinced the future will be better than the present and believes in the creative power given by God to help make it so. After all, if faith is the evidence of things hoped for, we have the God-given authority to influence our future for the good. But we can’t do that without hope.

One thing is sure: God likes to partner with unreasonably hopeful folks. I want to be one of those people. And if we know how to worry, we know how to meditate on a future event that has not occurred. Why not turn this superpower into a force for good? Now, join me in prayer, “God, make me a person of unreasonable hope!”



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