by Chad Waller
Lead Pastor of Vc2 Tennille, GA
Author of "Ash Sculpting" and "Synergize"
Owner of Waller-Hill Publishing
I think that if asked what is the opposite of hope, most people would respond with the word hopelessness. I can see how one would think that hopelessness would be the exact opposite of hope if we simply look at it as being depressed or without hope. However, in order to understand what the true opposite of hope is I believe we must look back to our definition of hope. Hope is the assurance or confidence that the goodness of Father God still prevails. So truly understanding this helps us to see that the opposite of hope is not hopelessness, but rather it is doubt.
When we doubt that God can do anything in a situation, we have misplaced our hope. We are not hopeless, we are just placing our hope or our confidence in the wrong place. We are never hopeless, as we are always trusting that something will happen. I believe the question is simply in whom are we placing our hope.
The Psalmist spoke to his soul, questioning its condition of depression or downward bent, and encouraged it (his soul) to change the object of hope. He simply was letting himself know that something was askew. He had misplaced his hope, not lost it. He was simply hoping or trusting in the wrong things. He had confidence. It's just that he was confident that things were going to go wrong. He had to change the direction of his hope!
I believe many people live with confidence that all that can go wrong, will go wrong and then wonder where is God and why is so much going wrong for them. But they are confidently expecting things to happen, just in a negative way. Often I have heard someone express that they just knew bad things were going to happen or that things would go wrong. They placed their hope in the negative outcome and looked longingly toward that end and it often seems to come just as they expected. I believe we have been entrusted with far more creative power than we even begin to understand.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
We see here in Hebrews that faith is about confidence and not about wishing. Faith, like hope, is not a wish that God would do something in our situation but is a confident knowing that because God is good, whatever the situation is, He has already provided for it! To doubt God's ability to accomplish what He promised He would do, is to misplace my hope. The hope that lives inside of me is the complete confidence that my Father only plans good for me and never harm. It is a complete trust that no matter the path He chooses for me, no matter the station in life or assignment on which He sends me, He will protect, comfort, strengthen, guide and go with me! My heart is convicted by hope of this very thing and even if I don't see of understand it all, I can trust Him.
You are never hopeless. You may have misplaced your hope, but you are confident in your heart of something. I suggest you spend time with Father God and let Him show you throughout His Word just how faithful He is. Or maybe spend time in worship, falling more deeply in love with Him and allowing Holy Spirit to wash over you and convict you of where hope has been misplaced. Seek the face of the Lord and allow Him to radiated you with His glory and speak to your soul as is recorded in Psalm 42. Tell your soul where you are putting your hope! As for me, my hope is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth!
Psalm 42:11 "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.