Faith, Hope & Despair

My co-workers and I had a conversation today about the topic of hope. One co-worker is Church of God and the other is ELCA (Lutheran).

I am a realist. When it comes to hope, I believe in hope, but expect the worst. This way when things do not go as I had hoped, I am not deflated. However if something miraculous or even slightly better happens than I expected, I am filled with gratitude.

I believe in hope. I just don’t have a lot of it. Maybe it is the German in me ; )

There are some people who have total hope, but when things do not turn out the way they had expected it to, they lose faith in God.

These individuals might look at my perspective and perceive it as a lack of faith on my part, but I do believe that God can physically heal, change hearts, and move mountains, but I do not expect Him to.

I am reminded of the woman with hemorrhages who was healed by Jesus in Luke 8:40-48. Was it faith that Jesus could heal here that she was saved? Was it faith that Jesus was Who He said He was that she was saved? Or was it that she proclaimed how she had been healed by God? Or was it a combination of these?

I Pray for the faith and wisdom that some of these women in Scripture have.

I can empathize. But I guess I find it fairly easy to have hope.

I just recently turned something big over to the Lord and am working hard to be child-like and let him have full reign. I find that I’m excited to see what he has planned for me on this.

I would recommend just spend time praying and i general conversation with Him. I think that helps me, at least.

Thank you for your kind response. I trust God, whatever His will is (either active or permissive), which is why I would never lose faith in Him. I respect Him greatly and I do not assume He ought to answer my Prayers as would hope.

I do look to the fallowing Scripture passages:

“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” — John 14:13-14

In context, Jesus is referring to those who are doing the work of Jesus. We are His hands and HIs feet and if we need His help in continuing the work of our Lord, which we are all called to, we are assured of His help. I think Praying for someone’s conversion fits here as well. I often Pray that God will reveal Himself to unbelievers in my life in a way that speaks to them personally, because we all different. Some are moved by empathy, others are more logic, and some only God knows what speaks to their hearts and minds.

“My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; or your guardian to sleep.” — Psalm 121:2-3

The context of this passage is in regards to God’s protection from evil.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?

If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." — Matthew 7:7-11

The first half is in reference to a relationship with Christ. The second half illustrates what this relationship looks like and pertains to the topic at hand.

“I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” — Philippians 4:13

This verse is sometimes misinterpreted. I think, because of how some Bible translations translate it, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” In context this verse is referring to trusting in God in our lowest moment in life and our highest moments in life; “in every circumstance and in all things” (verse 12), God is with us.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” — Matthew 11:28

This passage speaks to me, because I come to the Lord in humility and not with entitlement (which is what I was trying to convey in my original post, poorly I might add ; ). We are not designed to go through this life on our own. Some confuse meekness for weakness, which is a character flaw on the part of some.

“You covet but do not have. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.” — James 4:2

This is speaking to individuals who try to get ahead on their own, in opposition to relying on God’s help.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” — James 1:5

Speaking to anyone who doesn’t understand why God would allow things to happen in their lives.

“Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace in time of need.” — Hebrews 4:16


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

Thanks be to God!

I’m definitely in the glass half empty camp. I too expect the worst in most situations to the point that I have had to actually confess my despair in the confessional. However, I have witnessed actual miracles in my lifetime so I know there is a reason to have faith.

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