The Fuel of Hope
What is the fuel for our soul?
Zechariah says somewhere: “Return to your stronghold, o prisoner of hope” (Zech 9:12). An Italian proverb says: “Hope is the last thing ever lost.”
How does hope play a role in our lives?
There are happy prisoners in this world who live in bad circumstances. They are happy because they somehow have hope. Or there are people in domestic abuse situations. They can endure years of suffering simply by hoping that their partner has changed and tomorrow will be better than today. Or someone who has pain. This person can endure a long time of pain, believing that soon the pills will kick in and life will be better.
Hope is a process of the mind
Hope is usually not tied to our circumstances. Hope is what happens in the mind. We all have that, right? Some days we wake up, and we have no hope for life. We are down, and we do not have perspectives. But then, another day, we wake up, and suddenly we feel we can handle life perfectly. If we look closely at hope, we learn that hope has little to do with our circumstances but more with our minds and what happens inside our brains.
In other words, hope has everything to do with our imagination. Hope is defined as: “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” In other words, expectation and desire are what give us hope. It is not what is happening right now that is cause for hope, but what is happening inside our brains. Hope is, therefore, the fuel of life. Life is the road on which our car is driving. When there is fuel in the tank and hope in someone’s soul, this person can go on living. This person can get far in life. But when hope is gone, or deep suffering hits, holes are slammed in the fuel tank, and the hope runs out. Our car stands still, and we are not going anywhere.
What about the Bible?
God is a God who knows that humans cannot ever, ever do without hope. God always ties hope to any difficult circumstance. For example, God says: “you will suffer, but I have overcome the world.” Or “I will lead you into exile and show you the consequences of what you have done, but a remnant will return.” God never leaves humans without hope.
The example for this podcast is David. David said: “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” –Psalm 71:14. For David, like Zechariah, hope was a stronghold. David was often a prisoner of his circumstances, but he was a prisoner of hope. And that is why David was happy. That is why David was free.
So, what can we do with this?
First, if you see people around you without the fuel of hope, give yours. And if you need hope, ask others. There always is hope; sometimes, we just need to borrow from the hope of others.
Second, look forward in life. When you dream and ruminate about the future, you train your imagination. The good news is that you can train your imagination and practice becoming a hopeful person. For this, you have to stop looking at your past and train forward-looking, and this is an exercise. When you think about the past, you do not train your imagination.
Lastly, God has an ocean of hope. No matter how bad life is, and no matter how hard it is to imagine, God imagines for you. He says that he is going to wipe all tears from your eyes. God has your future imagined for you if you cannot do it yourself.
Let’s become hopeful people. For ourselves, or for us to give to others.