The Hope Factor

I just heard a couple of devotionals: the first, about our tendency to want paradise on earth (not possible); the second was on our response to this (non-paradise) earth: cursing, or mourning. I see a common theme, which I will dub The Hope Factor.

Having just read an excellent book called “Counterfeit Gods” (by Timothy Keller), I’ve been talking about hidden idols, such as love, comfort, control (and all the stuff that goes with them). So my friend shared these two devotionals: quite apropos. The topic on the table, then, is gifts for later—but we want them NOW.  We’re melancholy when we should be joyful, discontented when we should be thankful. We could be enjoying abundant life, but instead we choose to curse our way to Paradise?

Something’s wrong with this picture.

Think about your current problem. Now take a moment and think about what it’s doing to your head. …. See what I mean? Even the wise among us struggle with the fallen world, frustrating work, and fallible people.  It’s when we let it overwhelm us that we have lost our focus.

What we really crave is love, and only God can deliver it the way we need it. We’re “looking for [Him] in all the wrong places.”

Keller mentions three unstable responses to our disappointments:

—- Blame people or things =  Continued idolatry

—- Blame yourself  =  Self-loathing

—- Blame the world  =  Cynicism and emptiness

What’s needed is reorienting our focus toward God, realizing we were made for another world. Wanting everything to be hunky-dory on this willy-nilly planet is just plain foolish; it’ll disappoint us every time. But finding God’s perspective is a good thing.  It’s keeping earthly things where they belong. It’s sweeping the idols away and filling that space with something excellent. It’s looking forward to a wonderful paradise. THAT, my friends, is The Hope Factor.

 

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One Response to The Hope Factor

  1. jpingraham says:

    Excellent message my sister

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