I have heard it said that you can live 40 days without food, 3 days without water, but you can’t live a single day without hope.
And the first time I thought, “that doesn’t make any sense.”
But I’ve since realized there is something in that saying.
Depending both on your personality or on your history, hope may either seem like a weak, wimpy word; or it may seem like a word to depend upon. Maybe it is neither.
Perhaps the worst thing is to not think about hope at all, but I’ve been there, I didn’t used tot ink about needing hope. I think because I had such a comparatively smooth life, and hope was a thing I associated with those who were facing a battle, at the end of their rope, and waiting desperately for assistance.
That’s another assumption we make about hope. We see it as a last reserve. Something people only need when they can’t take care of themselves.
But what if it really is something we need every single day?
I mentioned in my previous post about this man who said Earth might be hell. I think it’s worth noting that in hell, by definition, there is no hope.
In the book of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, Paul ends his amazing description of love, with the words “Now abide faith, hope, and love (or charity.)” But he mentions hope before then, when he says Love “hopes all things.”
I would draw from this that there is no love without hope.
I have also heard it said, in a movie, that there is no love in hell. There’s no faith either.
Forgive me for going on about this, but the idea that earth is hell may be one of the most disturbing I have ever heard.
But sadly, if a person believes that, it will become true for them. Not because whatever we believe is true, but because a belief like that is a trap; a prison.
It’s like C. S. Lewis pointed out in “The Great Divorce,” those who will see the light, will, at the end of their days, say “I was always in heaven.” Because heaven will affect all their past, and make it a part of itself. (He explains it better.) But those who never left darkness will say “I was always in hell,” and both will be correct.
Some people say heaven and hell are states of mind, and they are right in one way. Your state of mind will determine which you will be in.
The word hell is tossed around a lot now, to the point where some believers won’t even use it because people think it’s a cuss word. Well, I won’t go into that issue, but whatever hell is used for, it is still an idea in people’s minds.
Heaven I don’t hear as much. I think the words we use reflect our outlooks, and that is scientific, by the way, and the increase of hell and decrease of heaven signifies something.
Hell is all about despair. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” As Dante put it. That man who made that remark I mentioned above used Dante’s Inferno as an example. He thought the hell described there was like earth.
Are we born into hopelessness? Well, it’s not like I’ve never come close to thinking so.
Heaven, on the other hand, is what we hope for. The opposite of hell in every way, but it is more than that too. For though heaven can swallow up hell, hell can never swallow heaven. To make things evil is always to make them smaller and weaker than they were before.
The trouble is, on Earth, it may look to us like evil is stronger. Many people have bought into that lie, and I don’t exactly blame them, because if you cannot hope in something greater, then what is to stop you from succumbing to the despair of the world?
Evil scares us because it seems to have no limits. Good does, we think.
I’ve heard just the opposite, that good has no limits.
This difference will radically affect one’s world view. If good is greater than evil, there is hope. If it is weaker, there is none.
I am bothered by the increasing amount of movies, books, and even teachings, that evil is stronger, more persistent, and more clever than good. You’ve seen it too, no doubt.
Historically, it is not true. Evil has many times been in power over whole countries, but good persisted in spite of all that.
We have reason to hope; not in people, though people will sometimes show us the Divine in their example; but in God.
I hope in God not because I never have been let down, but because He has not let me down.
I hope because I have to. It is true, I can live a single day without it.
Because to do anything, to be anything, to risk anything, I have to hope. So, it is true, to really live, you have to hope.
Remember in my post I really lived, when I mentioned that song, and how the dad in it is saying “Hope” constantly. Because we cannot make children choose wisely, but we can hope they will, and teach them to while we can.
I use hope every time I post, I hope that it will help somebody. I hope that I am saying the right things. I hope I am learning as I go. I can’t at any given time be certain of the outcome of it, but I hope. And the hope is starting to pay off.
It’s a truth even phycologists have noticed, hope, a. k. a. thinking positive, will affect your life.
It is hard to do if you’re in a rut of the opposite kind of thinking, but it is worth it to extend the effort.
Until next post–Natasha.