Why do we nurture the belief that what we are is all we will ever be?
It’s a lie I’ve bought into so many times in my life and is by its very nature, viral, infectious & contagious. Spun from the dawn of creation to the present, we believe that our past is our identity. In doing so, we throw hope out the window trading the truth for a lie. I don’t have to look to far into my own past to see myself entangled in a net of fabrications. Fiver years ago, I would have believed:
- Regardless of my efforts, we would always be below the poverty level & living paycheck to paycheck
- I could not put my Master’s Degree to use and paid appropriately for it
- Marriage with kids is impossible
- I am only loved because I am useful; I have no intrinsic worth
- I will never be mature enough to lead
While writing that list, I cringed on the inside because I still feel the weight of hopelessness lingering around. Now, I work at a company (that I originally had no intention of joining) who pay 100% all of our insurance premiums, pays me based on my performance and gives credence to my education (I’ve been promoted twice), have a solid marriage knowing that I will love and be loved by the woman I married even though we are not the same as when first married (13 years ago & I had hair), and am learning & implementing leadership on a regular basis. I am treated like a professional whose opinions matter. I am not saying this to toot my own horn, but to demonstrate how unfathomable the life I live now was just 5 years ago.
Don’t let my story do all the talking. Instead, let us look to the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4 and evaluate what it means to have hope restored. Here we see Messiah lead into the desert for an incredibly long 40 days almost to the point of starvation, and hopelessness lingering with every word that from the tongue of Satan as he tempted Yeshua:
- Tell these stones to become bread, you know you are starving
- Go ahead an attempt to throw yourself off this cliff – end the misery and let the angels catch you
- Just bow down and worship me, and I will make you a king – cloth you, feed you, break your thirst
As if Christ was not suffering enough, he was forced to listen to Satan’s selfish banter driving home the point that the desert was no place for hope; just pain & misery remain here. Give up wasting your time on obedience and just give in already! Yet, Yeshua persisted and remained faithful, full of hope to the end (even death on the Cross).
Going through the hard, difficult, & barren times is actually filled to the brim with hope, even when God seems to be in a oasis enjoying Himself leaving you forgotten and alone.He is changing us, sanctifying us that we through obedience gain the same mind that is in Messiah.
How about you? Have you gone through the hopelessness before? What was it like coming out on the other end and looking back?