Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Meaning of Hope.....

Let me start this post by saying that we all desire to have and maintain HOPE (even when we don't know what it is).  We hear the word being used in various contexts, but do we really know what it means?  In the past, I've heard many people say things like: "have hope" or "remain hopeful that all will be well".  Some people like to put hope and faith together in one category, but I think that there is a reason that they are separate concepts and words.  They definitely go 'hand in hand', but each concept is unique unto itself.

First, I want to tell you a little bit about how this interest in 'hope' came about.  A few months ago, I was struggling to understand why God placed something in my heart, but wasn't showing me the way towards it.  I'm a very creative person, so when a desire to do something hits me, it's hard for me to be patient.  This is where trust and faith usually come in.  However, this time, things were different.  I had a strong desire to create something, but felt I didn't have the tools to do it.  Just as I was struggling with this, someone told me "have hope".  I have to admit that it almost seemed strange to hear those words, but it did get me thinking: "what is hope?".  If we are to have hope, shouldn't we understand what it is?

When you look up quotes about 'hope', hope becomes synonymous with 'encouragement'.  However, the actual etymology of the word is from the Old English 'hopian' which means: anticipating something good to come in the future.  It's waiting for something, knowing that the result will ultimately be good.   Is this the same as encouragement?  Perhaps, but I think that there is more to the concept of hope.  I like to look at everything from a spiritual perspective, to examine not only what something means, but how does it contribute to knowledge of the self.

In digging a bit deeper, I came to understand that the word hope and definition of waiting for something good is the result of being hopeful.  Since hope is mentioned quite a bit in the bible and the etymology of hope is from the Old English translation, I began to wonder what was the original Hebrew word for hope?  It turns out that it is: qavah or qawa, which translates to: waiting, being patient and enduring.  I know that when I need to endure something, i'm not always filled with encouragement.  In fact, the impatient/ego side of me that is 'waiting' has a very difficult time with being 'hopeful'.  As soon as I realized what I was writing and telling myself, I had my 'a ha' moment.  Hope is what you need to have while in the midst of waiting.   It is at this point that I began to see the connection between faith and hope.  You truly need to have both while in the midst of what you are going through.  These words are not concepts, they are TOOLS.  They are essentially your 'flashlight' while you are in the dark of your situation.  Hope helps you and allows you to see the light in the midst of darkness.  Faith is giving God the 'ok' to get you out of the dark (instead of trying to do it yourself) and hope is enduring the dark with the knowing that all will be well.

The next time you hear or see the message of hope, know that you are being given a sacred tool with which to be united with the 'Will of God' and this universe.  It's almost like a beautiful invitation and adventure, where you get to see how awesome God is.  Imagine if no matter what you're going through, you know you'll have the ability to withstand it and be taken to a different level of consciousness - this is the gift of HOPE!