Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Hope mystifies me. It’s not tangible, but necessary to live. It doesn’t have a holiday like love (Valentine’s Day), but people crave it (subconsciously or subconsciously). It’s almost impossible to define, but there’s a science around it.
A student in my last class sent along a TedTalk about the science of hope. It refreshed me, both as a person of hope and as author of Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation. Dr. Chan Hellman speaks to how we use hope in daily language, and yet how it can be so much more than that. “Oh, I hope my college team wins.” Or maybe, “I hope the weather will hold today.” Or perhaps, “I hope I’ll be noticed at work.” For women, that last one can be a very real hope in the workplace, and yet a very intangible and undefinable craving that becomes mystical.
What strikes me about Romans 5:1-5 is that hope doesn’t come from us, and doesn’t stay with us. It comes from God, and flows through our character to those around us. “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” While we often apply our hopes to external audiences (the team, the weather, the one to notice), the Bible states that our hope comes from God’s Spirit through us. The catch is that hope isn’t based on us or our performance, but instead on God’s gift. Hope is a gift, not based on what is tangible or definable or based on a craving. It is a treasure that comes to our hearts and reveals God through our sufferings, perseverance, character…and hope.
So the next time you’re hoping to be noticed at work, remember that your hope comes from your character, which comes from God living within you. The external doesn’t matter, but the internal does.
In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog–I’m hoping to publish Hopelessly Hopeful for women in the future. This book will be for women who lead the nonprofit sector in some capacity (as staff, a board member, volunteer, or other role), but may not hold the title of leader. God willing.
May your 2023 be the best year yet. Let’s live it together in hope.
Order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles.
© 2023, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.
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