I Am a Hopist

Yes, it’s Wednesday but I’m still thinking about Sunday morning. Our interim pastor, Dr. Michael D. Richardson, gave a moving sermon entitled “Hope Inspired.” Things are ugly out in the world this week so I’d like to summarize a few things from that sermon and share it with you so you too may know. Please read the whole thing and know that I don’t want to sound preachy, but when something inspires you just have to share it.

The apostle Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica: “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NIV)

Endurance inspired by hope. That sounds like something I want. Here are some other scripture references on hope: Romans 4:18; 5:1-5; 8:23-25 and Hebrews 11:1. Please go read these for yourself. You can use an online Bible at the Bible gateway.

What is hope? The infectious, outlandish, confident expectation of a manifestation of the goodness of God.

What is the relationship between faith and hope?
1. Hope feeds our faith and prepares the way for its expression.
2. Faith is the foundation of hope.
3. Faith is the starting point but hope is the anticipation.
4. Faith is the declaration and hope is the extrapolation.
5. Relieve your faith by acknowledging hope.
6. Doubting the goodness of God dilutes your hope and faith.

How do I feed hope? Psalm 27 gives us a good example (read the whole thing for yourself).
Praise, prepare, seek, declare, cry out, remember, and wait.

Where hope leads: Colossians 1:27 “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Which are you? An optimist? A pessimist? Or a hopist? A hopist believes in the infectious, outlandish, confident expectation of a manifestation of the goodness of God. This is the part I like the most. I have always struggled with this idea of being an optimist or a pessimist because I never know how to answer that — except that I am a realist. If one is an optimist what are they placing their faith in? You can be optimistic about many things but I don’t think it really gives you hope. Without hope life is miserable. There have been times in my life where I have been without hope and it is not a place I want to be. The confident expectation of the manifestation of the goodness of God can only happen if the foundation of my hope is my faith in God. There may be times when I’m disappointed because I don’t see things happening the way I would like them to, but that doesn’t mean my hope is gone. David writes in Psalm 27:13 “I’m still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. What a statement — when you think about it he’s not referring to something that happens after death. He’s talking about seeing the goodness of the LORD while he is alive. It happens and that feeds my hope.

Do you know this kind of hope? It comes from a relationship with God by accepting the gift of Christ. And I pray just as the apostle Paul — “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

When Norm and I were discussing the sermon after church on Sunday he pulled one of his Norm-isms. He said that he thought a hopist was one of those Native Americans tribes in northern Arizona. LOL that’s why I love him so much.

1 Comment

  1. NormB
    Feb 9, 2006

    I am sure they live in Northern Arizona. They are the ones that make the Katrina Dolls!