Why are we told not to “get our hopes up?” That question rolls around in my head tonight. A few nights ago I heard me tell myself that and I had to talk back and tell myself I was probably wrong. Here’s why I think I should always get my hopes up –
-- God tells me to! Case in point, the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. This lady has had some disappointments and she doesn't want anymore. She old, her husband is old, and she has no children; a big deal in her culture. Enter God and watch her story change. She even goes so far as to tell the prophet Elisha not to tease her or “get her hopes up” when he tells her that she will be a mother. When her son dies – now tell me that’s not a time we would like to have some hope – she then reminds that same man of God that she told him not to toy with her emotions. And now here she is, disappointed, maybe worse off than she had been before she “got her hopes up.” Then the impossible happens – not impossible for God, but impossible for us to wrap our little narrow minds around – that boy sneezes 7 times and is restored to life. Do you think if she had known that the limitless God we serve does not know the meaning of impossible that she would have held back her hopes? Nah. I wonder why it is that our culture is so determined not to face disappointment or pain. Not that I’m a glutton for punishment or anything, but when did we decide that pain wasn’t a part of the plan especially when God’s word tells us a different story? In Ecclesiastes Solomon, the wisest man, tells us that there is a time for EVERYTHING. That means all of it. In Job and Lamentations we see that God makes the good and the bad days. Somehow we seem to forget that. I like what the song says, “No matter what you’ve heard, impossible is not a word, it’s just a reason not to try.” Didn’t you know? NOTHING is impossible with God. As Max Lucado points out, it’s not the strength of Elizabeth that matters (sigh of relief), but rather the strength of God. Talk about your good news.
So, you worry (which I’ll talk about in a whole ‘nother post – See Matthew 6) that I might get my hopes up? Oh, I’m getting my hopes up… In fact, I’m SENDING my hopes up to the One supplies my hope (Ps 62:5), to the same One who I can put my hope IN (1 Tim 6:17), and to the Love that NEVER fails (1 Cor 13). Did I mention? God is love.