MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, June 29th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Trillia Newbell now on the source of true hope.
TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: If you’ve ever taken the enneagram, you’ll understand what I mean when I say I’m a 7. The enneagram is an old system for assessing personality types that’s gained new interest over the past few years. I can’t turn around without seeing it referenced.
Enneagram 7s are described as “extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined.”
I don’t know how well I fit into this description, but I imagine that if you’ve only met me a few times or are acquainted with me only through social media, you might conclude that I am optimistic.
It’s true that I’m not cynical and I do tend toward seeing the best possible outcome in situations, but it’s not because I’m optimistic.
Optimism can be defined as a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions. It also means expecting the most favorable outcome, or the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
But optimism isn’t rooted in absolute truth. Rather, it depends on one’s thoughts, disposition, and how the person perceives the world.
Biblical hope is significantly different. Hope is rooted in what God’s Word says about Himself and the world. We may not all be optimistic, but each and every one of us can have hope.
We can and should have hope because of the character of God. God is not reeling over our circumstances or the state of the world. God is not anxious. God does weep over unrighteousness and does not overlook sin (Psalm 5:4), but He has also made a way for repentance through His Son.
When all things seem difficult and confusing, remember that we serve a God who knows all things and acts out of His good and sovereign will. He isn’t receiving flawed counsel from our earthly leaders. The prophet Isaiah wrote that He “brings princes to nothing and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness” (40:23). We can rest and have hope because there is no one like our God; God commands us to lift up our eyes and see the One who created all things (40:25-26).
We also have hope because we do not serve a holy and awesome God who is far off. His words to His people in Isaiah 41:10 are the same for His people today: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
The hope found in God’s Word promises us that we will have a God who will uphold us.
And Jesus is our ultimate hope. We have hope for today because, right now, He reigns and is interceding for His own. He is not dead—He is our living hope!
Optimism isn’t bad. If you are optimistic about the future, that is great. But we can be more than optimistic—we can be sure. Sure that God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, even when it seems like all is lost. He is our only hope.
I’m Trillia Newbell.