Archive for December, 2012

Dashed Hopes

December 1, 2012

Dashed Hopes

Charles Elliott Newbold, Jr.

Had any dashed hopes lately?
I had a few. When that happens we get frustrated, angry, depressed, or even vindictive.
Jackson sat across the table from me at lunch with tears in his eyes. “I was shocked at the outcome of the election.” Remorsefully, he added. “I was sure it would turn out differently.” He had placed his hope in man, politics, political parties, government, and ideologies resulting in dashed hope.
In times of severe loss we may lash out at something or someone—even God. “Why did you let this happen? This is not how we prayed. This is not what we had hoped for.”
While it probably isn’t wise to lash out at God, He doesn’t suffer from an inferiority complex. So, I doubt that He gets upset when we get angry with Him in the throes of sorrowful emotions. Though we don’t always understand what He is doing, He always understands our frustrations.
Things happen that often loom as large as doomsday scenarios. When our expectations run afoul, we have to admit that we had misplaced hope. Why, then, all the emotions? We feel these losses so deeply because we had put our hope in something that didn’t have the ability to produce in the long run. Misplaced hope is a precursor for dashed hope.
Take a look at all the things in which we place our hope and ask, “Are these really things in which I can invest my hope? Are these the things in which I even want to put my hope?” It is one thing to make use of these things and quite another to become dependent upon them—to magnify them into gods.
There I was, face to face with several losses in my own life, asking the Lord for understanding. I soon found myself humming an old hymn I had sung in church hundreds of times growing up, the singing of which had been little more than a religious exercise. This time, however, those words resonated deeply within me.
I dusted off an old hymnal on our library shelf and looked up the words. The Lord used these words to remind me that my hope is not in anyone, anything, or any institution, rather in Him and in Him alone. Maybe for the first time these words by Edward Mote (1797-1874) truly came alive to me.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.” Then, came the chorus. I felt the urge to sing it to the top of my voice in order to be heard above the crescendo of a glorious orchestra that resounded in my spirit. “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.” I’m holding back tears of joy even as I write.
I do not build my hope upon the politicians, governments, or government handouts even though I receive certain services. I do not build my hope upon hospitals, doctors, and medicine, even though I gratefully use them as needed. I do not build my hope upon the stock market, though we have investments. I do not build my hope upon my job, my reputation, or my performance.
When “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” it can never be dashed again.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.