Hope is What We Express About Life That is a Bridge To The Future
The ability to express hope through challenging circumstances is an essential element to create success in the ventures of life. Expressing hope is the act of building a bridge that over circumstances–opposition paving a way to desirable outcome in the future. Almost everyone is concerned about effectiveness– how to find success in life that creates the momentum to get where we want to arrive. many available studies support the assumption that hope is a key component that distinguishes how well an individual navigates through challenges. Therefore, the influence of hope upon life can be measured in qualitative terms that relate to physical health, higher academic functioning, interpersonal functioning, athletic performance, psychosocial adjustment, capacity for self-regulation, and superior ability to face and overcome obstacles. On the other hand a lack of hope can be connected to individuals being easily confused by obstacles, avoidant, ineffectiveness and the absence of heartiness through life challenges. When factors are considered about why some people succeed and why others do not, there may be many factors contributing to success, but the single mitigating factor that empowers success– even when other deficiencies exist– is the presence of hope.
An effort to define hope might provide some insight about what it is, what it does, and how it is expressed. Some common definitions of hope are to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment, or to have confidence; trust, to look forward to with confidence or expectation. In life, we hope that our children will be successful, the sun will shine, and that everything will always work out. The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God‘s help. The idea of hope in general terms is an expectation that motivates life in the present with a belief that the future hold possibility that can be achieved. Hope is a way of expressing life that builds a bridge to the future.
In the Christian approach to hope a Biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1,7). Christians believe that hope in the present and in the future is a confident expectation that is based in essential beliefs about God and His oversight, involvement, and control over what happens in life. For Christians, who understand the basis of their beliefs, hope is an essential ingredient in the life expressed upward toward God and outward toward goals (Proverbs 23:18) . In times of distress, when faced with despair and loss, there are situations where life loses its essential meaning and zest (Lamentations 3:18, Job 7:6). When faced with death and times when there is no apparent hope (Isaiah 38:18, Job 17:15), Christian hope supplies a way of organizing belief into confident expectation that those who put their hope in God will receive assistance(Psalm 28:7). Therefore, Christians believe, and will not be perplexed, put to shame in their hope (Isaiah 49:23), and will be vindicated as they place hopeful expectation in God. As a result, hope and belief is a general attitude of confidence in God’s protection– help (Jeremiah 29:11). Therefore, hope frees Christians from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3). Christian hope is based upon beliefs and assumptions about, God, good and evil, life, eternity and life in the present. Hope provides momentum to live with expectation that God is guiding what is happening to a positive outcome.
One issue of interest is how hope energizes and infuses life with momentum to move ahead. Hope provides a clear way that can reduce the power of obstacles to disable supplying an attitude that enables reaching forward with a belief that success is attainable. As a result, attention is drawn to how hope can be increased in how an individual approaches life. Is there a road to happiness and a set point that can be achieved that happiness can be measured, believed to be normative as a maxim? An equally important issue to understand is that a state of happiness is a subjective condition. If someone asked you to describe happiness what would the story contain for you?
Research has shown that automatic assumptions of happiness are often incorrect. Often hope and happiness are associated with feeling good about what is occurring. In fact, what is true is that people who feel good in certain circumstances, like winning the lottery, actually become unhappy, dissatisfied and loose hope in life. Carl Maslow illustrated that people feel a better sense of well-being when they have basic survival needs met rather than monetary gain. Lifestyle always rises to the level of income and beyond and what happens is that possessions or positions in life do not seem to bring happiness and hope. People get on the hedonistic treadmill trying to find happiness and gain hope but, “the abundance of life is not in the things we possess” (Jesus). Often people assume that happiness and having hope is a result of what happens to people in life. However, it is not what happens to people; it’s how they construct and interpret those events, it is how you mindfully experience those events.
A key to hope, a road to happiness is emotional well-being. People who have hope in life and experience emotional well being are people who are virtually engaged in life– grounded in meaning and purpose in life. To be happy, to have hope means being fully involved with every detail of life. A life driven by purpose, calling, a sense of belonging and fitting where you are is critical to feeling positive about what is taking place in existence. When people are fully engaged in life with a sense of fitting, belonging– owning a place in life– engaging in positive relationships, then attention redirects our energy away from negatives which are destructive, limiting, defeating activity that drain vitality from life. You may have heard the expression, “time flies when you are having fun.” Another way to understand this is a state of grace, a “flow state.” The experience of flow happens when you are able to be completely caught up in what you are doing and time flies.
Meeting the challenges of life with hope increases the flow of life that sets an expectation that sees a life that has possibilities, even when faced with extreme opposition. What occurs in the hope transaction is that alternative routes to reach outcome are discovered, then implemented through pathways thinking. “Pathways thinking” means that when the first route you try is blocked, you can produce alternative routes to get to a destination by thinking flexibly and are able to change course as needed. A challenge faced when attempting to cultivate an increased hope is to how to cultivate thinking patterns that connect to alternatives rather than boxed in solutions. A principle of hope is that hope is a learned experience as well as a motivational feeling experienced, which indicates that hope both a phenomenon and a mindset.
Hope is embraced as a principle in thinking when hope has agency. “Agency thinking” is thinking with efficacious belief, a sense, that the desired goal can be reached. Borrowing from a Biblical principle in Hebrews 11:1; “faith” in Christian thinking is stirred by reciting, vividly recalling successful ventures of faith in the past. The “evidence of things hoped for” is in the record of those who have the story of success presented in a history of belief. Individuals who spend their time reciting their failures or being reminded constantly of failure are not likely to accomplish much. However, when there is a sense of agency and belief is cultivated through celebrating success and failure jointly (on the road to success), then high hope can be instilled that enables accomplishment.
One thing that is for sure in life is that there are always people who can convincingly tell you why you cannot succeed. However when you want to succeed, a bridge to the future must be constructed with faith, hope, and belief and it needs to begin today, without delay.
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