“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God had poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Romans 5: 1-5 (NIV)
Today and tomorrow I will share readings from Eugene Peterson’s devotional entitled:
Living The Message: Daily Help for Living the God-Centered Life.
Wishing and Hoping
It is essential to distinguish between hoping and wishing. They are not the same.
Wishing is something all of us do. It projects what we want or think we need into the future. Just because we wish for something good and holy we think it qualifies as hope. It does not. Wishing extends our egos into the future; hope desires what God is going to do–and we don’t yet know what that is.
Wishing grows out of our egos; hope grows out of our faith. Hope is oriented toward what God is doing; wishing is oriented toward what we are doing. Wishing has to do with what I want in things or people or God; hope has to do with what God wants in me and the world of things and people beyond me.
Wishing is our will projeced into the future, and hope is God’s will coming into the future. Picture it in your mind: wishing is a line that comes out of me, with an arrow pointing into the future. Hoping is a line that comes out of God from the future, with an arrow pointing toward me.
Hope means being surprised, because we don’t know what is best for us or how our lives are going to be completed. To cultivate hope is to suppress wishing–to refuse to fantasize about what we want, but live in anticipation of what God is going to do next.”
“…alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary–we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit.”
Until tomorrow…hopefully yours,