Saturday, February 9, 2013

Why Hope is Better than Happiness

My favorite things to write about are the sunny sides of life. I admit it. I’m a sucker for happy endings in movies, and seeing that person who stopped in the cold of Ohio December to give the police officer directing traffic some coffee to warm his hands. I’m a sucker for people who make me laugh and books that inspire me.

That doesn’t mean I see all of life as the sunny side. In my own life, for years it was difficult to see past my circumstances and life was very much black and white in my eyes.
I couldn’t see colors. The color of where I was and what I could rest in. I didn't see any space in between the sunny and bleak, the right and wrong, black and white, going well or not.

There's not much joy in this place. Yet joy, real joy, did not come with a fiery burst all of a sudden. It came with acknowledging that there is a hope that is better than happiness and better than what is going on in life right now. Hope in Christ changed everything for me.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about dark and light. At church we’ve been talking about it, too. God is light and in Him is no darkness (1 John).
Walking in darkness is easy. Living in the light is often painful. Following a God who is light and continuing to seek the light comes with a change that cannot come from ourselves. It can't come from trying. It can't come from trying to cover up or make ourselves clean from sin. 

God keeps showing me over and over He has called me from death to life and that changes everything. He's called me from darkness to light. My standing in God does not depend on what I do but completely on what He has done and finished.

What kind of deaths, spiritual and otherwise, has God redeemed through Hope? Why does this matter for our lives? How can hope trumph happiness?

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