..but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. ~Romans 8:24-25
Cancel culture is a widespread practice in this ever-changing environment. Whether or not you agree with it, it’s reality, and we have to deal with it. Will this phenomenon be long-lasting, or will it be short-lived, who knows?
For the unenlightened — where have you been anyway? — cancel culture is the popular method of canceling or withholding support for people, events, companies, TV shows and movies after they have said or done something deemed to be offensive or taken problematic positions. According to the pop culture dictionary, “cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.“
But here’s some breaking news: HOPE has not been cancelled!
You can’t — you WON’T — survive without hope in your life. Hope is an essential ingredient to sustain and get through life’s difficulties. Hope will carry you, hope will nourish you and hope will give you favor and endurance. If you’ve followed me any length of time, you’ll know we stand on Jeremiah 29:11, a promise that God provides us with a future and a hope. It’s on our banner, and we promote that theme often.
Hope is the beginning of everything worthwhile, and you encounter it daily. You see it on faces, hear it in voices and find it in hearts. Unfortunately, more often, you see hopelessness or despair; in fact, in today’s uncertain environment, it’s spreading quickly.
You see, while hope can never be canceled, we have a choice. There are various roads we can take on life’s journey. We can take the road lined with hope or we can choose to walk the road that is littered with hurts and failures. Those roads go in completely different directions with different scenery and challenges. They both have support groups, Facebook pages, coffee shops and you will certainly have company on either road.
Hope has not been canceled!
Without hope, you don’t have a future. Without hope, you’re stuck in the muck and mire. Without hope, the sickness, failure, rejection and fear will remain your world. Discouragement and despair are destructive and deadly tools. In fact, they have been lying in wait at nearly every exit of the coronavirus highway, creating roadblocks, detours, obstacles and potholes. Their efforts have even let roadkill and devastation.
Hope is the antidote and the cure. That’s why one of the greatest gifts we can pass on to a friend, a co-worker, a family member is the gift of hope. Hope is essential in our lives. Hope gives us the strength to reach for tomorrow and the power to drive us to the next challenge.
Despite the popular culture that might tell you otherwise: Hope has not been canceled!
A cartoonist, an ancient poet and a preacher pretty much nail it:
- “A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.” ~Charles M. Schulz.
- “The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.” ~William Shakespeare.
- “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” ~G.K. Chesterton.
Hope can grow in the deep dark places, but it needs watering, it needs nurturing. Reach for the sliver of hope. A sliver of hope is actually a lifeline to your future of victory and even your survival.
When you find that piece of hope, cultivate and nurture it. Start with how you think. Dwell on the good things (Philippians 4:8). Set goals and keep moving forward. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Remember, choose the Hope Interstate and you’ll find supporters and other hope providers and dispensers.
Above all, learn to be grateful and live thankfully. You’ll be surprised at the contentment and patience that will bring, while you’re waiting.
Here are some other thoughts When You Don’t Know What Else to Do.
In his book, The Hope Quotient, pastor Ray Johnston says:
- Hope liberates. Hope releases you from your past.
- Hope motivates. Hope helps you bounce back.
- Hope initiates. Hope sets you free to dream.
- Hope activates. Hope is the fuel that makes the world a better place.
You can’t give up as long as you have hope. You can’t lose hope as long as you don’t give up! It’s a never-say-die attitude, and it’s contagious. Spread hope, not fear. And remember, you are the only one who can cancel hope in your own life!
I’m convinced that any great thing that ever happens in your life, in your family, in your marriage, in your community, in your country, and in your world happens because someone has achieved a higher hope level. Hope is the most important factor because when you have hope, anything is possible. ~Ray Johnston.
Hope has not been canceled!