As a young man around 16 years old, I remember growing up in Trinidad and Tobago and attending secondary school. The school I attended was a school in the south of the Island and it was called St. Benedicts College. I distinctly remember that when I was close to finishing school, I felt hopeless about the outlook of life. This was because some of my friends were going off to university, others were moving into their parents’ businesses, while I was moving into the unknown with uncertainty.
I couldn’t go to university at that time because my parents did not have the money. Truth be told, the reason I was not driven and focused as I should be, was because I was thinking about the bleakness of the, “what next”. I was thinking that if my parents did not have the cash to send me to university, then why should I excel in school. I agree that this shouldn’t have been the mindset to adopt, but that was the mindset I had. So, I left college at that time with less than Stella “A-Level” grades. Isn’t it interesting how our thinking can directly affect our behavior, and our behavior produces outcomes.
I shared the above because it was the single most prominent memory in my life where I felt hopeless. I felt that that the world had nothing for me. I felt that I might never own a home given the high prices in the housing market. I felt that I would never get a good job where I can take care of myself and my family. Even obtaining educational excellence and getting a master’s degree seemed so out of reach. Back then, I don’t know why, but it all looked hopeless from the simple eyes of a young boy entering manhood. That experience and others later on in my life, have taught me that hopelessness can blind you and have you shut out from reality. The reality for the possibility of great things, the reality of, “All things are possible with God” – Matthew 19:26.
This is the thing, hope can either propel you to obtain unimaginable heights, high levels of resilience and greatness. Or without it, one can become most miserable where even your bed can cripple you from wanting to rise on mornings. Hope gives strength to the bones and desire to the heart. It is like fuel which energizes us and propels us to go one more mile. However, without it, men can become brittle and lack the constitution to go on. Hope and hopelessness let’s you go in one direction or the other and both paths are opposites, so choosing the correct path is essential. Choosing the correct path is essential for our souls.
When I look back, things are so different now, not only in my maturity of thinking, but also in what was accomplished. God has allowed me to have assets, education, a good job, etc. All that I thought I could never get, God allowed me to obtain and more. When I look back, I can say, I am truly blessed. Blessed not only to have, but also blessed to extend my hand and help others in need.
My hopelessness then, has been turned into hope now. Life experiences have taught me that things change, and they will always change. Life experiences of not having any money and unaware of where my next dollar is coming from. Life experiences of sadness and thinking that I might never be happy. All these things changed over the course of my life, and you know what, they will change again in the future. A positive situation where you are abounding can and will suddenly become bleak or vise versa. But although a situation changes, what should remain the same, is our hope towards it. Oh how I pray that more of us have indestructible hope.
Here is what Romans Chapter five verse 3 and 4 says about hope.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
God’s word tells us that experience facilitates and brings hope. The more we go through the challenges of life, and we come through in the end, the more hope is built up within us.
This is why we can reflect on our lives and see the goodness of God within it. We can look back and testify about when we thought we weren’t going to make it, but here we are, still standing and standing strong by the grace of God. God brought us thus far by faith, hope, and His great mercy, and He will continue to do so.
So, I encourage you today to reflect on your life experiences and see how far you have come. Take hope in that the previous things which you thought would never change, have indeed changed. Use this knowledge in any current difficult situation and know that this to WILL change for the better. Reflect on all the experiences of your life, you can even examine the testimony and the life experiences of others to gain the necessary hope you need. And above all remember, “All things are possible with God”, all you need to do is trust Him as the book of Proverbs says:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5-6
I leave you today with this clip from Tom Hanks sharing his life experiences of hope and patience.
If the youtube video does not load for you above then try clicking this link – Tom Hanks Link.
PS: Dane Miller was last seen smiling while making a list of the experiences that God gave him the victory in.
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller – “God is the Author, I am the Pen”
Authored Book – What is the Woman Saying – Lessons from Biblical Women.
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