Several years ago at Disney World in Florida, the world-acclaimed happiest place on Earth, I witnessed an amazing phenomenon rivaling a supernatural exorcism. I was watching a five-year-old boy. It was a typical hot and muggy Florida day, late in the afternoon, with long lines everywhere, lots of stimulation, many choices, and some probable letdowns. He was probably off schedule, hungry, and staying up late at night. This kid started having the granddaddy-of-them-all-with-a-cherry-on-top, meltdown (not my kid of course).
Then the most amazing miracle occurred. His parents said these magical words, “If you are good and can quiet down, you can have an ice cream and go swimming after dinner.”
It was like an exorcism was performed. The powerful evil forces that seemed to have such a firm grip on him dramatically retreated … after squaring off with the all-powerful ice cream sundae! Almost instantaneously, he was back to being a normal, well-behaved, and happy Magic Kingdom kid. Why? He now had hope. Hope is such a powerful emotional state. Expectation, trust, wishes, optimism, anticipation, and confident desire are potently influential dimensions of hope. You experience the same phenomena. Even when you are overwhelmed or filled with negativity and it seems like you have no control, you really do. At those times, you need to refocus on the hope you have in Christ.
The cool thing about hope is you actually believe there is a real chance of getting what you hope for. Hope can lift your perspective from weary feet to glorious views of the high road … the road to heaven. Way better than ice cream. How do you live your life? We’re talking about your daily attitude, the lenses you use to view life, your future outlook. Do your heart and daily actions display the ultimate hope that is powerfully alive in you? Or are you having a tantrum because hope is being sucked from your lenses, or seems so distant and out of reach?
Today, focus on this radiant destination, the Mind of Christ on this Earth and eternity in heaven with Confident Desire. This is real hope! When you do, whether the road ahead is rough or smooth becomes less significant. Like the boy at Disney who focused on the destination, it will be easy for you to handle the disruptions of the day. Whatever today’s obstacle is, attack it with the encompassing knowledge that you are getting double desserts … the Holy Spirit in this life, and eternity spent in the personal presence of God. Let real hope clean your lenses. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father, I know that hope is a golden cord that connects me to heaven. I feel as if my head is slumped and my feet are shuffling. Help me, Father, help me to have this cord hold my head high … even in the midst of the storms I am experiencing. Help me, Father, to hold in my heart a dual focus: Your continual Presence and the hope of heaven. These things I ask boldly, through the love and work of Christ Jesus for us, and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;