By Leon De Haan
Hopelessness is a state in which we stop dreaming and expecting our dreams to be fulfilled. When I speak of dreams, I am not talking about the dreams you have at night. I am talking about the dreams that you have in your heart - the things you are looking to accomplish in your life. Those things that will affect the people around you and even the world.
God has given each of us a dream. These dreams are different for each person. Your dream may be to have a successful business, or it may be to evangelize the nations of the world. They have been placed in our hearts by God. From our first breath to our last, the enemy is trying to keep us from fulfilling that dream. He uses negative experiences and words. He uses circumstances and other attacks to destroy our dreams. The enemy, the devil, knows if he can stop our dreams, he will stop us.
Covid 19 was not only a deadly virus that was unleashed upon the earth, but it also has been a dream destroyer for many people by producing hopelessness. It is virtually important that we begin to dream again.
The Greek word for hope is elpis. The definition for this word is looking forward with confidence to that which is from God. The best way for me to describe hope is when I was young, my mother would say to me, “Grandpa and grandma are coming today.” After hearing those words, I would sit out in the lawn and watch for the dust that their car would make on that old gravel road. Every time I saw that dust cloud coming, I would jump up. Then when I recognized their car, I would run to the house and announce, “Grandpa and grandma are here!” I then ran back outside and stood and waited for them. That is hope! I announced their arrival before they ever pulled into our driveway.
Dreams are the places we hope for. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The first thing that we see here is our God is the God of hope. Hope begins with Him. Our hope is not dependent on circumstances or conditions here on earth. Our hope has its origin in heaven. There is never a condition that is hopeless unless we see it as hopeless. Circumstances cannot overwhelm us because our hope comes from a God who is never overwhelmed with circumstances.
What does the hope that God gives us do for us? It fills us with joy and peace. Do you know someone today that is lacking in joy and peace? The source of their lack may very well be that they have lost their hope. They have lost their dreams that God has placed in their hearts. The Greek word that is translated “fill” means to be made completely full of joy and peace. That is what we can be, but we need to understand that there is something that we must do. We must believe.
The connection between hope and faith is an amazing thing. Without hope, our faith has nowhere to start and without faith, hope will not be manifested. They are a team that brings our dreams to reality. Hope is the dream; faith brings that dream into reality. They both need to work together. Hebrews 11:1 puts it this way, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” If we don’t hope, then our faith cannot bring an assurance. But when hope and faith work together, then nothing can stop our dreams from becoming a reality.
Now a warning, our hope and faith isn’t in what we dream for. Our hope and faith are in God. Many times, people have placed their hope in something that simply was not God’s desire or dream for them. When I was young, I dreamed of being a rock star. That was not a dream from God! That was a dream generated from my own desires. I would have never seen that dream come to a place of being a reality. Because that dream was not from God, I could not believe or exercise my faith for that dream. Now, I dream of many things for myself and for this ministry. My dreams are centered upon what God’s desire is for me. That will happen. I have hope from God and therefore I believe in God to make those dreams come happen.
So, I say to you, what are the dreams that you have stopped dreaming? What are the things you have stopped hoping for? Take those dreams back and begin dreaming them again. It is never too late. We are living in a time where God wants to restore everything that the enemy has stolen from us. When Israel went into exile because of their unbelief, God sent prophets to tell the people not only of the exile but also to give them hope and a dream of restoration. Make a decision to knock the dust off those God given dreams and start dreaming again. Then mix those dreams with the faith that God has given you and those dreams will become a reality.