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Hope and Fear: A Symbiotic Relationship Balanced by God's Grace and Mercy

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 138

"Hope" and "Fear." These two words have distinctly different connotations, yet in a lot of ways the two words are inseparable. Fear makes us want to hope for something better, while at the same time, hope allows us to cope with fear. Without fear, we would never know hope but, of course, without hope, we would have no need to fear (though I would not want to live in a world without hope). Fear arises from the realization that our hopes may not come to pass. Whether it is primal fear of injury or death, or fear of failure and missed expectations, the core of that fear is based on hope. We hope to not get injured, or we hope that all our expectations will be met. We fear what will happen if our hopes fail us.

This odd symbiotic relationship between hope and fear is ultimately what drives us forward, but it also defines who we are as a person and how we interact with the world around us (i.e. our staff, family, friends, and business partners). We have already established that there is an inseverable link between hope and fear; however, like two sides of the same magnet, these words have night and day differences.

How much better would our lives be and how much more effective would we be if we acted based on our hopes rather than consistently reacting to our fears? Fear allows us to experience hope, but giving into fear exhausts us, by keeping us in a constant state of fight or flight. No one was meant to operate in a never-ending state of anxiety. It does us no good to live this way. Use fear as the warning sign it is meant to be, a warning that says perhaps you are on the wrong track. But let hope guide you down the right path. Learn to live in a state of hope. Operate your life in a state of hope; make your plans and your strategies in a state of hope. Most of all, act in a state of hope.

Some may be asking what this "hope" is that we are supposed to live in. The world is a dark place and seemingly getting darker. For some of you the word hope could quite honestly stab you in the heart. I understand. Hope can seem very hopeless. What is there to hope in? The Bible states that the Lord has plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. God wants to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Let's face it: we can talk about hope all we want, but our hope can only take us so far. We can hope in ourselves, we can hope in the kindness of a stranger, shoot, we can hope in luck. But, how far will our hope take us? Eventually we will tire; eventually our hope will run out and give way to fear. However, Christ invites all of us who are weary and burdened to come to Him. He tells us that he will give us rest (Matthew 11:28). It is so easy to forget this. Even as a Christian, I struggle with feeling alone, stranded and exhausted. Jesus tells us that His yoke is light (Matthew 11:30). That means that if we put our hope in Jesus, He will prosper us with rest and a light burden. He has a plan for us. However, often times our own plans get in the way. Those that are weary and burdened have strayed away from God's plan, or at least have stopped putting their hope in Christ and have turned to their own hope, their own ideas of success and their own definition of what is important in life.

God's hope, his love, never runs out, it gives water to the thirsty and food to the hungry (John 6:35). The hope that will really help us overcome fear, the hope that will really help us live a fulfilled and meaningful life, is only found in the hope from God.

What will you put your hope in? Yourself, who you know to be flawed and motivated by fear, or Christ who came to give us all everlasting hope? Hope is a powerful tool and a powerful motivator, but it is only as powerful as the vessel that we put it in. Ultimately, we can believe in ourselves and our own hope or we can accept the hope found in Christ, a hope that is greater than ourselves. The question is, do you want to hope in yourself, or do you want to hope in something greater than yourself? Real hope has to be greater than us. Real hope can't be found in the status quo. Only God's hope can transcend whatever our burdens are to promise a better future. Eventually, without God's hope, there really is only fear. Only God's hope can truly give us the ability to operate our lives in a state of hope, make our plans and our strategies in a state of hope, and most of all, act and live in a state of hope.

Mark Zarr is the Author of Testimony: How Our Stories Get in the Way of God's Grace. To read a free excerpt from Testimony click this link

Mark has an MBA from Liberty University and a BA in Organizational Communication and Structure from Montana State University. He is the owner of Common Sense Development ( ), specializing in business and personal development. He currently lives in Boise Idaho with his wife Rachel.

Source: EzineArticles
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