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Seeing What Hope Sees

glassesI just finished reading John C. Maxwell’s book, Developing the Leader within You. It’s an excellent book, and I have had a quote rattling around my brain for the past days.

You see what you are prepared to see, not what is.

A person with hope has prepared himself to see possibilities in the midst of challenges. A hopeless person will see only gloom and despair.

For me, I realize I’ve been in a battle for hope over this last season of my life. I would declare His praise and goodness, but the seemingly overwhelming nature of our circumstances drained the life out of me. I wanted hope, but it felt like “somewhere out there” rather than living inside.

I’m extremely grateful that several of these situations we were facing have been resolved, but I want to be prepared for what lies ahead. I want to see hope for myself, my family, my nation, my world.

And I believe that’s God’s intent as well.

Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. –Romans 5:2 (VOICE)

Radical grace leads us to a celebration of hope no matter what is happening or not happening in the world. Whether your political party or chosen candidate is in office or not. Whether you get the promotion you wanted or not.

Grace moves you to expect God’s glory is coming.

His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning. –Psalm 30:5

There is an end to darkness. There is an end to weeping. There is an end to anger, but grace prevails. Joy comes to those who are ready to see it.

How you think about people, situations, and the world has to be colored by hope. I’m not talking about a pretend positivity; I’m talking unshakeable hope and conviction in the goodness of God.

Two people can be staring at exactly the same scene and see radically different things. One may look at an abused child and say, “That’s so sad. She’s too damaged to make anything of herself now.” Another can look at the same child and say, “I can help in seeing this child whole and thriving.”

What situations in your life now could lend to despair? What if you chose to see through eyes of hope instead?

It’s not always easy, but grace is greater. Hope is stronger, and choosing hope lends you strength. Remember, you’re not seeing the world as it is. You see it how you’ve prepared yourself to see it. Don’t choose fear and anxiety. Choose His truth and hope.

What are your thoughts on that quote? Does it speak to you? How can you prepare yourself to see through the eyes of hope?


  1. I think the power of hope is that it causes us to SEE God by remembering what He has already done in our life. Hope (at least for me) requires some looking back as well as peering into the murky waters of the future.

    Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9

    The counsel here is clear…don’t forget, don’t let these experiences slip away. Use them, pass them on…exercise them. The power of hope is strengthen by exercising our memory muscle, by remembering how faithful God is.

    Praying for ya bro’!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..From Problem Child To PastorMy Profile

    • Amen. Absolutely agree. I think that’s part of the “preparing ourselves” by reviewing and remembering all the goodness we’ve experienced from Him. “A longing fulfilled is a tree of life”--we get to revisit those testimonies any time we want and we can trust that if He met us in that area, He’ll meet us in the present challenge as well. Good stuff, Jay! I’m encouraged. 🙂 Thank you, friend.

  2. One of the beautiful, and wonderous things about Hope is that it’s everlasting, just like it’s Creator. I think a common struggle among many of us is our financial status. But God firmly tells us that we will never go without the things we truly need. We shine just as long as we hold on to that hope. After all, He is our Hope!
    Ed recently posted..A Breath of Fresh Air?My Profile

    • That’s something God impressed on me in the last year, hope is an encounter. Why? Because just like you said, He is Hope--He’s the God of hope. There’s no way to truly meet Him and not walk away with hope. Thanks so much, Ed.

  3. One of my life sayings is “focus determines reality,” and it fits so well with what you’ve said here. We can choose the reality of our lives by what we focus on. Victory or defeat. Hope or hopelessness. So many choices!
    Kari Scare recently posted..You Are a Piece of the PuzzleMy Profile

    • Yes! He sets before us a choice of life or death, but we can choose life. Not only life, but a life that’s abundant. Thank you, Kari!

  4. It is such a true statement, Jason! If it weren’t for the hope I have that God will set all to rights in His gracious time, I would despair at the state of the world. He allows us to always see that glass half full.
    Martha Orlando recently posted..HomecomingMy Profile

    • Half full and rising! It’s quite a scary world we live in, but He is our hope. Greater is He that’s in us than the one who’s in the world. Thanks so much, Martha!

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