Choice always includes alternatives: soup or salad? Window or aisle? Paper or plastic? Hope or despair?
Hope is a choice made between two alternatives. We can choose to wear a helmet of hope daily. Or, we can choose to have a mindset of fatalism. In its early stages, fatalism is a kind of negative resignation. When full-blown, fatalism turns into despair.
Despair, contrary to popular opinion, is not something into which we simply fall. It is as deliberately chosen as hope. That may sound harsh, but we must come to grips with the reality that ultimately we are not victims. We may have been cheated and abused all our lives, but God has given us the power to choose. How we live in response to our past is a choice we make.
Choice is a gift that no one can take from us. We are constantly choosing to some extent, either hope or resignation. There’s no middle ground. My prayer is that we will allow hope to become a reflex, our automatic response in every situation. As previously noted, this will require nothing less than a paradigm shift, a total transformation in our thinking from a mindset of habitual fatalism, to one of perpetual hope. I am confident we need to make this shift simply because fatalism is so pervasive in today’s society, from boardroom to classroom, at home and at church (especially at church!).
Brother Andrew calls the ecclesiastical variety by the self-contradictory term, Christian fatalism, and exhorts believers to fight it for all we are worth, because it is the most powerful weapon the enemy uses to defeat the purposes of God for our lives.
We are constantly choosing to some extent, either hope or resignation. There’s no middle ground. I want to read a verse to you on the subject of hope. Joshua 24:15 says to the children of Israel, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Remember, the definition for hope is “a confident expectation of the goodness of God.” We choose our expectation. Choice is the greatest gift that God has given us, outside of life itself. So we should use it every day. Today we choose hope.