4 Ways to Have Hope Beyond Our Circumstances

October 12, 2018

Reagan Phillips, Childcare Team Director

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In the 1950’s, a Harvard educated John Hopkins scientist named Curt Paul Richter conducted a pretty gruesome scientific experiment.  He took rats and put them in a bucket of water to see how long they would swim before they drowned.  The first set of rats frantically swam for 10 minutes before they drowned.  The next set of rats were put in the same bucket.  But the scientist pulled this set of rats out of the water 3 times right as they were drowning to dry them off and let them catch their breath.  When he put them back in the bucket they swam 60 hours.  What made the difference?  How could there be such a drastic change from 10 minutes to 60 hours?  The answer to that is the second group of rats had HOPE. 

Our hard situations in life seem a lot like these buckets of water.  We want to go under after a short amount of time because we feel hopeless. Hope is the most powerful, shaping force on the planet. So……How do we have hope to keep on swimming and not go under?  How do we have hope beyond our circumstances? How do we have hope beyond our pain and grief?  How do we keep swimming?

1. We remember the goodness of God. It may not change that we are in the bucket, but we have hope beacuse we remember His goodness. 

2. "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice!" Rejoicing is a choice. We cannot tell ourselves to be happy, but we can tell ourselves the reasons we should be happy. 

3. We call to mind the ways and time we have seen God's faithfulness play out in our lives. Remember the times we have been pulled out of the bucket and dried off. 

4. Although our feelings may seem like they have a mind of their own, they do not have a brain. We have to tell them how to feel. We preach sermons to ourselves every minute we are in the bucket and begin to doubt. 

Thankfully we serve a loving Father and not a curious scientist.  A Father who is as much in tomorrow as He is in today.  A Father who holds the future. 

For practice, preach these verses to yourself:

Romans 5:3-5  “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hoe does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:17  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

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