When Hope Is Almost Painful

There’s a change happening in my workplace, which could mean a possible change for me in a positive sense. Though, that depends entirely on the higher ups and if they even think of doing what I am desperately hoping they will do.

Hope is not the problem here. But, if I get my hopes up, and what I’m hoping for doesn’t happen – the fallout for me, personally, emotionally, would be devastating. Or, maybe not devastating. Disturbing? Disagreeable? Disappointing? Dismaying?

Ever since I heard the news, and the possibility has entered my mind, I have been very carefully trying to tamp down any hope I have. I’ve tried to convince myself it won’t happen. Or convince myself that if it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t supposed to happen.

I’m trying not to make myself sick shoving my hope back down my throat. I’m kneeling on it’s back, shoving it’s face in the dirt, telling it to shut up. To keep quiet. Don’t even start.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so mean . . . to hope. Even if things don’t work out, should a person really live without hope? And even if they’re not living without it, should they live constantly shoving it’s face in the dirt and telling it to shut up?

What is the function of hope, anyway? I do know this verse in the Bible, the one that goes:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 ESV

Which is the version I have always been familiar with. But lately, I have been appreciating the Complete Jewish Bible translation, which was translated directly (word for word) from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek (the Greek the New Testament was originally written in).

Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 CJB

Now, what Paul is talking about in Hebrews in terms of hope is a specific type of hope, and this verse is basically saying that trusting/faith is what we rely on to hope for things we cannot see/things that have not yet happened/things that will happen eventually.

So, maybe what I am missing here, or shoving in the dirt, isn’t hope. Because in spite of all of my efforts, I’m still feeling hope. Maybe what I’m shoving down is faith. Trust. The conviction of things not seen.

But when faith is dashed, or tested, that is just as painful as losing hope. And I think, right now, the problem is is that I just can’t handle the pain of what having my faith tested would feel like. Or maybe, I just don’t have faith?

Here I am rambling in public again. What do you think the function of hope is? Do you tend to fear feeling it, as well? Do you tend to shove hope down? Have you ever asked yourself why?

Wherever you are, in whatever situation you are, I pray your hope is not dashed, and that your faith does not shatter.

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