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Stolen Hope

Hope is one of my most favorite things. I love having Hope, and I love showing others why they should have Hope. Hope has incredible power. Hope can make you run faster, jump higher, be more creative, endure, push, smile, gasp, fight and win more than most anything else. Hope is when the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. 

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (NKJV).

John Johnson, founder of Ebony magazine said, “Men and women are limited not by their intelligence, nor by their education, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope.”

The strange thing is we have the power to choose Hope, but to do so requires we first do battle with the three things that steal our Hope: 

1. Past failure projected as the future. 

2. Lost perspective.

3. Hope in wrong things.

Past Failure.

When we project a past failure as our only possible future, that can steal our Hope. We say things like...

People like me never win. 

I flunked that math class so I will never, can never be good at math.

I invested once, and it didn’t work, so I don’t invest. 

I had a car wreck and never drove again. 

My marriage failed, so I will never have a happy marriage.

Eeyore becomes our spirit animal, whining slowly...The little man can’t get ahead.

The weird thing is that if we learn from our past failures, they are actually an indicator of future success and a reason FOR Hope.

Lost Perspective.

It’s interesting to me how much more energy I have when I can see the end. Perspective is seeing. Not seeing can steal Hope. 

If you have successfully done something before, you can see farther. I had a lot more Hope that my sixth book would be a best seller after I had five best sellers. With the first one, I had dreams, but nothing to base the Hope on. 

When that perfect boy didn’t ask my daughter to the prom, she was devastated. Her mom and I were giggling because we’ve been to our 20-year class reunion. We know she’ll be glad she didn’t marry him. Perspective gives Hope.  

Hope in Wrong Things.

Stuff breaks, rusts, and goes out of style. New cars break down. A degree does not guarantee success or even a job. 

People will let you down. Parents are people. Leaders are people. Churches have people in them. 

If we place Hope in the wrong things, that will often steal our Hope. If we wait to be happy until . . . then we’ll never be happy or hopeful. God is the only place to place our Hope, and even He doesn’t do what I tell Him to. He thinks He is God. If you’re like me and made the mistake a few times of placing too much Hope in people or stuff to make life good or happy, then you’re always let down. God is big enough to gently and lovingly hold our Hope. Nothing else works. 

So I want to fail forward, keep my perspective, and not place my Hope in wrong things. And I want the same for you. When we do that, then the light at the end of the tunnel is real, but it’s not an oncoming train.  

So have Hope. Jump higher, smile more, and try that crazy thing that makes no sense to anyone but you. You might fall down, but you will have lived. And who knows? You might end up living your dreams. I think you can. I believe in you. 

Jeremiah 29:11 promises, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (NKJV).

Dave Ramsey

About the author

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored seven bestselling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Smart Money Smart Kids and The Legacy Journey. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. Learn More.