Looking at our past can give us hope for the future

Looking at our past can give us hope for the future

“If you can look up, then you can get up.” —Les Brown

In 2004 we saw John Kerry and George W. Bush go toe to toe with one another for the presidency. It was a very hard-fought campaign, with Bush coming out on top. We found out the next afternoon who won, and of course it came down to Ohio. I remember a newspaper with the headline that read “Not again.”

The presidential election between Bush and Al Gore four years before also was decided by one remaining state, although that time the state was Florida. John Kerry’s campaign slogan was “hope is on the way.” In fact, Kerry’s VP pick, John Edwards, told a late night host he said “soap was on the way” when giving his young son a bath.

So actually, what is hope? The Bible list is among what I call the big three: faith, love and hope. To tell you the truth, the first thought that pops into my mind while thinking about hope is Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Not exactly what I thought it said, but to have hope we must have faith. Picture it this way: Faith is the cornerstone hope is built on. One woman told me hope is a bridge and faith the beams that hold the bridge up. If we hope things can get better but don’t have the faith to believe, then we just canceled them out. So we are left with nothing.

This might sound odd, but looking at our past can give us real hope. Twelve years ago I was living with my parents and working but didn’t really have a deep meaning to my life. I was just going through the motions and just lived in survival mode.

Then I had the opportunity to go to Bible college for a six-week course, and that led me to my career as a writer. Also, a woman saw my column and thought I would be good for her friend Stacey, who is now my wife. You see how things can snowball into something positive. We can view something snowballing as a bad thing, but really, there are good snowballs as well, and I have noticed in my own life the good things can seem like they keep coming for a period of time.

However, we can get so focused on what is going wrong in our life that we miss or even forget what the blessings in our life are. By my desk I have a saying that reads, “There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy,” and if we really look at things, there really are many reasons to feel that way.

If we make up our minds to think on the negative, then where our minds go, our feelings will follow. Think of the many blessings God has given you over the years and start thanking him for each one of them. Don’t just say, “There is not one positive thing,” and give up. This will take time and effort, but if you hang in there, I promise something good will come.

To have hope for tomorrow, find strength in past hopes.