~ Goals and Hope~
Two verses hidden plainly in the Word of God have been rebounding in my head and heart recently. Both deal with topics we often hear bouncing off conversation at this time of year, Goals and Hope.
1 Peter 1:8-9 ~ ” Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Romans 15:13 ~ “May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing with hope.”
I try not to make ‘resolutions’ because I know I will fail and fall utterly short of the intended goal. However, I am finding that I have been doing the same thing with the hopes in my heart.
Setting a goal is a good thing. It gives us something to push for, work for,… to anticipate. Goals give you direction, most of the time. They are purposeful, in the right context, to helping create the boundaries which guide, direct, and even protect us.
Then a thought comes to mind, ” What do we do when we reach that goal?” Set another one? Is that the purpose? For the competitive person, this is the flicker that lights the fire of the flame which moves them onward.
For the non-competitive person, who shrinks from the goal-setting-paradigm, this can become more of a paralyzing reality one that can hamper you from that forward motion, which is a by-product of the intended goal-setting.
Sometimes when we set the goal, we ultimately bind it to the hope of an expected outcome; the desire awaiting us once we reach that glorious finish line.
Hope is infinitely tied to Goals
When we fail to reach the goals, or the expected outcome is not what we envisioned, hope can be defeated.
Proverbs 13:12 says, ” Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
Hope becomes a tree of life, yet the goal should be finding hope in the eternal truth of the joy of reaching the finish line where victory is already assured. Look at Philippians Chapter 3. Paul tells us of the example of laying hold of Christ, gaining knowledge of Him, and being found in Him. In this we have our reward, truly. In this we have hidden our goal. In this lies our everlasting and Living Hope.
Philippians 3:13-14 ~ “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Then look at the book of Hebrews chapter 12. This chapter so enriches my heart and encourages me. Verses 1 and 2 are full of the Hope that is uniquely tied to the goal-setting we embrace.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ( Amp) ~ ” Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
Looking away [from all that will distract us] to Jesus, Who is the leader and the Source of our faith [giving first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
When I take my eyes off of the God-centered goals for my life and focus on the ‘me-centered’ passion of my very human heart, I set myself on a path of failure; failure that rises strong and powerfully when those goals are not met while the the hope-ful desire behind the dreams becomes brittle and breaks. It isn’t the ignorance of the goal that is defeating, but that I have missed the mark of my true passion, the real purpose of my days, which is stride-ending.
Time is a gift, we should plan. Goals direct our path, but they can be faulty. Hope drives us on, but it can be fatal when it is not met. So how can we break the paradigm of unrealistic resolutions, expectations that will often trip up the journey towards hope?
God-goals and God-dreams are realized when they are centered in a believing hope which can only proceed from heaven’s origin. Our anticipated hope is realized in our true life-goal, which is ultimately found in Christ.
I am challenging myself to get back to the purpose-filled living, not just goal-oriented, list-checking, time-stealing planning. Will you join me?
Consider the concept of the goal of your faith which brings anticipation of hope, and finally, the realization of Love. That purpose-filled life whose calendar is full of continual appointments with the One who is our only Hope and Passion. Our goals and our achievements are already met in Him.
Look at Psalm 139: 13-18 and remember that the plan for your life has been laid out and the purpose is higher than any we could willingly devise.
“For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for you are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there were none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke [could I count to the end] I would still be with you.”
Hope- filled goals are found in the purposeful expectation of waiting on God, those who seek for ( actively pursuing the goal) hoping in His goodness and everlasting mercy do not find failure or disappointment. Plan for God-sized goals, waiting on His time and seeking Him. Rejoice in the promises God has for you ( for which there is no failure Hebrews 10:23) by knowing the goal of your faith and being made full of the hope which comes from believing.
Download a bit of encouragement and hope for your New Year Goals.
To hope in the Lord is to rest in his arms with faithful assurance of Knowing
He alone is the answer to the trials, fears, burdens, and pains of this life.
To hope in the Lord is to wait in worship with holy awe at His amazing beauty, being aware of only His presence in the midst of my present.
To hope in the Lord is to bow in admiration of the majestic gift His grace
To hope in the Lord is to acknowledge His sovereignty, supreme and
complete, obedience of my will surrendered freely.
To hope in the Lord is my full reward~
He is my portion and my cup is full and running over… with Hope!
~Romans 15:13 ~
May the God of hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing with hope.