March 7: When Hope is Wishful Thinking
Sometimes people talk about hope, but they’re really talking about wishful thinking. Divine hope is based on faith, while wishful thinking is based on uncertainty or doubt. The first is hope; the second is “hoping.” Hoping says, “I hope this happens; I hope this works; I hope God hears my prayers.” Wishful thinking is destructive to the practice of prayer. Hebrews 11:2 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” We receive what God has promised when we pray.
Having faith means affirming this fact until the answer manifests itself. Hoping is dangerous because it can cancel our prayers. For example, suppose you ask God for something according to His Word, saying, “Lord I believe.” If you finish your prayer time and say, “I sure hope it happens,” you have just nullified your prayer. When you pray for a present- day blessing, hope plays a part only in your confidence that your prayer is on its way. When Daniel persevered in prayer for three weeks, he was not hoping for an answer; he was waiting for answer.
There’s the difference. Suppose you call a friend and say, “I’m making a cake, and I ran out of butter. Would you bring some over?” your friend says, “I’m on the way.” Are you hoping to receive butter? No. you continue preparing the cake because you believe the butter is coming. You expect it because your friend promised to bring it.
How much more can you rely on God to do what He has promised! The Bible says, “If God said it, He will do it. If He promised it, He will bring it to pass.” (See Numbers 23:19). Note: Wishful thinking is destructive to prayer. Are you one of those who hope your prayer works? Please, instead, be receiving your prayer results by faith. You will see the difference in hoping and living your faith.
Let’s pray: Father, I don’t have to just hope You will be there for me; You have promised it in Your Word. Help me to walk in faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 9:18-36
Let's be Certain of What We Don't See.