Hope. It's what helps us get through the day. What makes us feel better when we are in a bad mood. We all hope of better things. However, hope isn't quite enough. We can't hope something into existence. We have to put in the work and trust that God has us on the path He wants us going down. I realize this subject can get a little confusing. The Bible tells us to hope for better, God gives us hope!
Hebrews 6:19 CSB
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
We can have hope in God that is a firm and strong foundation for our lives. We can find sanctuary in Him. This hope that we get from God provides stability in our lives. It keeps us strong and happy. A person without hope can be dangerous and can lose their will to get up and keep moving throughout the day. A person with hope, is one that keeps moving and can face hardships coming their way. God will use that hope to keep us inspired to take action. But again, hope isn't always enough to make a change in our lives. We need to hope for better but need more than hope.
1 Peter 1:3 CSB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
God gives us the hope that we need to press on. While hope can go a long way, the habits we form is what decides what we actually do with this hope. Our habits determine what our mind and our muscles default to when we are under duress. In order to fulfill God's purpose for our lives, we need to have better habits. I would argue that we can probably all stand to make a few changes in our day-to-day habits. There is a pretty big difference between habits and hope. Hope is something that God uses to inspire action in our lives. Habits can help us create a faithfulness to God that can help us actually inspire and transform our lives. Our habits need to align with what God wants for our lives. Are you going to lose weight if you don't have a habit of eating healthy and working out? Are you going to be able to reach your savings goals without a habit of saving money? Habits are what can actually move us along God's path.
Matthew 22:34-40 CSB
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
If you study this text, Jesus is revealing the faults in these men. The Pharisees were the largest political party at the time. Have you ever heard that you shouldn't mix politics and religion?? It can be a dangerous combination. These people valued the letter of the law. They just didn't put value in the actual God that the word was about. They focused so much on their own understanding of the law that they missed the whole point. Can you imagine what the world would be like if Christians were as devoted as the Pharisees were? If we were that committed to talking to others about having a relationship with God and being born again?
In Matthew 22 we see an example of Jesus telling these men that they needed to change their habits. Their habits were all focused on the law that they were interpreting. Jesus was trying to show them that love should come first. Love is superior to the law. If love were the driving force behind what you do, you would be a better person. You would have consistency in how to handle and treat the people around you. Let's take that one step further though. What if not only love, but a love for God and His people were driving you? That habit of love for both God and others would lead everything else in your life to fall into place.
Love should always be our number one habit. Love as a habit can lead to a life changing experience for everyone we are around. The foundation of success for any habit in your life is God. Success that matters is only possible through a love for God, that causes you to have a habit that is true to Him. If you want a better life, create better habits. That habit starts with love.
Your habits should be:
• God will be number 1 in all areas of my life.
• Control your thought life by letting Christ rule them.
• Align your words to reflect your faith in God.
When your habits align with the hope that God has for all of us, and originates out of love, you are able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.