10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.—The words of the Psalmist from Psalm 147:10-11
In the midst of chaos on every side, one quality helps keep people on track. That quality? Hope!
If you peruse the pages of various professional journals devoted to Applied Psychology, you will find that, over the past decade or two, a new interest has arisen in what creates and sustains motivation. Quite a large number of studies have sought to ascertain the elements that will help individuals become motivated to complete defined tasks. The studies also examined the elements that will help sustain the motivation, so that people will actually succeed.
In virtually every study the quality of “hope” has emerged as one of the most important sustainers of motivation.
Think about the last time you started a project around your home or office. Maybe the task was one you had put off for some time. You dreaded even beginning this loathesome pursuit. But, you knew that you eventually had to complete the job. So, you decided, “Why put it off any longer?”
With no small amount of determination, you began the task. As you had suspected—based on your past experience with such matters—once begun, the task grew harder than you had wished. Soon, you felt mired in the work. You felt surrounded by nearly insurmountable barriers. You questioned your wisdom at ever starting. You wanted to quit. But, something grabbed you and kept you striving to complete the job at hand.
Perhaps that “something” that helped you sustain your motivation was “hope.”
Hope is often the light at the end of the tunnel that you can almost see. Hope is the recognition that you are making progress toward the goal of completing the job. Hope allows you to look backward for a moment and see how much progress you’ve made. Hope gives you the nudge of knowing that, if you stop, to get going again will take far more energy than the effort needed to complete the task, now.
Every day, in many ways, job after job, task after task, hope gently nudges us forward. Hope helps us sustain the motivation we need to do what has to be done. Yet, the question remains, “In what do you put your hope?”
For those who belong to God—that is, for believers in God through the resurrection power of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—the Psalmist has given us a very clear statement of the source of our hope. In the Scripture passage at the beginning of this blog post, the ancient songwriter insists that “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” How wise, indeed. God’s love never fails.
All throughout Scripture, we read about the depth of God’s love for us. The most magnificent example of His love comes from His willingness to send His one and only Son to die on the cross of Calvary to pay the penalty for our sins. And, to raise Jesus from the dead that we may know we will spend eternity with Him.
God has clearly proven His love for us. He stands ready every moment of every day to have us put the entirety of our faith, trust, and hope in His unfailing, undying, matchless, magnificent, protective, and enduring love.
So, when you need hope to sustain your motivation, look to God’s love. He will, most assuredly, not disappoint you.
Will you pray with me?
Thank You, God, for loving us. Thank You for sending Jesus to be our Savior. Thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit to stir up Your hope within us.
Please help us to draw strength from knowing that, if we place our hope in Your love, You will sustain us, no matter what we may face. Thank You that when we need hope the most, You always provide it. We pray with great joy, in the powerful Name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.