HopeA demolition ball swings toward a thick cement wall. Bam! It connects with full force, but the bricks don’t budge, so it swings again. And again. And again. Even when you can’t see the effects, the wall is getting weaker until it starts to crack. One more hit and it will all come down.

This is hope.

In cancer patients, hope has been measured and tested just as drugs have been tested, and the results are unmistakable. Hope does something to us–it is the coach that pushes us to keep going. If hope is a useful tool in cancer recovery, I’m sure that the same can be said for all other types of recovery as well.

The Bible reminds us of the power and necessity of hope. Romans 12:12 tells us to, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (ESV)” All three of these are very important in recovery, but I want to focus on hope. After all, God is called “the God of hope” (Romans 15:13).

Just like with the cement wall, it takes a few tries to knock an addiction down, and then constant work to keep it down. If you’ve tried recovery and have considered it a failure, you might be running low on hope.

However, negativity is often disguised as wisdom, and it can derail your hope. Have you ever heard these?:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.

I was fooled once, but I will not be fooled again.

I can’t help it. This is just who I am.

Dreaming is for children; it’s time to be real.

This is a list of reasons people offer for giving up, and it can go on and on. The truth is that if God is the God of hope, we can be people of hope without being ashamed.

We are to rejoice in hope. Who doesn’t want to rejoice? Rejoicing lifts the spirit. Hope isn’t meant to be something that we hold on to bitterly because we don’t have anything else left–it is something that gives us energy, peace, and joy.

So this year, decide that hoping is worth the risk. Is what you are hoping for GOOD? And does God want the same thing for you? Then hope!