Realization of hope comes from hard work, determination

Published 12:54 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

Standing on the brink of a new year, most of us look forward to that what it holds for us. Hope soars high, and we expect something good. In this sense, hope is defined as “desire accompanied by expectation.

We are wise enough to know one thing with certainty, the year ahead will not bring us everything we want merely because we want it. No year ever does that.

Before the year is gone there will be some disappointments and some losses, but in the depth of our hearts we believe that much of the good for which we hope will come to us.

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For at least 20 centuries, it has been an accepted fact that “hope does not disappoint.”

This fact when taken to heart sustains us and in the worst of times keeps us going.

Acceptance of that fact does not mean that we can sit in idleness, twiddle our thumbs, and expect that which we desire to be handed to us on that proverbial “silver platter.” That is nothing more than a pipe dream, a vain hope. The realization of the hope in the heart does not come that way. Rather, it comes as the result of work and sometimes it comes as the result of hard work.

As far back as two thousand years ago it had become axiomatic that “the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking in the harvest.” Now, to plow is to work and to thresh is to work, and both can be and are hard work. I know, for I have been there. I have plowed and I have threshed, and it wasn’t easy. But harvest, the realization of hope, comes as the result of work done well.

While some of the good things we want in the year ahead may come serendipitously we will determine how some of them will come. The harder we work the more apt we are to receive that which we want.

Howard Coop is a retired minister, author, and religion columnist that contributes regularly to The Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at