A Better Word than Happiness

Guest post by Pastor Corey Kope.

In my own life, I must say that hope has depended mostly upon my perspective. Hope is a deeper word in the western world than, say, “happiness” in most of our minds. Hope denotes something that can rise up out of the ashes of conflict and pain, of unstable circumstances, of lost situations. Too often, we’re seeking the FEELING of personal satisfaction when idealism in a relationship, or in anything actually materializes. But disaster strikes and the shallowness of our trust in God is revealed when we strike out at Him or those He has carefully placed in our lives because it didn’t turn out the way we thought it should. Hence the lack of Kingdom effect in our lives. We need to take a hard look at ourselves. We brag in the sunshine “though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him”. But when He has the nerve to do something for His own reasons we cry “unfair!”

It is ridiculous to beg God for fairness when that is the last thing we could handle. And the last thing I want is a god I can handle. No, hope in my life has happened in the darkness, when my last cry is one of despair and I throw myself on the mercy of the One. Mercy I never deserved and never could. And in the receiving of mercy, when I know in my heart that 5 minutes of the right kind of pressure could make me run from my own Master, a most basic shift takes place inside and the words “my Lord and my God!” are forced out of me. And hope is reborn. Not the hope that things will turn out OK for me, but that the Kingdom could continue without me. That there is something worth dying for. Only then can I look behind me and see God’s handling of my life. And I find rest in knowing that He can do what He wants. My ego is gone and my only question is, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

Corey Kope is in the process of becoming senior pastor at Chinook Winds Christian Centre in Didsbury, Alberta.

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