Hopeful . . . or Hopeless?
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you." - (Philippians 4:8–9 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Many of us have passion—the object of strong desire. This week we will discuss passion as something closely related to emotions. Passion can be either a positive or negative influence in our life.
Hopeless passion may say this: "I allow my emotions to rule my actions and perspectives of my relationships and circumstances." This person is controlled by a roller coaster of emotions.
Hopeful passion may say this: "I love the beauty in the world and appreciate the richness of the relationships and blessings I have." This perspective can be more difficult to maintain but results in a better life.
Consider this …
Passion can be full of hope and joyful expectancy . . . or result in a sense of hopelessness. Passion can either propel us into healthy relationships . . . or push us into isolation.
Hopeful passion helps us set goals and believe that with God's help we can reach them. Hopeless passion makes it difficult for us to believe we can ever reach goals.
When things are going well, hopeful passion makes us rejoice and focus on our blessings. Hopeless passion says, "This is too good to be true" or "This won't last."
Hopeful passion may reflect on the past or be hopeful about the future but is content in the now. Hopeless passion believes more in the past than in the present or future and so conjures up hopelessness in the now. This mindset is based primarily on feelings, not necessarily on truth.
Some passionate people live out joyful expressions of life while others live in a melancholy world full of disappointments and disillusions. What makes the difference? Part of the answer lies in today's scripture. We'll look at more answers tomorrow.
Where do you see yourself in all this? Where are you fixing your thoughts?
Father, I know that sometimes my outlook is negative. Teach me to live passionately with hope in you. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from . . .
Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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