They are up early before dawn, to work all day long in the fields, for a harvest that is not seen, or guaranteed. All of a farmers activity in every day is focused and aimed towards that harvest that cannot be seen. No picture embodies a heart of hope more than the life of a farmer.
He sows his seed, expecting to harvest.
Gal 6:7-8 (MSG) warns us: “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
That is God’s absolute law: every seed planted will produce a harvest.
Establishing hope in our lives means purposefully planting seeds that embody an expectation of harvest. It could be a seed of change, an action taken, an attitude adjusted, a good work focused on the need of another, all in the hope of the harvest we desire. We are to do good deeds, to add value in all we do and say, all the while expecting to profit (in a harvest) from that which we are doing. We are not to get weary in doing good because the harvest comes at the proper time (Gal 6:9).
I want to suggest that by doing good to other people is the start of building hope in our lives. No more naval gazing, lift your eyes and look around. When you build hope in someone else’s life, bringing about positive change, you lay the seed for hope and positive change in your own life. So often we expect other people to step into our lives and fix things before we will have hope, but God’s principle of sowing first is why many of us don’t see the things we hope for.
We are also reminded in 2 Cor 9:6 “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. In Luke 6:38 we are told to “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Establishing hope, means one has to purposefully start sowing, you are the one who has to take the first step.
Many start by doing one good thing and then sit back and wait. But if a farmer only planted one seed, his harvest would match his planting. Be a farmer and plant many seeds to expect a harvest from. 2 Timothy 2:6 promises that “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.”
Another hope establishing strategy, also characteristic of a farmer, is to live with an expectation of blessing – that which we expect (and verbally express) is usually what we get and physically experience. No more complaining about what we do not have, or do not see.
I am speaking to a mindset, an attitude to life, as 1 Peter 1:13-16 (MSG) tells us to “roll up our sleeves”, put our “minds in gear” and “be ready to receive the gift that’s coming”, all of which describe attitudes of expecting blessings.
Start living “expectantly!”
1 Peter 5:8-11 (MSG) further points out that: “The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” So start seeing life as a great story, and not as the freeze frame.
Becoming a person who lives with an expectation in their heart is like a farmer actively planting seeds for a harvest. These are not instant solutions to build hope into our lives, but characteristics that need to be developed in our lives.
Zech 9:12 tells us to: “Return to your fortress, o prisoner of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
We as believers should despite our afflictions, maintain our hope. Allowing it to keep our hearts imprisoned, for our God keeps His promises. We are to hide ourselves in Him who is our fortress (our safe place) and delight ourselves in being a “prisoner of hope” : having expectant hearts before our Lord.
Is 40:31 talks about those who wait on the Lord, described in the Amplified bible as those who “expect, look for and hope in Him.” They are prisoners of hope; have expectant mindsets. When that hope is established or re-established, maintained and developed, only then can strength be found to soar, run, and walk without getting weary or faint.
As long as God, who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us to fulfill our purpose in life, we can have boundless hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).
For it is God that will see us through to the glorious conclusion (Phil 1:6).
Thank you Lord, that You are the source of my hope and as I take purposeful steps to plant seeds of hope into the soil of my heart, I look forward to a harvest in my personal life, including a stronger hope. Help me look for ways to plant seeds of hope around me, by doing good. Help me to see ways in which I can bring hope to people around me. Also help me to watch my mind: to maintain a positive, optimistic outlook based on Who you are and not my feelings or circumstances. Help me to be expectant of You, to look forward to seeing Your goodness in the land of the living. May it be that my heart becomes locked up in an attitude of hope, an expectant heart that constantly looks to see You working into my life and circumstances.