“The best version of you is a hoper, because the Spirit of life is a Spirit of hope. The Spirit never leads us to despair, and there is always hope — which is not based on circumstances, but rather is an inner disposition.”- John Ortberg
In Chapter 21 (“You Have to go Through Exile Before You Come Back Home”), John Ortberg states three options exist for you to view your future’s ups and downs. Philosopher Robert Roberts lists those attitudes: hope, despair, and resignation. However, a hoper represents the best version of you.
Furthermore, Pastor Ortberg notes, there’s good news about hope. Hope can be learned. And when a crisis interrupts “normal life,” it challenges our set of assumptions. At this point, “post-traumatic”growth occurs- if we allow God to grow us in adversity.
Thus, John presents and modifies Jonathan Haidt’s descriptors of ways such growth occurs. Pastor Ortberg discusses the first way today.
1. Rising to a challenge reveals abilities hidden within you (and beyond you!) that would otherwise have remained dormant. Until we must cope, we don’t know our capabilities. Specifically, God uses trials to bring people closer to Himself and to produce perseverance, character, and hope. For example, when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph lost everything but God. Yet, in the process, Joseph found out that God’s enough. Pastor Ortberg applies that concept to us:
“God isn’t at work producing the circumstances you want. God is at work in bad circumstances producing the you he wants (emphasis John’s).”
Perhaps you’re’ in a situation that’s not what you wanted. But when you show up and offer your best, John states that the something good happening inside you far outweighs the adversity outside you.
Today’s question: How close do you feel to the best version of you – a hoper? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Love — the resetting of broken bones”