That phrase brings a smile to my face. Most everyone will know this is from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” and the actor, Jim Carey, nailed it. When told that his chances are one in a million, the guy ponders it for a moment and then delivers the line that would be repeated into eternity.
“If there is no hope for relief or success or victory, the will cannot endure. Without hope, there will be surrender.” – Jocko Willink, Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual
Hope is what makes a new year special. When we look at the year before in hindsight, we think of the victories and savor what it felt like to win the moment. We face the past failures and challenges and look for nuggets of wisdom and growth. Maybe we strategize in order to not go down that road again. There is a clean slate of hours and days, projects and opportunities… hope that we will make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others.
The quote by Jocko Willink is foundational. I encourage you to make it personal. “If I have no hope for relief or success or victory, my will cannot endure. Without hope, I will surrender.” Here is the good news! There is hope!
Many people put their hope in their own abilities and talents. It is understandable. We live at a time where the physical, intellectual and emotional opportunities for people are very high. People can maximize all of their gifts and talents and tap into more information at their finger tips then any time in history. It is an exciting time to be alive! Yet, with all that is at our disposal, we will reach a capacity. Anything we generate is limited to our ability to develop, grow and maintain it. In other words, we have a lid…and the lid is us.
When we invite God into our lives and situations, we have a different type of hope. It is unlimited, unhindered and knows no boundaries. God can do anything. Unlike you and I, He has not capacity or limits. Job 42:2 NIV says, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of your can be thwarted.”God can do whatever He wants to do and it will line up with His purpose for you and I. So when you think that something is hopeless, God says it isn’t. And when you believe that, you will be the one saying, “So you are saying there’s a chance.”
I have been on both sides of the win/loss column when it comes to putting my hope in God. There have been times when I saw the definite victory that comes from God’s timing and plan. Kristin and I moved into our dream home after ten years of praying for the right house. Even with all the frustrations and challenges, the house we live in today is perfect for us and we are grateful we didn’t get other ones. That was a big win that we look back on and see God’s timing. We put our trust and hope in Him. There have been many things I prayed for and didn’t see the win… where I felt the defeat. To this day, I still wonder why Casey wasn’t healed when I was believing God to do a miracle in his physical body. Or why special loved ones passed away like they did. But God continues His plan with those affected by it and I see His hand in it. There have definitely been surprises and sudden changes that come through hours of prayer hoping that God will intervene. Hope in God is not a formula, it makes my relationship with Him stronger.
Final thought takes us back to the quote at the top. It ends with this line, “Without hope, there will be surrender.” This is true in the most sobering sense. When we lose hope, we surrender…we quit. It is a new year. You feel invincible now because there are a lot of unwritten pages for 2021 in your book. As we begin to fill in those lines, I encourage you to examine your source of hope. Life is tough. You need to know where your strength, courage and grit comes from. When you go through your day with a foundation of hope in God, you begin to see the difference it makes in your attitude and performance.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”