top of page
  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

YACHAL - HOPE



What is hope? Is it a wishy washy maybe or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.” In Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation. Hope may refer to the activity of hoping, or to the object hoped for—the content of one’s hope. By its very nature, hope stresses two things: (a) futurity, and (b) invisibility. It deals with things we can’t see or haven’t received or both .

YACHAL (pronounced yaw-chal) in Hebrew means - cause to, have, make to hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered to drive it, you won’t get anywhere.

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles over the years. Grit, Conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and underappreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Hope is not a brand new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. According to their theory, hope consists of agency and pathways. The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there. See a more recent research.

Why is hope important?

Well, life is difficult. There are many obstacles. Having goals is not enough. One has to keep getting closer to those goals, amidst all the inevitable twists and turns of life. Hope allows people to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable to success, thereby increasing the chances they will actually accomplish their goals.

Hope is not just a feel-good emotion, but a dynamic cognitive motivational system. Under this conceptualization of hope, emotions follow cognitions, not the other way round. Hope-related cognitions are important. Hope leads to learning goals, which are conducive to growth and improvement. People with learning goals are actively engaged in their learning, constantly planning strategies to meet their goals, and monitoring their progress to stay on track.

A bulk of research shows that learning goals are positively related to success across a wide swatch of human life—from academic achievement to sports to arts to science to business. This HOPE is found in our Bible.

Romans 8:24-25 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Biblically, from the standpoint of the object hoped for, hope is synonymous with salvation and its many blessings, past, present, and future, as promised in Scripture. This is true even with what we have already received as believers because these blessings come under the category of what we cannot see. We may see some of the results, but it still requires faith and hope.

For example, we do not see the justifying work of God, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account, nor do we see the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we are saved, nor our co-union with Christ. We believe this to be a reality, but this is a matter of our hope. We believe in the testimony of God in the Word and hope for the results in our lives. In summary, hope is the confident expectation, the sure certainty that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will in accordance with God’s sure Word.

So how does hope stack up against other vehicles of success?

Philip R. Magaletta and J.M. Oliver measured hope, self-efficacy, and optimism and found that hope stood head and shoulders above the other vehicles. They also found specific effects: the will component of hope predicted well-being independent of self-efficacy, and the ways component of hope predicted well-being independent of optimism.

 

References: 1. Bible.org. 2. Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. Beautiful Minds.

Comments


bottom of page