Day 6 FNT fast: Learning about hope


What the heck is a FNT fast? Fasting negative thoughts. It comes from this post.

Just today and yesterday I began to understand where He is taking me. And why it’s so hard for me.

Jesus said that love, faith and hope are the big three, right?

In my decades of trying to follow God, it’s only now in my life that I’m seeing why hope is one of the big three. I remember just a year ago telling my friends that I disliked hearing teachings on hope. “Hope? Ugh” I would say. As I was going through that divorce, I went to a church and heard a series on hope. I drove inter-city to hear the rest of the series of about a month. I bought the CDs. I listened to them. I believed. I began to pump myself up and get hope.

But 18 months later I was even more emotionally wrecked. “Hope? Ugh“. Cynically, I learned about the first part of this proverb… the “sick heart” bit!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but

when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

… now I am learning about the desire fulfilled and tree of life bit! Woooo! And it’s scary. Really.

Over time He’s built the faith bit, in the last 3-4 years I’ve learned about the crucial importance of the love bit (for my own health, for the health of others around me)… and now I’m learning about the hope bit:

  • I am hoping for salvation in Him,
  • I am hoping that He will protect me,
  • I am hoping He will provide for me and for the business,
  • I am hoping His promises will someday be true, or that He will explain a way to make them come true
  • I am hoping that He does what He says He will – and holding on for it
  • I am hoping that things can get better – and not walking away and accepting the same-old-same-old
  • I am hoping that He loves me – even when I’m feeling rebellious, even when I’m “bad”

So… I’m learning about hope in my life.

So why does this come up during the FNT? (FNT = fasting negative thoughts). Why avoid negative thoughts? How does that help a Christian life? It sure seemed weird when I began to do it.

But I am learning during this fast that many times He put something good in my path – and because I didn’t believe it could be for me (negative, low self-esteem thoughts) I’d just walk past it and not pick it up. Other times He gave me a blessing and I’d assume it couldn’t possibly be for me, so I gave on to someone else. I remember the day I asked for something and I heard Him say “stop giving it away!“. I can remember some people He sent into my life to help with my loneliness, but I didn’t let them in and I didn’t spend time with them.

These are the things that I am realizing. It’s not that He didn’t send good things, it’s just that I was so negative and down on myself that I didn’t even realize or accept them for myself. So my life didn’t change, even when He DID want it to.

But now, I am thinking positively – although today was hard – because I am looking around expectantly, I can see so many good things around me that I can have and enjoy.

It’s scary because what if God drops me? What if He lets me get hurt? What if these things aren’t from Him? What if I’m wrong? What if I enjoy these things and then they stop? And that’s exactly the kind of negative thinking that will cause me to walk by these blessings and NOT pick them up. See? As He shows me my own self-defeating behaviour, I will have to acknowledge some of my own hand in the hardship I’ve had so far. Hmmm… that won’t be fun. I have made a good living out of being seen as the victim! hehehe.

But the good news is that I can then see that He always was a good God, that it’s not just a recent thing.

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