The Four Things That Only Hope Can Do, Part 1: Hope Releases You from Your Past

Of all the remarkable things I’ve seen hope do in my life and in the lives of others, these four things stand out:

  1. Hope liberates. Hope releases you from your past.
  2. Hope motivates. Hope helps you bounce back.
  3. Hope initiates. Hope sets you free to dream again.
  4. Hope activates. Hope is the fuel that makes the world a better place.

In this blog, let’s talk a look at how hope releases you from your past. It sets them free from past failures and hurts, dysfunctional family patterns, guilt, low expectations, and even crippling lack of confidence.

I grew up in something of an executive, jet-set family, where divorce ruled. Everybody got divorced. We cannot find a lasting marriage in 150 years of our family tree. Add to that my family’s raging alcoholism and explosive anger, and maybe you can see why divorce was epidemic and how I grew up convinced that my life probably wouldn’t feature a lasting marriage. At no time did I ever think, I can have a fulfilling family life.

That belief got a major makeover after a bunch of terrific couples put their arms around me in an awesome Southern California church of 110 people. For the first time in my life, I saw couples that had been married for ten, fifteen, twenty, and even thirty or more years. During five years in that church, I never saw a single couple break up. That totally changed my frame of reference. For the first time, I thought, Wow! I could really have a lasting marriage. That could be my future.

My wife, Carol, and I just celebrated our thirtieth-first anniversary, which means I am in the longest-lasting marriage in the history of my family. We have four children—Mark, Scott, Christy, and Leslie—whom, as of the date of this writing, I still like, and who, more amazingly, like me. They are incredible young adults who love Jesus and who look forward to one day creating their own strong marriages and loving families. Thirty years ago, I couldn’t imagine any of this.

The couples in that church gave me a great gift. They liberated me from the expectation that my past background would be the determining factor in my future relationships. Hope will do that for you. Hope liberates from past failures, from bitterness, from anger, from insecurity, and from the kind of low expectations that keep people chained to the past.

In my next blog, I’m going to write about how hope helps you bounce back.


Hope releases you from your past.