Many people put their hope in money, or possessions, or success, or people. Every once in a while I hear someone say something like, “I’m waiting for my ship to come in.” But most of those people have never sent any ships out other than an occasional lottery ticket.
Albert Einstein is famous for saying, “The height of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” We are told, taught, and even bullied into thinking that hope is something we can buy, build, or own. Why do we continue to act as if this is true? If you are going to believe that you might as well believe the world is flat! The hope that money, success, and possessions brings is weak and short lived. It fails more often than it succeeds. That is our experience. Yet we keep thinking this time it will be different.
This reminds me of an illustration Jesus used at the end of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV),
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
When we put our hope in things like money, or possessions, or success, we are like the man who built his house on the sand. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.