Today most of our family went for a picnic lunch up in the hills close to our home. At this time of the year one of the popular places to go is a very large botanic park. The setting is quite spectacular nestled high up in hills, surrounded by native bush, natural streams and 59 hectares of developed gardens, which feature a diverse range of exotic and native species of plants.
The botanic park is internationally recognised for its Camellias, roses and in springtime up to 125,0000 of various coloured tulips in bloom.
The man behind all this vision and forethought was John Joseph Simons who formed the Young Australian League. He helped organise the purchase of land in 1929, with the purpose of providing a place dedicated for young people to adventure and experience the outdoor way of life. Camping, swimming, bushwalking, and band performances all had their role within the park.
John Simons had a vision, an image on the inside of him of what he desired to come to pass. He had a picture on the inside that he no doubt had meditated on over and over again. This image was the one he talked about and shared with others. He had a hope and vision, and it was a grand one, which came to pass. Even after his death when the gardens fell into disrepair his vision for the property was remembered, and the gardens were restored, preserved and developed to the amazing place it is today.
Why? Because of hope; because one man got an image on the inside of Him. It was an image bigger than him, that caused him to hope and believe! Bigger than even his lifespan, and one which still blesses and benefits thousands of people both young and old today.
According to the bible, hope is actually looking at something you can’t see, and believing it will be yours.
The bible says, “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:24-25)
God wants us all to have a hope. To get an image of what He is saying to us. He has a plan and a hope for each of us individually. He wants us to see, and dream and imagine. Getting the image God wants us to have of for our life usually isn’t something that happens overnight, it often takes time.
That’s because far too often we have a faulty picture of ourselves, where we see our weaknesses, inadequacies and our past failures. We have a negative inner image, and hope is often squashed out. When our inner image is faulty then our outer image is going to match it. We don’t expect much, and find it difficult to feel loved by God or anyone else fully. But that’s not God’s plan for our lives. He wants us to begin to hope, and to change what we see.
That’s where going to God’s word is our help. His words start to shape the image, the picture we see on the inside of us. The more we mediate and think upon what God says about us, the more we set a healthy inner image. It becomes an image filled with hope, and love, which is what activates our faith to believe for good and amazing things to go to work. Without that hope and positive inner image faith cannot work properly.
Today if the inner image you have of yourself; of your life, your relationships, your job is not great and it feels hopeless I encourage you to turn to Jesus. He is the great comforter, the one who helps us in our time of need. He is the one who releases fresh hope and vision, and gives us a plan to move forward with.
Stick with Jesus and He will begin to change your inner image, the picture you see of your life to be filled with all hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
“I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love.” (Ephesians 3:17-18)
“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Prayer: Lord I need your hope. Please help me to see my life an my future as you have it planned. Renew my inner person, so that I have strength to hope. In Jesus Name Amen.