Hope is sometimes hard to hold onto in this life. It isn’t always an easy process. There have been seasons where I have tried to write out my feelings in a song but have been at a loss for lyrics. The situation I was in was so complex that it was hard to express in words. At those times I have found that the music itself was a better medium for my heart than lyrics. I think that my creativity is sometimes directly tied to hope.
So, if my ability to create is so connected to hope, what is my hope tied to? I’m realizing that my ability to look at the world with hope is directly related to how I view my relationship with God and His purposes for my life. Many in my circles talk about “preaching the gospel to yourself.”
That might seem a strange place to begin when creating art (for me, music and lyrics). But the truth found in the “gospel” can provide clarity and perspective.
Understanding that God has chosen to pursue me in love is the beginning of hope. For when I was “dead” spiritually, He loved me. In Jesus’ death He has freed me from the penalty of sin and given me freedom in Jesus’ resurrection. Not only that, but as a Father He has adopted me as a son, and now I am no longer a slave to sin. This is the gospel message I have learned to preach to my heart.
A lack of hope in my life leads to self doubt, pessimism, and powerlessness. In the moment I forget the gospel, these issues begin to surface. It is actually the gospel that is the cure for these Hope killers!
The cure for Self Doubt
When I doubt if I have anything to offer and words on a blog like this seem to be lame, I remember that I am no longer a slave to sin but a “son” of God. I am loved dearly because Jesus was willing to die for my selfish heart. I no longer have to doubt my worth because it is no longer defined in what I think of me. What matters is what God thinks of me!
The cure for Pessimism
When I begin to think that nothing matters, nothing will ever work out, I’m going no where, the gospel message brings me back to another truth, God saved me for a purpose! He has brought me out of darkness to light. He has revealed that I was re-created to serve and love Him. I have been re-created and am being renewed to be part of something bigger than me, that He is in charge of! I no longer have to worry and be a pessimist. God is in control.
The Cure for Powerlessness
Instead of feeling powerless, the gospel changes the way I pursue my work and calling. For where I might have looked for strength in my ability and self will, I remember that once I was powerless. I had power in my self but not the kind of power that comes from God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in me.
When I wonder what this looks like, I begin to think of the disciples hiding out after Jesus had died. They were pessimistic, they were powerless and had plenty of self-doubt. But Jesus appears in front of them having first risen from the dead and shown Himself to two women at the tomb. Soon the Holy Spirit would come and fill them with power to do His will. They would preach and see 1000s of people turn in faith to the true Messiah, Jesus.
For the first time they have Hope and it came in the good news that Jesus has overcome and now has given them purpose and a calling. What they would do as followers of Christ would have eternal impact.
So what does this mean for my creative work? The gospel gives me perspective that changes the way I look at everything! Hope doesn’t come from my experiences, but rather hope comes from understanding what Jesus has done for me and what Jesus is calling me to be for Him.
When I remind myself of the truths of the gospel, I have real hope. I have a storehouse of resources for communicating about my life, the world, my relationship with God and others and taking these ideas and creating music and lyrics.
So how do you deal with a lack of Hope in your life? How does it hinder your creativity? How might understanding the gospel help you have true Hope?
If you are interested in learning more about how the gospel changes everything, consider reading Putting Amazing Back into Grace by Dr. Michael Horton (the first chapter is here in pdf and you can order the book online).http://www.whitehorseinn.org/putting-amazing-back-into-grace.html
This WDA Pocket Principle is also helpful in reminding us of our Security in Christ. http://www.disciplebuilding.org/2013/05/31/security-in-christ-wda-pocket-principle/