Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the relationship between hope and uncertainty.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message
The Relationship Between Hope and Uncertainty
"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we wait with patience for it." Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 25.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we shall examine the relationship between hope and uncertainty. As is our habit when we are seeking new insights into spiritual values and meanings, we turn our attention to the values and meanings with which we are familiar, with the hope of discovering new meanings and values out of the old ones. We are beginning to more fully appreciate the constant revelation of new meanings and values, and this discovery is a joy to our souls and minds. We have more fully realized that we are on the path of the eternal pursuits of divine values and meanings, and are beginning to realize that there is no end to their revelation.
As we struggle in the material environment, with ever-increasing intensity, we also look forward to the ever-increasing divine values and meanings emerging there from for it appears that the greater the intensity the greater the revelation of divine values and meanings. And though we deal with what appears to be the same value, its quality increases in depth and the meanings appear to grow in breadth: we more fully realize that we are dealing with infinite and eternal values and meanings. After all the Father is infinite and eternal. And all of these increases in values and meanings reflect the constant growth of our souls towards the never-ending journey of knowing the spiritual values and meanings of the Father. And it is here that we add a caution light on the road of growth and development to prevent stumbling. This warning is warranted because we are material as well as spiritual beings. But the spiritual status is subjective, while the material status is not.
Our spiritual status is made known to us by faith and thus remains a subjective experience; however, we are objectively conscious of our material state. Unless we have a firm grip on the distinction between the things of Caesar and the things of God, our dual nature can and will cause us to stumble. It happens this way: Being material beings we must extract our spiritual values and meanings from our material experiences. Mind is the agency by which we become aware of both the material and the spiritual values and meanings, and sometimes its very easy to confuse the two. Therefore this warning: Spiritual growth is the ever-increasing meaning of the divine values, not the ever- increasing meaning of material facts. If we monitor our growth by the increase in spiritual meanings of divine values rather than the increase in meanings of facts, we will never stumble and become discourage in our spiritual journey——we will certainly have experiences and divine values and meanings will come forth to match them. Let us examine the relationship between hope and uncertainty.
Uncertainty is a material fact as well as a spiritual value. The difference is that while uncertainty in the material world is a fact, uncertainty in the spiritual world is a truth, and all spiritual truths are good and beautiful. Uncertainty is necessary to stimulate hope. The soul grows experientially. Like the material self, it comes into existence devoid of all experience. It must grow and develop, learning all the while. And how the soul grows and develops depends on what kind of environment it grows and develops in, just like the material self.
The material self must be exposed to a variety of stimuli. The stimuli cause us to make a supreme effort materially; this is the only way that we can become more than we are. The most potent stimulus to effect this is uncertainty. It is the uncertainty in the material environment, for example, that causes mankind to set aside a portion of the things that they have today against the uncertainty of tomorrow. Not knowing whether we will have sufficient supplies for tomorrow causes us to develop the material quality of saving. This is a very valuable quality that we all recognize, even those who lack the discipline to save. And this material quality could not be developed in any other way.
If we knew of a certainty what tomorrow would bring, there would be no need of the material quality of saving. Uncertainty in the material world has two aspects. There is the positive aspect and there is the negative aspect. Uncertainty does not always bring about a harvest of disappointment. Sometimes it brings about a harvest of success. But even those outcomes are uncertain; that is, there is no way we can predict which face uncertainty will turn to us in the material world. Since we don’’t know this and knowing that there is a positive aspect to it, the quality of hope develops.
Hope is more than a desire——it’’s more of an expectancy. Hope prevents the creeping of despair that oozes into the material mind in the face of unremitting material disappointments. Despair is the purely subjective assessment of the material mind to a given material situation. This hope in the face of potential despair has the effect of literally projecting the material mind to a future state where the possibility of a different outcome than the one that is being experienced now exists. Hope says that tomorrow will be better. Hope says that somehow, someway things will work out. It strengthens us for the current tasks at hand by showing us the vision of better days ahead.
What is it about hope that causes it to impart such a quality? Hope must in someway foster trust. In order for hope, the grandeur of trust to develop, we must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties. It is a fact of human existence that the desirable qualities we become possessed of are acquired in an environment of struggle, insecurity, and uncertainty. We know of the effects of hope, faith, and trust in the material environment, but why are they necessary in the spiritual environment? The qualities of hope are spiritual values, and though they make their appearance in the material life, they continue to exist within the spiritual life (soul). This is demonstrated when it becomes apparent when all things earthy are failing, and this same hope is transferred to the sublime expectancy of surviving the material life, and this hope is effective in bringing about peace in the soul as the material mind begins it dissolution.
Though the end-products of the soul and the material self are vastly different, the process of growth and development are the same--namely progressive. So perhaps if we look at the progressive process of spiritual growth, we may glean additional insights. In eternity, all that exists, exists now. There are no beginnings, no intermediate products. Only the finished product exists and it exists instantly. Progressive experience becomes the technique whereby the Father escapes from the finality of eternity and infinity. This technique utilizing time and space allows for a beginning as well as all the intermediate products. This technique allows for experience and for the Father--through his spirit--to participate in our own growth and development from the very beginning and proceeding to the very end, if such an end could ever be reached.
Infinity in time and space can only be partial. But as the Father reveals this reality in time and space, it is revealed gradually and unexpectedly. In other words, when we view things, as time-space beings, it would appear that all is uncertainty as to the unfolding events and to the unfolding of values and meanings. So uncertainty is the direct result of the Father revealing Himself in time and space. It becomes essential for those who participate in this discovery of the Father’’s reality in time and space to develop hope, the grandeur of trust. "Paradise values of eternity and infinity, of truth, beauty, and goodness, are concealed within the facts of the phenomena of the universes of time and space. But it requires the eye of faith in a spirit-born mortal to detect and discern these values."
Hope having responded to the stimuli of uncertainty lives on in the soul in the next phase of its existence, where it continues its efforts to master the divine values and meanings, to become perfect even as the Father is perfect. The soul must always expect that even though it does not know when new meanings and values will appear, they will appear and that the new meanings and values are constantly being superimposed on the old ones. But this process of extracting new meanings and values out of experience is not always straightforward. The soul must become disappointment-proof, that state where disappointments are no longer feared, but are recognized as containing greater truth than the experience of success.
Only disappointment can steer the soul down the path of truth where it grasps the essential meanings and values necessary for its successful traversal of the elliptical nature of divine reality. The soul must look ahead and grasp the vision of its eternal poise and reflect that poise back into its current status, thus the need to learn ". . . to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable."
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between hope and uncertainty. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.