RSS Feed

Tag Archives: a glimmer of hope

The Smallest Level of Faith is Hope

Martin Seligman’s research on learned helplessness was a inspired by a study using laboratory rats. In this particular experiment, rats were placed into water for an extended period of time. After ten minutes of fervently swimming to stay alive, the rats began to give up, drowning. A second experiment was launched to focus on learned helplessness. This time rats were removed from the water after 9 minutes, each were dried off and given food before repeating this process. The second time these rats fought for 15 minutes and the third they remained swimming for half an hour.

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself,] Ephesians 2:8-9.

A series of parables shared by Jesus became etched into the mind of a first century doctor. Three particular stories inspired an entire chapter, Luke 15. The common element of these 3 parables is the length at which God will go out of his way to rescue the lost. Whether you have gone astray like a lost sheep, misplaced a valuable possession, or have chosen to go your own way like the prodigal son, God is waiting with open arms to welcome you back. If God can save undeserving sinners of the past, there’s no reason not to believe that God won’t save you or me either.

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-5.

The message of salvation provides a glimmer of hope for the faithless. Just like the rats who were rescued from the water in the experiment above, God sent Jesus to seek and save those who are lost, Luke 19:10. Prior to hope entering your life, doubt resides within most minds, taking control over your thought life. Therefore, the smallest level of faith is hope, Hebrews 11:1-6. Since you have to start some where, allow hope to enable you to overcome learned helplessness.

by Jay Mankus

Coming in Abundant Blessings

As a child I remember singing the song “I’ve Got That Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart, Where, Down in my Heart to Stay.” The chorus continues with “I’m so Happy, so very Happy, that I Have the Love of Jesus in my Heart.” This song was written by George William Cooke and copyrighted in 1925. Over the last century, this song has been introduced to children through camps, curriculum and song books to keep this message of joy alive.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope, Romans 15:13.

During the first century, the apostle Paul uses an expression that illustrates the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s letter to the Galatian Church introduces the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. However, Paul’s letter to Roman Christians focuses on the benefits of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. According to the passage above, faith in action, inspired by the Spirit of God has the ability to abound and overflow soul’s with hope.

And I know that when I do come to you, I shall come in the abundant blessing of the Gospel of Christ, Romans 15:29.

Jesus spoke of the ideal in John 10:10, to live an abundant life despite the attempts of the Devil to steal your joy. Paul applied this concept to his preaching, expecting the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds as he shared the good news about Jesus Christ. Writing about a potential visit to Rome, Paul expects abundant blessings to accompany his future trip. With the Coronavirus stealing most of today’s headlines with death and despair, may this blog bring a glimmer of hope to broken and crushed spirits.

by Jay Mankus

Imagination in Captivity

As a child, everyone has moments where one day dreams of an ideal career, goal or vision of a bright future.  Something about the energy of youth, inspires one to climb the ladder of success, striving to be the best you can be.  Unfortunately, somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, a Debbie downer, glass half empty person or realist brings you back to earth by reminding you of all the obstacles standing in your way.  It is here, where imagination becomes imprisoned, held captive by fear.

On the corner of Average and Great, at the crossroads in life, choices dictate the path you follow.  Will failure lead you to turn around toward the Lane of Shame?  Does money inhabit your chances to reach for the stars?  Or do you suffer from paralysis by analysis, standing on the curb, still trying to decide?  My imagination has designed 2 dozen golf courses, composed nearly 20 songs, several games, a complete movie script and a novel in the works.  However, currently, my imagination is in captivity, with a few disks, documents and notebooks full of potential, yet void of success.

At these moments in life, one must call on the wisdom of Solomon, 1 Kings 3:4-9.  If I am to rescued from these chains, I need God to send me wise men or women to show me how to display the potential I possess.  When patience is tested like Abraham, waiting 18 years for God to give his wife a child, the true heart of man is exposed.  If Thomas Edison can attempt 9,999 ways how not to make a light bulb, I guess I can endure a few more days, weeks, months or years in captivity.  May God grant me a spirit of perseverance so that one glimmer of hope will lead to a spiritual light within me for the world to see.  In my mind, I can see freedom, faith and a finished product.  Until then, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: