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Want To Be Happy? Then Ya Gotta Have Hope.

The other day I was trying to figure out why it is that when I feel happy and content, I don’t worry about the meaning of life or my purpose in it. Heck, I don’t even think about those things when I’m in a really good mood (unless I’m writing a blog post about it, lol).

Why? I kept wondering.

And then, it came to me: hope. Hope is expecting good things from the future, and when I’m happy, I’m full of hope. I’m wearing the proverbial rose-colored glasses, and everything I see is beautiful. Including life, whether it be the life I’m living at the moment, or the life that will be many moments hence.

When you’re full of hope, you’re also full of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…[Hebrews   11:1].” And when you’re full of faith, you can’t be depressed. When you’re full of faith, everything in life has a positive meaning.

Feeling happy leads to hope, leading to faith, leading to greater happiness (not to mention joy)…it can potentially never end.

Reality check.

Of course, that’s not true for any of us living on earth. Stuff happens, and hope diminishes, either nibbled away gradually over time, or washed away in one fell swoop.

Demons might speak discouragement into your mind. A hormonal imbalance might lead to a brain chemistry imbalance. A loved one dies. You constantly run up against obstacles that keep you from achieving your goals, even the smallest, presumably easiest ones.

The good news is, you don’t have to live in a state of hopelessness.

Proof that life is NOT pointless.

I recently read a Quora thread where several people answering a question declared that life is pointless, has no meaning except what we invent for it. Clearly, they are atheists and agnostics who don’t believe that we have spirits that live forever. Obviously, if this life is all there is and we’re just going to die and eventually the sun is going to burn up the earth (or shrivel up and cause earth to freeze) and obliterate all traces of human existence, then the logical, true conclusion must be that life has no intrinsic meaning, that we’re just here to fight for what we want for a while, and then have our existence annihilated.

Those people are hypocrites. Atheists are hypocrites. Because there’s no hope in that belief, and hopeless people are depressed people. Depressed people check out of life as much as possible, and many of them, as you know, completely check out of life in an irreversible way. The very fact that a so-called atheist is still alive, or goes out with friends, or seeks a more fulfilling job, or gets married, means that deep down inside, they have hope for the future.

They have two mental hurdles to get over. The first is knowing – not believing, but knowing – that an ultimate Creator exists. I have good news for them. Quantum physics has proven the existence of such a Being. The video below explains it.

The second hurdle is coming to the understanding that this eternal Being has also created humankind to be eternal Beings. No one can give any tangible proof of that. People who claim to have had visions of heaven or the spiritual realm, or to have actually gone to heaven (or hell) when they died temporarily, can be accused of having had hallucinations or dreams. Believers like me can’t prove that what we sense as God’s presence inside us is, indeed, God’s presence. And that such a presence means God is leading us into a perfect, eternal life.

The best I know how to approach that second hurdle, the disbelief in eternal life, is to tell you to ask yourself why you do anything. The answer is, to achieve something. We eat in order to have energy, to think more clearly. We date, court, and marry to fill our need for love and affection. We go to work to have money to pay the bills and afford luxuries. We yell at our kids to get them to stop doing something potentially dangerous. We turn on the T.V. to keep from feeling bored, or to escape from a bad day.

Everything we do has a purpose, no matter how trivial or short-lived.

Okay. If we peons do something for a purpose, don’t you think the Supreme Being created the universe for a purpose?

People might still argue that God’s purpose was just to create beings that could procreate, and after that He took His hands off. Thus, everyone that’s been born during the past thousands and thousands of years have been merely the result of a heterosexual couple copulating, not a result of God intentionally causing particular people to be born.

Again, I can’t prove that’s not true. But I can take you back to hope. Where does it come from? Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Why do we respond with compassion when we hear about a natural disaster that’s affected hundreds, if not thousands, of people? Why has every single culture throughout the history of mankind believed in superior spiritual beings, and why was religion invented in the first place?

Could it be that the Bible is true, that God created humans in His image, and therefore every single human being has at least a vague sense of having been created, as well as a sense that this earthly life is not all there is?

If there is no such thing as eternity, how can the limited human mind conceive of such a vast, profound concept?

So we come back to hope.

If you’ve been calling yourself an atheist or agnostic, realize that the very fact that you keep living, keep reaching for more, means that you have hope for a better future – and not just until the end of your earthly life.

If you’ve been feeling hopeless, tell those demons to shut up and go away – or work on rebalancing your brain chemistry – and realize that no matter how you’re feeling, the truth is that your very existence gives you reason to hope.

And when hope returns, so does happiness. Or, at the very least, contentment, along with a sense that you are not alone in the world and that God has a wonderful plan for your eternity.

Yes, if you’re over the age of twenty, your body is slowly beginning to fall apart, and one day it will quit working altogether. But you are not your body. You are your soul and your spirit, and they go on forever, without the limitations of frail human flesh. Grab onto that truth, cling to it for all  you’re worth, and use this earthly life as practice for the marvelous life to follow it.

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