Hope or Hopium?

hopium (noun) 1. irrational or unfounded optimism 2. highly addictive emotional narcotic which blocks fact sensors in the brain and deadens any notion of possible disappointment. origin, hope + opium, as, “I must have been smoking hopium to think that the lock down would only last two weeks.” or, “She wants to shelter in place until there’s a vaccine. Is she on hopium?”

Hope is one of my favorite words, and a very biblical word, too, but like most words, it has a wide range of meaning and usage. It has been featured in political slogans and often is heard in discourses on the stock market, employment statistics, elections, and medicine.

In normal conversation, it is simply a way of expressing a wish, as “I hope it doesn’t rain today,” or “I hope to make it to Disney World some day,” or, “I hope they haven’t run out of paper towels.”

But in Scripture, hope is banking on God to do what He said He would do, embracing a promise of God for a later time. It is neither faith in the future nor blind optimism (both of which are hopium), but faith in God cast into the future, as in the “blessed hope” of Christ’s return.

There is nothing wrong with dreams of theme parks, an extra roll of paper towels, or even a vaccine. It’s good having something to look forward to, and Americans are mostly an optimistic lot. But life in a fallen world sees many hopes dashed and desires disappointed.

It is only of Jesus we can say, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame” Romans 10:11. Psalm 62:5 likewise distills all of the believer’s hopes into one:
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.”

Hope in God provides rehab and full recovery for sufferers of hopium addiction. Support groups for abusers of this substance have chapters in every state and in most other nations. Called “churches,” most meet weekly on Sunday mornings. Contact one near you for information.

“Lord, you are our God. All of our hope in this world and the next is centered in You. We praise you for all you have promised in Jesus. Amen.

One Response to “Hope or Hopium?”

  1. Phoenix Bong-In Koh says:


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