Advent, the time of preparation for the rebirth of Jesus within us is an emotional time. It should be an annual restatement of our hope in God. Often it is not. Hope has been a word that is so misunderstood that its true meanings have been distorted. There are two types of Hope. Extrinsic meaning a power doing something for us from outside of ourselves that meets our needs. The opposite is Intrinsic hope which has the idea of a calmness and energy from within that meets our needs.
We live in a world where religion has been distorted to mean that God grants all our desires and wishes extrinsically. People expect a magical God who is like a giant Santa Claus with a cash machine attachment. When prayers to this immage are not answered, their faith in God is diminished and they have an emotional nosedive.
Intrinsic God is a sense that God lies within us. We have God with us. We are "panenthiests" with the assurance of God developing within each of us and all things to give us the ability to calmly reach solutions to life's problems. God gifts us with memory reason and skill.
There are seven emotional responses that block intrinsic hope and lead us toward extrinsic hope and magical thinking. These emotional responses blind us to the real possibilities of life.
The seven "Pillars of Hopelessness" are: Fear; Disappointment; Anger & Frustration; Shame & Guilt; Sadness & Despair; Grief: and Denial & Apathy. Each of these emotional responses props up our tendency to be hopeless and leads us to false conclusions. Most of this experience is emotional and based in a misguided belief in an Extrinsic God. God that is sustained lies within us and provides us with a sustainable intrinsic hope no matter the difficult circumstance.