I recently did a short study on the word “imagination.” Basically, that term is used in a negative form throughout the Bible. Genesis 11 tells of the Tower of Babel – and in the narrative, God says, …and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. The people imagined building a tower that would reach the throne of God. In Genesis 8:21, the Lord makes mention again of imagination – And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground from man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” Even in the New Testament, Luke 1:51 says, He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. These scriptures do not give a good light on imagination. In Hebrew, the word used for imagination is “yester,” which means “Frame, thing framed, imagination, mind, work.” In the Greek it is “dianoia.” It means “deep thought, properly, the faculty (mind or its disposition), by implication, it’s exercise.” The English word for imagination means “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality…a creation of the mind.”
By the English meaning of Imagination, imagination is neither evil or good – it is simply the act or power of forming a mental image – and we do that all the time. If I was to ask you how many closets were in your home, you would, in your mind, visualize each of your closets to count them. If I asked you for directions to your home, you would imagine in your mind how you would drive from where I am to where you are. So by our definition of imagination, it is neither good nor bad – so where in the Word of God is positive imagination?
I believe hope is our positive imagination. The Greek word for “hope” is “elpis”. It comes from a primary word, “elpo” (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence.” WE Vine defines “elpis” as “favorable and confident expectation.” Hope is our positive imagination.
So what do you see in your imagination? Is your imagination full of “favorable and confident expectation(s)”? Or is your imagination full of evil thoughts and images? Evil thoughts and images are any thought and images that are contrary to God’s view of you! How does God see you? Do you see yourself the same way?
Abraham had this hope. Romans 4:18 says who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Do you remember the story of Abraham? God took him out in the night and told him to look into the skies and number the stars – and said, so shall your seed be. Again, he took him onto the sands of the desert and said “so shall your seed be.” God was putting in Abraham’s mind a picture of the vastness of his descendants. In the natural, there was no favorable and confident expectation for Abraham to be the father of many nations. Sarah his wife was old – and past child bearing years. He was old! Yet, even though he had no favorable confident expectation from the natural, he believed in what God had shown him.
So it is with us. We need to have a favorable confident expectation. What are you seeing? Is what you see producing in you a favorable confident expectancy? Or are you full of dread? If you are not seeing something that produces a favorable confident expectancy, get into the Word! Romans 15:4 tells us, For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. God’s Word brings you hope. As we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, hope begins to build in our minds and in our hearts. We begin to see things the way God says them!
Thank you for your prayers and support.
together we really DO make the difference!