Everyone in the world is on a quest for success. Many successful people in history accomplished great things; none more so than King Solomon (990-931 BC). Proverbs is where Solomon wrote divinely revealed wisdom for skillful living and success. Reading Proverbs regularly and repeatedly will bear the life-changing fruit of being able to live righteously and skillfully in this fallen world to the glory to God.
Every person seeking to accomplish anything needs motivation that goals can be attained and hope that success will result. All around us many have opportunities, abilities and resources to pursue better things in life, but they lack the motivation to start the pursuit and the hope that they will reap beneficial results. Solomon tells us biblical hope is what is necessary to have the motivation to achieve the momentous (Prov 13:12b 24:14).
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov 13:12a). Hopelessness makes it so that new endeavors are not tried, better goals are not set, and necessary pursuits and tasks are put off and forgotten. No hope will lead to little improvement, progress or productivity. Hopelessness has its effect on the heart as it will feel "sick," weak, tired or in pain, like having a debilitating illness. The unmotivated will be depressed, lethargic and apathetic. You may put off setting and pursuing your aspirations because you want to avoid the hurt of the hard work and the fear of failure; yet, in pursuing nothing worthwhile, you will feel the pain of feeling worthless. Hopelessness hurts.
Now that we have dug the hole of hopelessness, let's grab a ladder and climb out. Biblical hope based on wisdom is a confident certainty that the godly goal that is desired will be accomplished when it is pursued God's way (Prov 13:12; 23:18; 24:14). Biblical hope is not wishful thinking, like saying, "I hope I am successful." In our chaotic world, beneficial results are far from certain. Biblical hope is in the Lord, that if we live by His wise principles revealed in Scripture, then we can have confidence that we will be successful in righteous endeavors. Hope in this sense is the confident expectation that a righteous goal for improvement will be attained by the application of God's truth so that you will receive God's blessing of success.
Hope is the motivating engine for success that starts and keeps you moving. But reasonable and achievable steps need to be planned out. Each step that is accomplished will add to your motivation and drive as you gain momentum on your way to accomplishing momentous things. The end of the road is fulfilled desires and the sweetness of success (Prov 13:12b, 19a).
I will leave you with one major real-life example: spiritual growth. If you want to grow spiritually, it starts with the steps of pursuing more prayer, Bible study and church worship, fellowship and service. Starting small may be scheduling fifteen minutes a day for prayer and Bible reading and committing yourself to attend church regularly. The approach of small steps and setting goals with the hope of success while following God's Word may be applied to any area of life, righteous desire or dream. What area of life do you "hope" to improve in? Following biblically revealed wisdom will give you the motivation to achieve momentous results.
"The hope of the righteous is gladness, but the expectation of the wicked perishes." –Proverbs 10:28