Have you ever noticed that hopeful people are happy people? Hopeful people seem to be able to easily enter into the rest of God. They have joy and peace. Do you want that for yourself? If so, hope is imperative. That’s why I want to talk about the importance of hope and how to maintain your hope in difficult times. This is the first of a two part series that I hope will encourage and bless you.
First of all, let’s answer this question: What is is hope? Hope is a positive expectation that something good could indeed happen. You might ask, what is the difference between hope and faith? Hope and faith are indeed two different things, and both of them are choices we make. Hope says, “This could really happen.” Faith says, “This is going to happen.” Hope keeps the door of possibility open. Unbelief which results in discouragement and despair, closes that door. So hope is very important because it is a precursor to faith, and without faith, it’s impossible to please God.
Secondly, why is maintaining hope important? If you lose hope, you will lose faith. A loss of faith will cause you to give up on your dreams. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 (NLT), “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Not only will it make your hearts sick with depression and discouragement; a loss of hope will cause you to give up way too soon. If you lose hope, then you’ll never get to faith. No hope, no faith. No faith, no results. Therefore, maintaining hope is of the utmost importance.
Here are some ways to maintain hope and keep positive expectations alive in your heart:
- Magnify God through worship. Worship helps you to put obstacles in perspective. If you are going to keep hoping, you have to have the right perspective about God’s power and ability. Worship allows you to catch a glimpse of Who he really is and what He is able to do so that your hope will remain intact.
- Read the scriptures regularly. Romans 15:4 says, “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Renewing your mind with scriptures is a necessity. You must be convinced of what God has said about your situation.
- Listen for the Spirit’s voice and follow instructions. Proverb 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, stop trying to figure things out, and the Lord will guide and direct us. When God gives you an instruction, quickly obey. When you procrastinate or fail to move out at God’s command, inertia will fuel hopelessness.
- Confess hope. Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Therefore, when you are losing hope, say out loud, “Lord, my hope is in you. I am going to keep my hopes up. I’ve been waiting a while, but this could still happen.” Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
- Hang around hopeful people. I Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” If you want to stay hopeful, surround yourself with people who are hopeful about the future. If you are in the company of negative, hopeless people, their attitude will eventually rub off on you.
- Find a reason to hope. I Peter 15:3 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Why should you keep hoping? Because you’ve nothing to lose by keeping hope alive, and you’ve everything to gain. Furthermore, everything is subject to change but the Word of God. Those are two very good reasons to keep on hoping.
- Look for the way your situation is advantageous. Ask God to show you how your situation is working for your good (Romans 8:28). Just because things appear to be getting worse, doesn’t mean they will stay that way. For example, Jesus let Lazarus die so that God could get all the more glory (John 11). Therefore, search out possible positive outcomes and perspectives that will help you to keep on hoping.
- Use your imagination. Imagine vividly in your mind what you want to happen. Think about your situation right now, and imagine that God has worked it out for you. How do you feel? Peaceful? Joyful? Why? Because hope came alive in you. Therefore, use your imagination to fuel your hope.
In the next post I will give you more tips for maintaining hope in difficult times. Until then, be determined to be hopeful. Do not let the devil steal your hope. Keep on hoping and believing in God. He deserves that because He has been so faithful. Choose hope, believe God, and you will be able to enter into His rest.
Have you had a time in life when you kept hoping and God gave you the victory? Please leave a comment below.
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