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Hope is something we all need. It pushes us forward. Keeps us grounded. And generally creates a place for joy to reside.
Yet, while hope obviously is important, how can we allow it to grow and thrive in our lives? How can we live with hope?
Join us as we explore the hope God gives and how we can allow it into our lives!
What is Hope?
God’s Word says in Proverbs 13:12 that, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
This certainly is true, however, sometimes we underestimate the power of hope…
The hope of the world is largely based on emotions and circumstances. It is feeling-oriented and shifts regularly.
The hope that God gives may also include emotion and circumstance, but it is not so easily swayed by these. Further, in many ways, it is a choice that incorporates trust to create a certainty of hope.
When we trust God, we lay much of the groundwork of hope, because that trust in Him opens the door to His peace, love, and joy that builds our hope. But we can build our hope through choice as well. Choosing to follow God, but also choosing to create a positive pattern of thought and choice.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”—Proverbs 23:7
For instance, whether we are experiencing good or not-so-good circumstances, we have the choice to:
- Trust God or Not
- Continue Where God Leads or Not
- Speak Life or Speak Death
- Think About Good Things or Bad
- Allow Good Images and Words to Enter Our Vessels or Allow Bad
- Pray or Whine
- Fix Our Eyes on Things Above or Things Below
All of these and more create either a place that is ready to grow our hope… or to grow the negative weeds of hopelessness. Yes, times may come when hope is easy… but no matter if maintaining hope is natural or requires intention, we can always help it along. We can always fertilize our garden of hope!
Growing Your Garden of Hope!
Hope is mentioned from one end of the Word to the other. It is even given as one of the three things that remain, which are: faith, hope, and love (see 1 Corinthians 13:13).
Love certainly is the greatest of these—and is the foundation for all three—but our need for faith and hope cannot be denied or ignored. Here we will be focusing on hope specifically…
So what can we do to increase hope in our daily walk with God? To create a garden of hope?
Well, there are many things we can do. We can:
- Read the Word of God
- To Study
- To Learn About Hope
- Spend Time in Prayer
- Pray for an Increase/Strengthening of Hope
- To Deepen Our Relationship with God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- To Redirect Our Thoughts; Thinking on Things Above
- Be Intentional with What We “Consume”
- Be Mindful of What We Watch, Read, and Listen To
- Limit Those Things as God Directs Us
- How We Utilize Our Time, Task, and Activity
- Focus on Good Things
- On God
- Things He Says Are Good
- Solutions Rather Than Problems
- Enter Into Fellowship
- Go To a Physical or Online Church
- Spend Time with Likeminded/Positive Believers
- Nurturing Our God-Given Relationships
Remember, Philippians 4:8 tells us that, “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
We are meant to do this because it directs our focus to things that are of God. It essentially has us ‘look up.’ And this grows our hope. This puts our time, tasks, and activities where they belong… on Kingdom advancement!
When we put God and His Kingdom first, everything else comes to us. Including the fulfillment of our God-centered hope!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”—Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Scriptures To Grow Hope
There are many things we can do to grow hope… spending time in prayer, not habitually speaking negatively, and so forth. Yet, another way we can grow hope is to spend time in God’s Word!
This can be a cover to cover reading of the Word. A Scripture study guide. Spontaneous, Holy Spirit led exploration. Or it can be a ‘hope-themed’ dive into God’s Word.
No matter how we approach God’s Word, there is always something we can take away from it—particularly if we pray and open our hearts to God…
Here are a few scriptures that might inspire your reading of the Word and build hope:
- “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”—Romans 5:5
- “Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you!”—1 Peter 1:3-4 (TPT)
- “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.”—Psalm 71:14-16
- “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”—Psalm 42:11
These scriptures are a great place to start your journey to grow hope, but from here let God continue to guide your journey. Ask Him how He would like YOU to proceed. Ask Him to help you on the journey. And be open to all He says.
In God YOU can find hope!
In God YOU can be more than a conqueror!
In God YOU can be a new creation!
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”—Luke 21:27-28 (emphasis added)