How can you maintain hope in what seems to be a hopeless world or in hopeless circumstances? Should you just wait for those feelings to kick in, or can you be more proactive? Yes. You can…and you must. If you don’t get a handle on it, the world, the flesh, and the devil will be right there to take you down.
So here are a few steps and suggestions:
1. Decide to be hopeful
Hmmm… can it really be that simple? Well, yes and no. If you don’t actively decide to be hopeful you probably will yield to worry and despair. But deciding isn’t enough. There’s more you can do but decision is a crucial first step.
2. Pray for the virtue of hope
Hope is one of the three theological virtues and it’s one that can be infused in us if we ask for it. There are powerful voices at work that militate against hope and constantly present reasons for despair. This is a spiritual battle and you need spiritual weapons. Ask and you will receive.
3. Choose your mindset
Having a hopeful mindset is a choice. How do you think? Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Each may be equally true. Choose. Do you only look at the obstacles or do you choose to see the possibilities? You will not, I repeat, will not, find solutions if you don’t believe they exist. Choose to believe and the possibilities will start to appear. Just like when you’re looking for a new car and you decide on a model, you suddenly see that model everywhere, though you’d never noticed before.
4. Monitor your input
Imagine you need to lose 5 more pounds to fit into your wedding dress. You would probably watch everything that goes into your mouth. If you want to maintain hope, be cautious and judicious about what you see and hear. Sure, we need to know what’s going on in the world, but honestly, do you need to know every gory detail? If you tune out and something big happens, trust me, you’ll hear about it. The day-to-day negativity is optional. Be sure to balance it with positives.
5. Know your limits and set boundaries
If you start to feel overwhelmed, constantly angry or paralyzed, that’s a sign to pull back, dive deeper into prayer and find some wholesome entertainment—a favorite comedy, a board game with friends or family, or a satisfying hobby. Don’t let anyone push you to focus on more than you can handle. It’s not putting your head in the sand. It’s a sound and practical approach to maintain your hope for the long term. A vacation from anything, including stress and negativity, can rejuvenate your resolve to persevere and triumph over adversity. Rome wasn’t built in a day…and it didn’t crumble overnight either. We’re in for the long haul here. God is doing a mighty work. Know your limits and plan accordingly.
6. Place your hope in God alone.
Our God is a God of hope and love. He is our leader and He will bring about the victory. In Him alone we must place our trust. It may take time. It may be confusing. Things may happen in ways we can’t comprehend and that may seem contradictory. There was nothing more contradictory than the cross. Pray daily and speak to God from your heart. You play an important role, but He’s directing the play.
7. Be a sign of hope
Resolve to be a sign of hope to those who are frightened and despairing. You may be trembling inside as well but maintain a sense of hope and model it for others. Not everyone is walking with the Lord. Some have never heard the good news. Some others have but have never taken it to heart. They need to see it in action. Proclaim the goodness of God and be a sign of hope. Whether you’re the star of the show, or, like most of us, a supporting character, your commitment to hope is vital to the plot. Resolve to shine.
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- Ep. 223 Two More Essential Decisions You Need to Make - February 14, 2024
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