Hope. This word seems to be all around me at this current time. Our church just finished a whole sermon series on the topic, podcasts that I frequently listen to seem to be discussing it more than ever, and “somehow” all of the Scriptures I am currently dwelling on are simply flowing with words about hope.
Coincidence? No chance! God obviously knows how much I’ve struggled to maintain hope in the recent seasons of my life.
I’d like to share some of the tid bits I’ve gathered here and there over the past few months about hope.
Hope Lives Here
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”Hebrews 6:19a
The hope found through Jesus lives in you and me if you know Him as your Lord and Savior. This source of hope is an anchor for our souls.
Just as a massive ship can stand still amidst the strong waves of the ocean simply because it is bound to an anchor, so can we withstand the currents of our culture, but only when our chain that links us to our Anchor (Jesus) is sturdy.
We often see images of anchors used in our culture to represent strength and, while this is most certainly true, the link between the ship and its anchor is just as significant. For if it is rusted out, weak, or broken entirely, the ship will continue to drift along with the water around it. The anchor remains strong and steady against the waves, but is utterly useless unless linked to the ship.
I ask myself, how strong is my link to Jesus? How sturdy is my hope? Does it break at the mercy of hardships, trials, and cultural pressures? It shouldn’t. I desire, by the grace of the Lord, for my hope to be so securely fastened to the Anchor that I cannot be moved.
So, let’s be honest here. The past two years have been really tough for so many different reasons. And that, I know, is an understatement. Our world was seemingly turned upside-down and many of us are still trying to regain our footing and learn to simply do life again.
Again, in honesty, I’ve been tempted so many times to give up hope on our culture, my specific situations, and people. But here’s the good news that I so desperately needed to be reminded of: Hope lives here. In my soul. His name is Jesus. and He will not be moved.
So, come what may (2 Corinthians 4:16-18), my Anchor is absolutely secure. It’s up to me to make sure that my chain of hope is fastened to Him and strong enough to hold on no matter how stormy is get’s around me.
Practical Steps Towards Strengthening Hope
- Stay in the Word of God. The Words of life are written in Scripture, so immerse yourself in them as much as you possibly can. Even if you do not understand one thing it says, trust that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion, and “it will not return back void” (verses).
- Communicate with God. Scripture tells us to “pray without ceasing”. Converse with Him throughout the day. He hears you!
- Find your people. Have 2 or 3 people to walk along side life with. These are the kinds of people you can trust to tell anything to without worry of judgment or backstabbing. The people who extend grace to you because they know how much grace they’re been given by God. Use this group to pray for one another, encourage each other with Scripture, cry alongside, and build one another up. Please note that this is not a gossip group. When I say find your people, I mean people who will fight the battles of life right there with you. The people who will call you out when you need it and point you toward Jesus. We are called to live in community with fellow believers!
- Take a break from social media. Yep, I said it. Let’s be real, social media doesn’t often leave me feeling uplifted, inspired, or hopeful! It always seems to contain more bad news than good or just useless information that gets my emotions worked up. I challenge you to pick a period of time to unplug from all social media (and maybe even news) outlets. This can be a few hours each day, one day per week, an entire week, or more! Whatever amount of time you choose, just stick to it! Take a walk, breathe, sit in silence, read a good book, pray, or play a game with your kids. I know you’ll find it to be refreshing!
- Take a walk. Literally, just get outside for awhile and breathe! This can be so helpful in gaining perspective and calming down. Somehow, the troubles of this world don’t seem quite as big after a hike in the woods or a rest by the lake!
Find More Encouragement
- The Determination to Serve | Oswald Chambers
- This Momentary Affliction
- Bible Verses About Love
- Rest for the Weary | Billy Graham
- If it Had Not Been for The Lord