Courageous Hope

Description

While society today defines hope as wishful thinking, Scripture teaches that hope is a confident expectation God will fulfill His promises. In fact, He is our one perfect source of hope.

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” -- Psalm 31:24 (NASB)

Hope is one of life’s critical components. Without it, discouragement settles in, people struggle to maintain their daily routine, marriages fail, and dreams are tossed aside. Hope was certainly a necessary ingredient Mike and I needed to raise our boys through their teenage years, and hope was a primary element our counselor focused on during times when we struggled to save our marriage.

Hope is a choice, a perspective we must choose –– even when life is difficult. While society today defines hope as wishful thinking, Scripture teaches that hope is a confident expectation God will fulfill His promises. In fact, He is our one perfect source of hope.

Here are several courageous steps you can take to find and maintain your hope in Him.

  1. Choose to Reflect on God’s Goodness

No matter how hopeless you feel, when you choose to reflect on God’s goodness–– His power, His love, His forgiveness, His compassion, and His grace––you will find hope! The Enemy will want you to doubt God’s goodness (Genesis 3:5), but don’t give in to his lies. Stay focused on truth––Read Scripture, memorize it, and journal insights that emphasize the goodness of God.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 (NASB)

  1. Choose to Serve and Minister to Others

One of our purposes in life is to serve and minister to others (Ephesians 2:10). But, when we feel hopeless, we have a tendency to become preoccupied with our own lives to the neglect of serving and ministering to others. But, no matter how hopeless you feel–– you have hope in Jesus! As you focus on sharing Him and showing His love to others, you will be reminded of the hope you have in Him and will find the courage to face another day.

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB)

  1. Choose to Maintain an Eternal Perspective (Col 1:5)

We can have hope because this world is not our home (Colossians 1:5)! Our life on earth is short (Psalm 144:4). So, we must choose to respond to life’s difficulties with hope knowing we don’t have much time here. For those who have placed their faith in Jesus, we have the hope of heaven where we no longer will have to be concerned about pain, finances, marital struggles, and other worries of this world. So, whether you are hoping for healing, financial relief, or marital restoration, choose to focus on eternity and allow the Lord to use your pain as an opportunity for ministry.

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NASB)

  1. Choose to Find Encouragement in Scripture

One of the primary ways God restores our hope and helps us maintain it is through Scripture. When you learn how God worked in the lives of those in the Bible bringing healing to the sick, courage to the faint-hearted, children to the childless, and forgiveness to the sinner––your heart can’t help but be encouraged and have hope! God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so we can have hope that He will work in our lives today just as He did in the lives of those in Scripture.

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Romans 15:4 (NASB)

  1. Choose to Rejoice

No matter how difficult our circumstance, we can always rejoice in our relationship with Jesus as He is our source of hope. I often think of Apostle Paul who rejoiced in the Lord while sitting in prison (Philippians 4:4). So, when you feel discouraged, remind yourself to rejoice in your salvation. Remember, there’s always something to be thankful for––your relationship with Christ, food on the table, a job, church, family, and friends.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”  Romans 12:12 (NASB)

What steps will you take today to help you maintain courageous hope?

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