Hoping for Hope
Doom and gloom are the punks that sometimes try to take over. They squeeze into your mind and push their way into bigger spaces until there’s not much room for their counterpart: hope.
My niece is fighting a critical health battle at this moment. When we read about her condition hope begins to recede like a car driving away…getting smaller and smaller in the distance. We have to squint to find it because the “facts” obscure our view.
The loss of hope means you just don’t have it in you to believe your circumstance is going to improve. Ever. When that happens, it’s really hard to keep going. I mean, why bother?
Maybe you’re married to an alcoholic who has made a thousand empty promises of getting sober. You might finally accept that you’ll never get the job or promotion you’ve been striving toward. Perhaps you long to be loved but every new relationship ends in pain. Possibly you, or your child/spouse has an “incurable” illness. Could be you’ve just read too many horrible news headlines lately.
When you face awful, impossible trials, hope is often MIA… nowhere to be found. But in order to be found, something that’s lost must be searched out. If your hope is absent, are you still looking?
One might argue that you have to have hope in order to even believe hope could be found (you know, hoping for hope), but that’s way too existential for me on this Monday morning. It’s also where grace comes in. So I’d just like to remind you that hope is never gone completely. That’s a promise from God. And (even at your darkest) you can make a choice to take a peek around in the light to see if it’s come home.
Here are six ways to increase your hope.
- Pour your heart, desires, fears and grief out to a friend who will listen, love and encourage you.
- Be honest and real with God, even if you’re really mad or are doubting. Don’t hold back.
- Be still and quiet in God’s presence. Then let Him speak words of truth, peace, faith and hope to you. Try writing a letter from God to you. You’ll be amazed at what He’ll say.
- List all the ways (even if you think they’re impossible) that things could improve.
- Dream big. Journal as though things have already changed for the better. Maybe make it a thank you note to God. Lord, thank you for healing me and for this new, beautiful life. Thanks for my wonderful marriage and a career that I love. Thanks for allowing me to make a difference in people’s lives. See it in your mind and look forward to the day when it’s real.
- If your lost hope is in any way related to clinical depression, see a doc and get a treatment plan. God often heals through medicine and health care professionals. Mental illness is no exception.
Stop focusing on the “facts” that are dominating your attention and replace them with God’s truths. These are just a few verses you might look up and hold on to: Jeremiah 29:11, 12, 13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 12:12; Deuteronomy 31:6; Philippians 4:19; Romans 15:4 and Ephesians 3:30.
And please remember, “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Authored By Diane Markins