Hope feels a little harder to come by these days. The pandemic, politics, protests, and precarious circumstances have many of us reeling. It would be one thing if any one of these things was hitting us at once, but all of them, all at once, is emotionally draining.
What can we do to build hope?
As a counselor, I tell myself and others that we need to do things like…
- Enjoy being at home
- Stay positive
- Love our neighbor
- Allow others to love and care for us
- Trust that everything will work out
- Limit our intake of news and social media
- Focus on what we can control
- Don’t focus on what we can’t control
- And on and on…
These are all wonderful and worthwhile practices; they can definitely lift our spirits for a while. However, sustainable hope must come from a much more powerful source.
Where does my hope come from?
We each have to decide for ourselves where our greater hope comes from—not just momentary peace, but that deep, reassuring sense of “no matter what happens, we’ll be okay.” For me, in my most anxious moments, I reflect on and am comforted by what I believe about God:
- God is love (1 John 4:8).
- God loves me (1 John 4:19).
- He sent Jesus so that all would be saved (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:4).
- He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11).
- I’m not able or supposed to always understand His plan (Isaiah 55:9, Romans 11:34).
- I don’t have to worry (Matthew 6:25).
- I can trust Him (Psalm 28:7).
- He is my refuge, my strength, and with me always (Psalm 46:1; Matthew 28:20).
Hope to build on
Actually, my blog series is titled “Hope to Build On.” Through my blog and my other writing, I try to encourage people with hopeful truths and insights upon which they can build healthier, happier lives.
Additionally, I write for me. In fact, this current post is as much for me as it is for you. I wanted to spend a little time calming my thoughts and feelings and refocusing on the foundation that sustains me. God is that foundation. Although I practice all the activities that I listed in the first list above, they are made easier and become more satisfying when I focus on God—His nature, His purposes, His love for us as people, His desire to see us love Him and love each other, etc. In short, He is my Hope to build on.
My hope for you
I hope you, too, have found or will find a sustainable source of hope that you can build on during good times and bad. Further, I pray for all of us that these chaotic times are soon replaced with more peaceful, more hopeful times.
For more encouragement, follow me @drshannonwarden on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Thank you!
Bonus feature: Listen to this old hymn written by Edward Mote… My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. Now listen to a more modern rendition by Todd Galberth. And, here’s another really good version as well, this one by the Norton Hall Band. Enjoy!
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