Hope is a choice that often demands an effort. It is easier to worry, get discouraged, and be afraid. When we hope, we are not passive. We are active by being attentive to God’s Spirit and trusting in God.
Why you need to keep hope alive is that hope is a theological virtue. You don’t hear the word virtue used much anymore. It comes from the Latin word, virtus, meaning strength or power.
During this surreal and challenging time, it is easy to feel powerless. But Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
It is in our weakest moments that God’s power can work through us. The greatest opportunities for growth are in the situations that we can’t control.
During this world-wide pandemic, none of us are in control what happens in the outside world around us. But we can control what goes on inside of us.
How do you cultivate joy, peace, and hope?
A Lesson from My British Mother
My British mother loved her tea. She had a cup at least three times a day. My mother liked her tea very strong, so she would let the tea bag steep for quite a while.
The word steep means to 1) soak in water or other liquid in order to extract some essence or 2) to involve or be involved deeply.
We live in a world of sound bites. The average attention span is 8 seconds. Thank you if you’re still reading this far. : )
If you watch the news, or click on an ad that grabs your attention, there is usually very little substance. The stories aren’t long enough to go deeper and extract some essence.
But can’t we treat our time with God the same way? A verse here, a prayer there, no real steeping ourselves in those spiritual practices.
Instead, we steep our minds in the chaos and concerns happening outside of ourselves. This negativity affects us subconsciously so much so that we wonder why we are anxious. We don’t make the connection of how exposing our minds and spirits to horrific news and images robs us of peace.
How to Tips to Keep Hope Alive
Be mindful that God’s presence is all around you and within you. Steep yourself in this presence by retreating to a quiet place and being still, asking God to fill you with joy, peace, and hope.
Meditate on a verse on hope like Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Turn it into a prayer and meditation by saying, “God of hope, I trust in you. Fill me with joy and peace and cause me to overflow with hope by the power of your Spirit.”
Limit your exposure to the news or programming with a lot of violence. A program I stumbled on is The Chosen. It’s currently an 8-part series on the life of Christ.
The first season starts when he was a carpenter and just getting ready to start his ministry. The season ends with him visiting the Samaritan woman at the well when he first announces to her that he is the Messiah.
It is one of the most well-done programs I’ve ever seen on Jesus. You can watch it through the free app or through your smart TV if you have one. Here’s the link to it: The Chosen. I have taken away SO many nuggets from this series! Plus, the actors and the casting are amazing.
I’ll end this email with the Hope word from God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement.
If you feel that you are being swallowed up in darkness, look to Me and I will provide you with the lifeline of hope.
You will always endure the dark times. As a result, your endurance will produce character, and character produces hope.
Hope never disappoints.
Hope promises that events will turn out for the best.
Having hope is to trust in Me. My hope allows you to look forward with confidence.
Seize this lifeline of My hope and hold on tight.
My hope is sure and steadfast, an unmovable anchor. I will never let you go.
Resources to Keep Hope Alive
You can steep yourself in positive words through God Notes or through the God Notes Book Study that walks you through how to write your own God Notes through a fun way to steep yourself in God’s Word.
If you are looking to experience God’s presence in a deeper way while calming your body, mind, and spirit, these guided meditations will do just that. Here’s a testimonial:
I purchased the Trust Guided Meditation. Listening to it the first time, I immediately felt that inner peace in which I need in my daily life. There are at times when we can still feel upset with things around us, so by coming across Jackie’s guided meditation, I now feel at peace with the Lord. Thank you, Jackie for being inspired and creating the Trust Meditation. I really look forward to listening every time. Keep up all great work you are doing.
Jason – United Kingdom