What has been eroding your hope? Are you having to stand alone in some issue? Perhaps you have been plodding for a very long time and there is no end in sight. It may be that tragedy has invaded your life, and you feel helpless to hold things together and go forward. Have your resources run out? Is someone making your life really challenging? Perhaps they have literally broken your heart.
I’ve found several steps helpful in renewing hope. I’ve experienced most of the scenarios listed above. Very likely, you have, too. My prayer for you is that you be deeply encouraged as you read these steps and spend time alone with the Lord, vulnerable to Him, resolved to trust Him “against all hope.”
The first thing to wrestle through damaged hope is to identify that hope is hanging by a thread. . . . or perhaps already gone. That may sound so simple, but it is critical to “name it.” Then you can take an informed approach.
The second thing is take responsibility for your perspective. At this step, you decide whether you are going to be the manager over your thoughts, words, and actions. Or will you let them manage you?
Third, stand tall and resolve that there is a solution. You just need to find it with God’s help.This step is very hard to do when you are already discouraged. However, if a person refuses to think this way, they can slip into depression. It is hard enough to be discouraged. Depression is worse.
Fourth, quickly and eagerly turn to God for His help with a very specific posture: reminding yourself of all the names He calls Himself for your well-being. God actually didn’t have a name in the Old Testament for a long time. As human history progressed, He began to name Himself for the sake of His people. His names correspond to His peoples’ needs. . . to your needs.
Fifth, identify your need. This takes a bit of work and some time. Yet, in order to grab hold of the name God calls Himself to meet your need, you need to “name the need.” (For more on God’s names and your needs, select my book Reach Back: Intentionally Reaching Back to God.)
Sixth, take your hands off what you expect His solution to look like. It is so tempting to insist that the answer look like you have it in your head. But that limits God. Why would you limit the one power that can actually address your situation and restore your hope? Good question! (Check out Eph. 1: 17-23. Focus on verse 19.)
Seventh, claim a scripture that addresses your need. It is critical to meditate on the verses, memorize them, and picture them with an open mind and heart.
Finally, do the unthinkable: throw yourself into God and literally tether your heart to Him. (James 4:8a) Resolve to trust and obey no matter what your feelings are doing.
Every single time I have done this without reserve, I have found my hope being renewed, restored, and refreshed! It doesn’t always happen immediately, but that is where resolve steadies you until hope is reborn.
Tether yourself to God. And He will renew your hope.
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