An encouragement often shared on my blog is the phrase, “Stay in hope.” No matter how life unravels, stay in hope.
What does that statement really mean? Is hope possible in today’s messy world? What does it look like, feel like? Or is it something so ethereal, we cannot find it — fail to grasp hold of it.
To stay in hope requires a conscience effort to move beyond whatever reality presses on us and instead — find a way to focus on a future of gladness.
Staying in hope means we begin with an action which follows with a joyful emotional reaction. So what are some practical action points we can take to find hope?
Focus on the Positive. When life unravels, it is easier to focus on what has gone wrong. The tornado touched down on top of the house. The person we loved is no longer here. The identity thief wiped us out.
None of us can avoid the uncomfortable circumstances of life. But if we constantly think about the struggles, we miss the pathway to hope.
As we focus on the positives of life, those negative tapes begin to fade. If we concentrate on what is good, renewed hope seems possible.
In spite of natural disasters, we are still alive. The grief process can leave us wiser and more centered. When our security is threatened, we can rebuild, restore, redo what we did before — even better this time.
List all the blessings, even those small ones you take for granted: hot water in the shower, a fridge with food in it, a hug from a child.
Stay in that hopeful place of warm and fuzzy vibes.
Surround Yourself with Hopeful People. Our network of people affects everything we do and how we react to life. Being around encouraging people helps us grow hope muscles. When we spend time with people who are positive, we feel better about life.
We may even learn how to fully love ourselves and become an encourager to someone else.
When our friendships revolve around the people who encourage us, we feel more hope surrounding our souls. We look forward to each day and enjoy being with these people. They help us smile and feel positive. They keep us from wallowing in the muck of daily living.
They give us the impetus to stay in hope.
Collect Affirmations. Positive sayings, posters and memes with hope-filled quotes may show up on social media or in home décor departments. My writing study is decorated with several positive affirmations.
Print out and post these messages. A plaque, a swirly design on a piece of barn wood or industrial metal, even a Post-it note with a positive statement — anything to remind you to stay in hope.
On my bathroom mirror, I have three notes I see every day:
- Let my heart revive and live.
- May the God of truth and faithfulness to his promises, bless me.
- “After the grief fades, after the suffering dwindles away, God Himself will complete me, establish and ground me securely, strengthen and settle me” (First Peter 5:10).
To stay in hope, we need to work at it. As we focus on the positive, surround ourselves with healthy people and remind ourselves of affirmations — we can maintain and grow a more positive attitude.
Then hope becomes more of a reality as we acknowledge its existence and proactively seek to own it.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Ever heard of “booking a blog?” That’s what I’m doing with this post. Check out the entire book, Hope Shines.
How is your mom doing? since I don’t see you I never hear about you.
Sent from Outlook
Good to hear from you, Debbie. Mom is 91 and no longer knows any of us. She is still in assisted living.
I just finished reading “When I lay my Isaac Down” by Carol Kent. Earlier this summer I read “Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors. Both echoed what you’ve said here. To be filled with Hope is also to surrender our pain, our cirumstances to God…and to stay in communion with Him. Thanks for sharing the 1 Peter reference – I may put that one on a wall here!
Thanks for the confirmation, Cherie, of others who are writing on the same topic. I appreciate the comment. Hope you and yours are doing well.
Hope is one of those concepts with which I struggle. You can’t put Hope on a table and examine it or compare it to whatever-it-is that you have, so while I suspect I have hope, and do hope, I have a hard time identifying it. Your advice is nicely practical.
Thanks for the comment, Karen. You’re right – hope is often difficult to define and recognize. I’m glad the post was helpful to you.
Thank you for this RJT!!!! God is so good.
You are welcome, Rita. Thanks for the comment !