Christopher Cook - Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

3 Keys to Cultivating Hope Everyday

Hope

In our present culture, the word “hope” is used casually in statements such as, “I hope I get the promotion,” “I hope the weather is going to be nice this weekend,” “I hope this week goes by fast,” and so on. Even worse, because of past disappointment, it’s easy to have the mindset, if I don’t get my hopes up, I won’t be as disappointed when nothing good happens. Trust me, I get it. To be blunt, life sucks sometimes. In fact, in more ways than one, the last two years have felt like a supersized order of the finest, freshest elephant crap was hand-delivered through my window, accompanied by a side of “are you kidding me?” and a tall glass of “who signed up for this?” All kidding aside, I couldn’t rely on my fluency in Christianese or a magic formula to push that overpriced bag of pain and trauma back through the disgusting window from which it came. I needed a real injection of God-breathed hope in my life. And I got one.

You see, real hope has a very different implication despite how we sling the word around in casual conversation. The good news is that real hope is available for you right now in whatever circumstance or situation you’re facing, just as it was for me. As a Christian, the Author of hope in my life is a person, and His name is Jesus. He really did pay the highest price for my ability to live with hope, among other things, and He did the same for you.

In the Bible, the word “hope” is defined as the joyful expectation of good in the midst of any circumstance you’re facing. Have a look at what Hebrews 6:19 (Amplified) says, “[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance]…” Did you catch the incredible picture portrayed in that verse? Hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.

The soul is our mind, will, and emotions. If you’ll be honest with me for a moment, you know there are days when your emotions are all over the place, bloated by anger, fear, and cynicism, and your mind is racing with anxiety and worry. It’s exactly in those moments that you have to get re-anchored in the Word and remind yourself of who you are and more importantly, Whose you are. Believe me, I didn’t just read that verse once and notice that everything was suddenly better. The Holy Spirit Himself ever-so-gently made those words a reality in my life through a delicate transplant of His healing love and grace.

To be honest, I’m digging into a fresh dose of hope even now as I’m writing. I miss my mom so much. Exactly three weeks from the time of this writing, she will have been with the Lord for two years after having fought an incredible 18-year battle with cancer. The whole experience has changed me for the rest of my life. If you’ve lost a loved one, especially a parent at a young age, you know the depths of pain involved. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about her or wish I could tell her important things or hear her voice or…give her a hug. A few months after she went home to be with the Lord, her book, Even Though I Walk Through the Valley: God’s Healing Power for Love and Restoration, was released. 

In chapter seven, she wrote poignantly regarding hope: “In times of chaos, confusion, and struggle, we have to be confident that our Father is near to our weakness. He is good, and therefore, we can fall before His feet, exchanging our weakness for His strength, with the full assurance and hope that His promises are sure.” She’s right. I know she’s right because of how she lived her life unto the Lord. As a professional counselor, her purpose was centered around helping people get free and stay free. With that said, here are three keys to help you cultivate hope that will sustain you in everyday life. They’ve been a daily anchor in my life and I know they’ll be the same for you.

1.) DAILY DILIGENCE: GET ANCHORED IN THE SECRET PLACE

  • Prioritize spending time with God every single day. It’s more than “putting in the time” by reading a chapter of the Bible. When you get close to His heart, He shapes your heart to be like His heart. Studying scripture to have a personal experience with the Person scripture points to is in fact the purpose of studying scripture.
  • We have to learn how to “remain renewed.” It’s a commitment to investing time in His presence. Psalm 91:1 (AMP) confirms this: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].”

2.) SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE

  • Your words are an indication of the condition of your heart. When your heart is renewed in the presence of God, it should positively impact your conversations (with yourself and with others). Are you talking defeat throughout the day? Are you negative, pessimistic, and cynical? If so, it’s time to get an upgrade in your conversation. To continue a previous thought, the very next verse in Psalm 91 declares, “I will SAY of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!” So, I ask, what are you talking about today?
  • Strengthen yourself in the Lord by declaring His powerful Word out loud throughout the day.

3.) FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ACTION

  • Be a worshiper. In times of trouble, anchor yourself in worship and in the truth of God’s Word.
  • Surround yourself with encouragement.
  • Keep the Word before your eyes and in your heart.
  • Stay anchored in the goodness of God.
  • Laugh with good friends.
  • Take good care of your body (eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep).
  • Expect God’s faithfulness.

Question: How do you cope during times of personal chaos?

Photo Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc