Choose Hope Even In Trials

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Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
Choose Hope Even In Trials
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“I’m just so tired of trials and challenges!” I’ve heard that exclamation, and I bet you have, too. Maybe you’ve said it. One thing is sure – we’ll all have trials and challenges in the future. We live in a broken world. But you can choose hope even in trials. This is today’s content.

Choose Hope

We’ve all had battles with staying inside hope. I know I have. And you have, too. It’s a common “human thing.” Truth be told, people around the world are expressing hopelessness these days. Consequently, it’s a concerning “sign of the times.

Even in good situations, people can lose hope. So, what is this thing we call hope? And how do we hang onto it?

Well, here are some definitions dictionaries offer:

  • Used as a noun – the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
  • Used as a verb
    • to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence
    • to believe, desire, or trust
    • to feel that something desired may happen
    • to place trust; rely on

 

With these definitions, we can reasonably conclude hope is something we want and know it can be ours. That things will turn out OK. Hope also suggests you can live each day with something to look forward to with confidence. And you can believe for certain developments. You can trust for and even rely on certain outcomes.

But how does hope happen in a broken world? True hope looks different than we often picture.

Where Is Your Hope Right Now?

Let’s look at where you are right now.

  • Maybe you’re in the hospital with a serious health condition.
  • Somehow, life heaped troubles on your business or career, and the pressure seems overwhelming.
  • Sometimes relationships take a nose dive, which eats a big hole in hope.
  • A longing or dream may be crushed and never come true.
  • Even an investment can take a chunk out of hope and leave you empty and afraid.

 

You can add more threats to this list that have a choke-hold on your hope. Perhaps you are in a good place now, but you have memories of distant hopeless times.

I’m sure you want to live inside hope – that invisible quality that has power to define your responses and perspective.

Choose Hope Even In Trials

It seems to me, after living decades on this globe, hope is an invisible, desirable, critical element for healthy living. And it has power to carry you through trials.

Let’s look at Scriptures that talk about hope. Some are encouraging, and some expose the sad condition of human existence. Even so, God’s Word is packed with messages about hope.

Hope Scriptures

  1.  “Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.”  (1 Chron. 29:15b)
  2. “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?” (Job 6:11)
  3. ” . . . when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.” (Job 30:26)
  4. “No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame.” (Ps. 25:3)
  5. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Ps. 31:24)
  6. “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” (Ps. 33:20)
  7. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps. 42:5)
  8. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” (Ps. 62:5)
  9. “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.” (Ps. 119:114)
  10. ” . . . those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Is. 40:31a)
  11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
  12. “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” (Rom. 8:24)
  13. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor. 13:13a)
  14. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Heb. 6:19)
  15. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)

 

Wow. Fifteen verses! And we barely scratched the surface about hope in Scripture!

Scripture’s Claim

The big claim of Scripture is this –

Whether in good times or bad, you can have strong hope because of Jesus. He’s the reason for hope. Incidentally, He’s the one who puts your hand into the hand of hope. Consequently, holding hands with hope is shatterproof if Jesus is in the middle.

But – You Need To Choose Hope

You can choose hope even when trials pile up. Hope helps.

Incidentally, it truly makes a difference to choose hope. It’s like night and day in your soul. Even if your situation doesn’t get better or changes don’t come fast enough, hope holds you together through Jesus. This is because – Hope helps.

Bottom line, you have a “will.” You join everyone with the power to decide how you will face life – how you will welcome life.

  1. You can choose to be “weak in your natural self.” Consequently, this is an inferior state where choices and behaviors are less than what you would otherwise choose in a stronger state.
  2. You can join others who exercise their will power to be “strong in Jesus.” And this state, combined with accepting and applying God’s principles, brings you into a new place. The place of hope. Yes, hope helps.

 

Honestly? Your will is powerful.

  • You decide habits, addictions, preferences, and character – one choice at a time.
  • It’s in your power to choose what kind of person you will be.
  • You decide if you will live in freedom from your heart out.
  • And you choose how to invest your life every day.

 

However – Your Will Is Not Enough

However, your will is not powerful enough on its own. When you exercise your will by your own grit outside Christ, you may succeed for a time – even a long stretch. But, you will lack wisdom, perspective, and power critical to live a consistently healthy and godly life. Doing all the right things does not transform you into a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17) So something additional needs to happen.

As you choose to trust Jesus for every trial, something shifts. God does what you cannot do inside your heart. But your part is to drive some stakes:

First – God is good.

Second – God loves you and has good plans for your life (that may not look like you picture).

Third –  God is everything He claims.

Fourth – Since God has no limit to His power on your behalf, you can do anything.

When you drive those four stakes, a release valve opens that allows God’s power to saturate your soul and your heart. You start to experience real hope – unlike any hope the world offers. So we can safely conclude – God’s hope helps.

Can You Trust God’s Hope?

As you do your part, God does His. Then – YES – you can trust God’s hope. Your portion is small compared to God’s part. Yet your part is quite significant. And, of course, God’s part is extremely significant. As you choose to partner with Him, His portion provides everything you need for life and godliness. (2 Pet. 1:3)

Trusting God is the safest risk in the universe. You take so many risks in your lifetime. This is a guaranteed good risk. Why? Because . . .

First – God is good.

Second – God loves you and has good plans for your life (that may not look like you picture).

Third –  God is everything He claims.

Fourth – Since God has no limit to His power on your behalf, you can do anything.

Application Thoughts And Questions

  1. Do you have a list of trials and challenges right now?
  2. How is your hope doing?
  3. Have you figured out your choices help determine your future path? You have a lot of control over who you are.
  4. Did you know you can firmly hold onto hope with Jesus in the middle?
  5. Are you aware the hope of this world is different than hope God gives?
  6. Do you believe God is good, that He loves you and has good plans for your life, and that He is who He claims?
  7. Do you also believe there are no limits to His power?
  8. And do you choose the perspective that – Hope helps?

 

Special Announcement For November

Now, I want to invite you to participate in a FREE online course we are offering during the month of November. It’s called – “Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It.” You can jump in all month for tips and ideas to navigate busy Christmas days. You’ll find step-by-step strategies and practical ideas. The content shows how to enjoy a peaceful yet meaningful Christmas.

You may be the “Christmas Point Person” at your house. Be ready to create an atmosphere of excitement, richness, magic, and fun memories. Set aside stress and frustration that so often comes during the holidays. Instead, connect with Emmanuel (“God With Us”) in a deeper way. See how to create time and energy to connect with people and special traditions.

If you experience sadness, depression, or grieving, there is even a session designed to help you find fresh hope, and a bit more joy. So sign up for this FREE resource today! And “Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It.” The course is already open to you. Go to this page: www.aliveandactivelife.org/courses.

Additional Resources

REMEMBER – Holidays are coming quickly. Celebrate Advent: A Life-Response to Emmanuel is a wonderful, devotional tool to use Dec. 1-31 to prepare for Christmas. Short, simple, meaningful each day.  And content principles are “keepers” every day of the year. If you order now, you’ll be ready to use on Dec. 1. (paperback and ebook) It is featured in our FREE online course.

Another great Holiday Tool is Prepare For Christmas WIthout Missing It. It is an ebook that features so many things we talk about in the FREE course in November. This tool has helped people break out of holiday busy-ness and into hope and meaningful celebration. (ebook) It is featured in our FREE online course.

Both books make beautiful gifts. Check them out in our online store.

 

I invite you to follow us on your favorite social media. Do sign up on our email list to receive weekly articles. PLUS tune-in to our weekly podcast using your preferred podcast app or use our online player at the top of each article.

Visit our website for resources to get into God’s Word and live an Alive and Active Life.

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