Hope is a critical component to being vibrant and healthy. When hope wanes, everything cycles downward. You need to renew hope. Do you know how to renew hope? How is your hope doing today?
Did You Know Hope Can Erode?
I’ll be transparent here. Sometimes my hope gets beat up a bit. I’m guessing you might have the same happen to your hope occasionally. Hope goes through an erosion process when you have to stand alone in some issue. Or when you have been plodding for a very long time and there is no end in sight. It may be a tragedy has invaded your life. Sometimes you feel helpless to hold things together and go forward. Have your resources run out? Is someone making your life really challenging? Perhaps a person has literally broken your heart. You need steps to renew hope.
I’ve experienced most of the scenarios listed above. Very likely, you have, too. In order to renew hope, I urge you to spend time alone with the Lord each day. Be vulnerable with Him. Resolve to trust Him “against all hope.” I encourage you to grab onto these things even before you explore the action steps following. Why? Because it works! That’s what I do first when my hope gets hit. Transparent time with Jesus helps re-set perspective. Trusting Him against all hope stirs hope up again.
I want to stress it’s not just when your hope gets smashed that you spend time with the Lord. That needs to be a daily, special time with Him when you read, meditate on, and memorize Scriptures. Your regular time includes interacting with principles you read from God’s Word – often through some kind of journaling. And it includes prayer – for you and for others. This sets you up for daily strong hope.
Steps to Renew HOPE!
In addition to the above things I do first to renew my hope, I’ve found some action steps that help with hope. I pray you be encouraged as you read these steps. They are practical, my friend. Carry them out to see positive changes . . . maybe not in your circumstance – but definitely in you!
First: Identify You Have Lost It
The first thing to wrestle to the ground with damaged hope is to identify that your hope is literally hanging by a thread. Perhaps it’s already gone. That may sound so simple, but it is critical to “name it.” Naming a problem is the start point to address it. Then you can take an informed approach into the next action steps.
Identify your hope is slipping away.
Second: Take Responsibility
The second thing to put into action is to take responsibility for your perspective. At this step, you decide whether you are going to be the manager over your thoughts, words, moods, and actions. Or will you let them manage you? Whether you are at fault or not in your situation doesn’t matter. What matters is what the “fall-out” is doing to you. And that is yours to manage under the loving kindness of God. He will help you pick this up, even if the circumstances were unfair.
So, take responsibility for your perspective in order to hang onto hope.
Third: Stand Tall and Resolved
Third thing to do is to stand tall – and resolve that there is a solution. You just need to find it with God’s help. This step is very hard when you are already discouraged. However, if a person refuses to think and pray about a solution, they can slip into depression. It’s a bit like “sealing your doom.” It is hard enough to be discouraged. Depression can be worse. Instead of slipping down, rise up! God created you with dignity and honor – in His image. You can stand tall. He created you with discipline and the ability to solve problems – similarly to how He operates. You can be resolved.
If you stand tall and resolved, you have a really good shot at pulling back into hope.
Fourth: Quickly and Eagerly Turn to God
Fourth, quickly and eagerly turn to God for His help. You need a very specific posture as you do this or you might as well just stare in the mirror. Your posture needs to be one of reminding yourself who God really is. Focus on the names God calls Himself for your well-being.
Consider this. 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. Check it out. He calls Himself everything you need.
Quickly turn to God, and eagerly grab onto His names by faith to stir hope.
Fifth: Identify Your Needs
The Fifth action step to tackle lost hope is to identify your needs. This takes a bit of work, some careful thought, prayer, 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.” Doesn’t that make sense? It’s like the puzzle piece you find and identify fits the very spot you’ve been searching for.
(For more on God’s names and your needs, select my book Reach Back: Intentionally Reaching Back to God.)
Identifying your needs is your critical part in putting your hope puzzle back together.
Sixth: Let Go!
Sixth, take your hands off what you expect God’s solution to look like. It is so tempting to insist the answer look like you have it pictured 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!
Eph. 1: 17-23 says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.”
Verses 19 and 20 claim the power available to you is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. That’s a wow. Surely that power will do something to renew your hope.
But, you have to let go of everything you are hanging onto except Jesus to reclaim your hope.
Seventh: Claim Scripture
The Seventh thing to do is claim a Scripture that addresses your need. Does that sound old-fashioned? Maybe a bit unrealistic? Please believe me when I say it is very real, extremely relevant, and exactly what you need. We could use a little more old-fashioned in this world. So –
- Focus on God’s name that fits into your personal puzzle spot.
- Identify your specific needs.
- Pick out a verse or two that fit your needs and situation.
- Meditate on the verses. That means picture the application in your life.
- Memorize those words from God so you have them instantly available in your heart.
- Receive hope connected to your verse(s) by faith with an open mind and heart.
If you claim Scripture in a sincere, resolved manner, your hope will begin a miraculous resurrection . . . just like the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Eighth: Do The Unthinkable
Finally, do the unthinkable: throw yourself into God! That’s right. Throw yourself into Him! This is a faith step. Another way to say it is this. Literally tether your heart to Him. Resolve to trust and obey no matter what your feelings are doing. This will feel like the unthinkable when you are without hope. It’s the smartest, most logical, comforting action you can take.
Every single time I have done this without reserve, my hope is renewed, restored, and refreshed! It doesn’t always happen immediately, but resolve steadies you until hope is reborn.
When you do the unthinkable and throw yourself with abandon into God, you absolutely connect with hope again!
Your Key Take-Away?
First, let’s review the 8 steps to renew hope:
- Identify you have lost your hope.
- Take responsibility.
- Stand tall and resolved.
- Quickly and eagerly turn to God.
- Identify your needs. Name them.
- Let go! And let God.
- Claim Scripture in a practical way. (Read, memorize, meditate, apply.)
- Do the unthinkable! Throw yourself into God.
When your hope is fading – or maybe it’s already gone, follow these steps to gain it back. Cover this process with prayer. Be patient and wait on the Lord. He will renew your hope in a way that will delight your soul. He is faithful.