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It seems that even Christians in today’s world are sorely lacking in hope.
The world rushes from one tragedy to another, wringing their hands and fretting that we may never fix the things that are wrong with our society.
Tragic events, from natural disasters to the violence and chaos of war and crime, are very real problems, worthy of our prayers and consideration. But they shouldn’t be allowed to steal our hope.
Even among those in the church, worry and doubt are often allowed to reign supreme as we try to prepare for every possible calamity. From scandals in the pulpit to violence in the aisles, the church has certainly not been immune to the darker influences of our culture. And it’s easy to let fear and uncertainty poison our spirits. But this is not the focus we were meant to have.
In the Bible, faith and hope are often intertwined. In Acts 26, when called to testify before King Agrippa, Paul says that it is for the sake of hope that he has been accused. In Romans 4, we’re told that it was his hope in God’s promise that allowed Abraham to become the father of many nations. And in Ephesians 2, Paul characterizes those who are without Christ as “having no hope”. Clearly, as Christians we are meant to be examples of hope to a world filled with darkness.
Sadly, Christians seem to be plugging in to the despair of the world more and more. Judging by the tone of the commentary often found in social media and blog posts, the “having no hope” description could be applied to many Christians today. How have we strayed so far?
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to inject a bit of hope into your daily life.
- Get back to basics. Be sure you’re spending time in the Word on a daily basis. If you keep your focus on the eternal, you’re less likely to be weighed down by the struggles of this world.
- Pray. As Christians, our most powerful asset is still prayer. Pray for God to help you live with hope. And pray about those situations that threaten to steal your hope, and give them over to His keeping.
- Keep a journal of hope. Record answers to prayer, uplifting moments of spiritual clarity, or kind and encouraging words provided by your brothers and sisters in Christ. This will help you become more mindful of the positive, and can serve as a reminder when things seem darkest.
- Surround yourself with positive messages. Christian shirts, throw pillows, wall art, and more are great ways to inject gentle reminders into your every day routine. Keep a favorite scripture verse tucked into your wallet, or set your unlock screen to something inspiring.
- Spend some quality time with positive people. The type of person who is unashamedly optimistic and unapologetically upbeat in any situation can really be contagious. As much as you can, try to surround yourself with these people.
- Practice gratitude. You’d be surprised how far a little gratitude can go in opening your eyes to the positive in life.
- Share your hope with others. Hope, like love, is only multiplied when you give it away. Spreading hope to a hurting world will not only benefit those you minister to, but also help hope take root in your own soul.
In the end, we are each responsible for keeping hope alive in our souls, in our lives, and in our communities. Will you be a light of hope in a dark world? Or will you succumb to the desperation that surrounds us? The choice is yours.
About the Author: Holly Melton is a freelance copywriter and passionate follower of Christ. She is a frequent contributor to various websites and works as a copywriter & marketing coordinator for Eyeful Media.