Hope, something we literally need to survive. It isn’t a luxury…it’s a necessity. If we want to thrive in any level of our life, we simply have to have hope. It is essential to our well-being.
My online research revealed that hope actually offers us chemical benefits in the form of endorphins that are released in our brains, which help lower stress levels. The opposite of hope, hopelessness, leads to many behavioral and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, and even suicide.
Bottom line, we absolutely need hope to survive.
And there’s no question that our hope is being tested right now. Big time. I would venture to say that we are all feeling it on one level or another.
So how do we choose hope? How do we go through life with a heart full of hope?
For starters, let’s move away from this discussion on hope in psychological terms and move to theological terms. That’s the one and only place where we can all find true and lasting hope!
One of the most famous verses on hope is also one of my personal favorites:
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
Anchors on ships are extremely important. When they are deployed, they keep the ship steady and keep it from drifting away when storms come up and in the ever-changing tides.
As Christians, we have an anchor that works in much the same way. It keeps us firm and secure. It keeps us from drifting in the ever-changing tides of our emotions and circumstances. It keeps us grounded and safe.
That anchor is Jesus Christ.
When I “know that I know that I know” that that anchor of faith is firmly planted in my life, when I feel a deep connection to Jesus, the storms blowing around me are survivable. I may not like them, but I know I will get through them because I know who is on my side. And smack dab in the middle of all the hard, I can trust that I have the one thing that is vital to life…hope.
But I have to admit, some days my ability to choose hope are a whole lot harder than others. At times the winds blowing against me feel like they will overtake me. At times I question God’s timing as I grow weary from seasons of waiting. And there are days when the negative winds of the world feel overwhelming and I fear I can’t stand up against them.
But this one thing I know is true, the more deeply I get to know my anchor, Jesus, the easier it is to trust that my anchor is absolutely secure, keeping me safe, keeping me grounded, giving me that lifegiving gift of hope.
And the good news is, God doesn't want us to white-knuckle our way through life! He wants us to thrive and be happy, so he's more than willing to feed our hope. Our job is to let Him by staying connected to the source.
There are 180 passages that talk about hope in the bible. I encourage you, my friend, find one that speaks to you. Put it on your phone or write it on a post-it note, and then display it where you can see it every single day. Remind your heart over and over again that God is ready, willing and able to fill your heart with hope because you are anchored in Jesus Christ. Trust that anchor to keep you safe and secure.
Remember, this is important stuff because you need a heart of hope to survive.
I pray you will let Jesus be your anchor. I pray your heart will be filled with His peace, love and, above all, hope!
Hugs and love,