Hope

Your Hope Story

Hello and welcome dear friends! 

I propose that all of us have a hope story. The root of our hope story is the expectation of Christ’s fulfillment of his promised salvation. This story is filled with anticipation of life with God, our Father. Being reunited with Him, living in His presence, as it was in the days of Eden. We have every reason to hope, keep our courage, and remain confident in our hope in Christ’s promise!

There are other hope stories. Very personal stories living deep in our hearts. Consider this: every time you look to Jesus for help, believe he distinctly hears your voice, and wait confidently for him to act, you are making a declaration of hope.

Jesus said we’d have trouble in this world. That’s a promise I wish wasn’t true. Yet, disaster, crisis, grief, and sorrow reveal the hope held in our soul.

Bible - Hope PicHow appropriate that Jesus proclaimed God’s promises as Good News!

I want to share a bit of my hope story. The last seven months have been tumultuous. In May, my husband and I moved from Ohio to South Carolina. I started a new job. Shortly after our move, my dear sweet pup of 15 years passed away. My heart felt the absence intensely. Then, in August my mother died very unexpectedly and my grief deepened. Doubt about the move and transition tried to take root. Then, September and October brought hurricanes and extreme weather conditions. The stress, anxiety, and grief became insurmountable.

A few days after my mom’s funeral, I went to my writing space to create a post but there was no message inside me. With tears and sorrow, I cried out to God. My bright and burning hope was fast becoming dim and at risk.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Spent. Broken. But, not hopeless. I looked to Jesus to fulfill his promise to never leave me or forsake me.

That promise became my lived reality through voices, hugs, tears, and cards. Friends and family came along side. Their care, comfort, and love fanned dying embers of hope into a bright flame once again.  

Never lose hope

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Hebrews 10:23 NLT

Here's an interesting thing that I've learned. People watch how we respond to the struggle and burden of a difficult circumstance. Why? I think it’s curiosity. They want to see what hope looks like. I wonder if they watch because hope strengthens hope like iron sharpens iron. Your hope story gives the watcher a reason to choose hope.

Choosing to hope in God’s promises gives you resilience and persistence to stand firm in the literal and figurative storms of this earthly life. Your words and attitude declare your reliance on and trust in God's promises.

Hope is your response.

It's your intentional choice.

It's your strength.

Dear friend, you embody a profound and inspiring hope story with or without words. Your hope reveals your firm expectation that God has not, will not, fail you or abandon you. He guides you. God's faithful love comforts, heals, and restores.

Hope declares reliance on and trust in God's promises

The Bible says be ready with an answer when you're asked why you hope. Here are three of God's promises providing a firm foundation on which to build hope.

Hebrews 13.5-6 Hope

Hope - Typepad Image
Isaiah 54 Hope Tyepapd
Which promise of God fans the flame of your hope?

Your hope story is a precious gift to the one who’s hope is in jeopardy. The Lord makes you a beautiful blessing to the one who is searching for hope. We absolutely have reason to hope because God is for us!

Please share your thoughts on hope! And, please share this post to encourage and lift someone's spirit. Check out the Hearts Encouraged FB page, @TerriHutchinsonAuthor. Thanks so much for reading, following, and for your encouragement. Fondly, Terri


Hope Notes

Hello and Welcome!

I’m excited to tell you that the Hearts Encouraged Blog is one year old this month! Big deal, right? It is for you! When there’s a birthday, there’s usually presents. What better way to celebrate this birthday than with a free book for you, my subscribers. I know! You weren’t expecting it, but you deserve it. I’m giving away a wonderful book by Beth Moore called Audacious. If you would like to receive this book, you can email me at heartsencouragedministry@gmail.com and let me know your preferred delivery method of either UPS or in person. If you choose UPS, I’ll need your address but be assured I will not share with any other party. Thank you so much for being a faithful subscriber! I thank God for each of you! Now, on to the post… 

Never-lost-hope-2636197_640
If I told you that hope is to your heart and soul like water and oxygen are to your body, would you believe me? That statement might seem a little over the top until you talk to people who have experienced profound circumstances. They will share they persevered because they chose to hope. Hope is powerful.

Did you know that hope is now highly regarded by health providers? Clinical teams identify hope as a crucial element for patients living with acute and chronic health issues. Whether it’s depression, cancer, post-traumatic stress syndrome, loss of limb, heart disease, bipolar disorder, or addiction--hope is an element with significant impact causing some people to achieve a level of wellness not thought possible considering their health issue.1 Moving beyond health events that negatively impact life, there are weather events, accidents, fire, death, and more that can devastate our lives. In these situations, still hope survives. When the media chooses to highlight a story of hope within devastating circumstances, we need to see it, hear it.  We need to know that in tragedy hope can rise up, lift up, and thrive in spite of the suffering and harm. Hope gives life meaning and purpose. Hope is a force that enables you to overcome and take those first steps after a significant life event.

Hope v despair

There have been a few times in my life when I thought I could not possibly ignite the dying embers of hope within me. I felt depleted, utterly discouraged, and on the verge of letting my hope slip away. My face to the ground, my body limp without the strength to pull myself up one more time, and my heart so broken the pain was palpable. During a significant health event, if it hadn’t been for my dear friend, Annette, sending me the verse below I might have relinquished hope.

…If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

When hope is ebbing away you can cry out to the Lord to give you hope, provide a reason to hope, and the strength of heart and mind to hope! The apostle Paul’s prayer for the people is a prayer for you as well:

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Evergreen tree with light

In this season on your life you may not find this post that pertinent or even beneficial. For this I'm glad. However, maybe there's someone else who could receive benefit or this post is something you tuck away for that day, may it never come, when you need it. When lift hits you hard you may not have the strength or time to dig through the Bible for hope statements and verses that will empower and sustain you. By creating Hope Statements , you arm yourself with the word of God so you can stand when trials and troubles comes. I created the following Hope Statements from verses in the Psalms, the gospel of John. and Philippians to get me through days of difficulty. Along with these declarations of hope, I use quotes to help me remember the truth of how God relates to me and His concern over my life. Do you have a favorite verse that lifts you up and reminds you that your hope is well founded because you're God’s child and He is for you? Why don’t you consider creating a statement of hope that is meaningful to you. You can place these Hope Statements in your phone for quick access when you need a boost, a reminder. You are not alone. You have a reason to hope.

Icon Hearts EncouragedHope Statement – Safety, Security

Lord, you are my refuge, a safe harbor in times of trouble. I know you and trust in you. You have never forsaken those who seek you. You have not and will not abandon me. Lord, I believe you delight in me and take great care of me.  (Psalm 9:9-10, Psalm 37:23-24, Psalm 18:19 –paraphrased)

Icon Hearts EncouragedHope Statement – Exerting My Faith

I will choose joy! I believe you hear the prayers of those who pray for me, Lord. I believe the Holy Spirit is helping me as I take this difficult path. What is happening to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope for courage to reflect my faith in you, Lord, as I remain steadfast in this circumstance.   (Philippians 1:19-20 – paraphrased)

Icon Hearts EncouragedHope Statement – Discouragement

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!   (Psalm 42: 5 NLT)

Icon Hearts EncouragedHope Statement – God Knows Me, Knows My Needs

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. Because You know me, I wait in hope for you, Lord; You are my help and my shield. In you, Lord, my heart rejoices for I trust in your holy name. God, may your unfailing love rest upon me and those I care about even as I put my hope in you.    (John 10:27-28 – NIV paraphrased)

Hope is the positive mode of awaiting the future. –Emil Brunner

If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work. –Jacques Cousteau

Patience is the art of hoping. –Vauvenargues

References

1 Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J.R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60 (4), 570-585. Retrieved from teachingpsychology.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/hope-theory.pdf