Cultivating a Heart of Hope:

Have you ever been in a situation where there was no “out?”  Where seemingly there was no answer, no resolve? Maybe it was during the past year of the COVID Pandemic. Many were panicked over no meat, no paper towels, no personal contact, social distancing, and the biggest concern—no toilet paper! I recall watching two customers arguing over the last package. Each were in a place of desperation. Possibly your scenario of hopelessness involves a family member or friend—maybe something stemming from harsh words or a broken commitment. Whatever your situation, each of us can point back to a time and place that seemed hopeless. For me, personally, there are three dynamics I can always count on to challenge my spiritual growth.

Out of Answers:

The first dynamic that challenges my spiritual growth is when I’m out of answers.  It’s those times when I’ve exhausted all resources (from a human perspective), and there’s nowhere to turn. It’s only human nature to want to have an answer and be prepared, and yet, so often God leads us through the valley so that we’ll trust Him more—trust Him for the things we cannot see.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

I’ve often wondered what those mighty things are that we do not know. Obviously, they’re the answers that we don’t have on our own.

Out of My Comfort Zone:

The second dynamic is when I’m out of my element.  If you’re like me, you don’t like to be out of your comfort zone—treading in unfamiliar waters.  I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen, organize my day, and orchestrate every situation. And yet, God, in his infinite wisdom, often puts us in situations that stretch us, make us feel uncomfortable, and force us to face our fears by giving Him our cares and concerns.

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Out of My Control:

The last dynamic that challenges me spiritually is when I’m out of control—knowing there’s nothing I can do to “fix it.”  It’s over my head, out of my realm of resolve, and beyond my capability to do anything to make the situation better. Any one of those three dynamics can challenge our faith and leave us with a feeling of despair and dread.  Despair is the complete loss of hope.

My Story:

Recently, I was faced with all three simultaneously—I was out of answers, out of my comfort zone, and certainly unable to “fix” any of it. I experienced some challenges and concerns that stretched my faith.  In all honesty, a more recent situation left me filled with despair and a great amount of fear.  For those who know me well, you’ll agree this is quite the opposite from my happy-go lucky personality.  But the devil was really working on me and filling my mind with negative thoughts.

One morning two weeks ago, I was spending time with God and asked God for a specific Bible verse, especially for me, that would bring me peace amid the chaos and cultivate hope in my heart.  He took me to this verse, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3 (NKJV) It was a verse I had recited to our kids on many occasions when they were small.  The truth and simplicity of this verse swept over me with a calm reassurance that it would all be okay. That is, until the devil popped back up telling me that was too simple—it couldn’t be true—surely there had to be more.  I went back to the Lord and asked Him to show me that the verse was from Him—for my need—for that moment in time.

Within two hours, three individuals (who had no idea about these situations), sent me this same verse and said God had placed it on their heart to share it with me.  How awesome is the goodness of God!

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)

Where Are You?

Today my faith is stronger because of that hard place a few weeks ago.  I share this with you because maybe you’re facing a tough time in your life right now.  Maybe you’re at a crossroads.  Maybe you’re “out of answers, out of your element, and things are out of your control.”  Maybe you’re feeling hopeless. And maybe you’re afraid.

God is not a God of fear. He not only has the answer; He is the answer. You can combat those fears of the unknown with the power of God’s Word as you trust Him for His perfect plan for your life. Having hope is having confidence in Him that His promises are true, that His word never changes, and that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. There’s nothing out of His element and nothing out of His control. God is still real, and He still makes no mistakes.

Cultivate a heart of hope by trusting the Lord to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think. He’ll never let you down.

 

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91-1, 2 (NKJV)

This is From My Heart~

Bonnie Lovelace is a writer of The Hallelujah House and writes on topics God places on her heart. She’s happily married to her husband and has two grown children. She resides in the Tidewater area of Virginia and devotes her time between multiple ministries and working full-time as an executive office manager. Why don’t you connect with Bonnie? You can find her at the “About Us” tab at the top of our homepage.

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

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