Four Keys to Restored Hope

Ben CerulloBy Ben Cerullo5 Minutes

Ever notice how seasons of faith happen in waves? One minute you’re riding high on the hope of the Lord, and the next minute you’re wiping out on waves of despair. Sorry about using a surfing analogy in October, but I thought it was a good comparison. Like any good surfer knows, you just need to pick up your board and head out to the water again. But that’s hard when you feel hopeless! Here are some ways you can regain your hope, defeat your hopelessness, and build your faith.

1. Choose to Trust

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV).

You know how sometimes you just have to talk yourself through things? It’s amazing how positive reinforcement makes a difference. Well, as a believer, you have something better than positive reinforcement; you have the promises of the Lord! God has a plan for you and part of it includes giving you hope.

No matter what you’re going through, resolve to trust God. Making that resolution can be as practical as deciding, “I’ll get up ten minutes earlier to have time to pray.” Or, “I’ll memorize this Scripture.” Just make the decision, and ask the Lord to help you build your trust in him.

2. Welcome Challenges

Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:2-5).

Challenges are often seen as difficulties, and difficulties can be stressful. Stress can lead to despair, which leads to hopelessness … which we want to change!

But Paul offers a different view. He teaches us that through Jesus, our sufferings ultimately lead to having even greater strength and more hope. Knowing we have the love of God on our side, we can greet challenges as a courageous medieval jouster ready to help those weaker than we are.

3. Praise God More

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more (Psalm 71:14).

Thankfulness is the gate to the courtyard of God – which is filled with praise. The more we praise Him, the closer we draw to Him, and the more hope we have. When we see God up close, our hearts overflow with praise! Praise changes our hearts by cleaning out negativity and fear. Praising God puts us in the place of victory!

Be in the habit of praising God; it will help you see the small blessings around you. Praise will pick up your spirit on hard days and good days alike.

4. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).

When the current times get you down, keep your eye on the prize – your reward in heaven! Nothing will ever be better than that. The right perspective changes everything. Remember, don’t tell God how big your problem is; tell your problem how BIG your God is!