Enduring Hope

“Any area without hope is under the influence of a lie.” – Bill Johnson

If you want to fulfill your purpose in life you must learn to guard the hope in your heart.  In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  The abundant life is not without challenges, however it is meant to be lived full of hope.  The apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).”

We are robbed of abundant life when we lack hope.  Proverbs 13:2 teaches us that,“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  The condition of our hearts is tied to having hope.  It is important to remember that hope believes beyond the present reality and requires faith.

”For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” – Romans 8:24

To live with hope requires you to believe for a better tomorrow.  If you already possessed what you were believing for you would have no need for hope, but yet we do have hope.  Those who live without hope allow the slow and deadly poison of despair to enter their heart.  Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, ”Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

People who live with hope guard their hearts intentionally.  They understand how they are being affected by their environment and position themselves to receive encouragement that keeps them full of hope.  It may mean limiting how much news you watch, avoiding some of your friends, or finding a place to receive regular encouragement.

To evaluate this area of your life take an inventory of what you have been saying lately.  Are your words full of hope or full of despair?  Our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts and therefore give us a key to the condition of our hearts.  Am I more likely to give thanks or complain about my family, friends, community, school, church, workplace, etc…?

What would it look like if you spent more time discovering hopeful stories each day?  How would that impact your interactions with other people?  What would a family that valued hope instill in their children?

As followers of Jesus we are meant to be the thermostat for culture and not the thermometer.  Perhaps you need to set aside some time for a heart checkup and consider if life is flowing through you from hope.  The remedy is simple, turn to Jesus and allow him to fill your heart with hope today.

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