24 Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.
Romans 15:13 (NASB95)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Recently I was talking with a man who had lost all hope for a future. As I was listening to his blight, I began to feel his hopelessness. Boy, I did not like that at all. It just seemed the world was getting gloomier and gloomier. As I was listening to him, I had to mentally picture the “Son” shining in my life. My conversation with this man reminded me that so many people have lost sight of the Hope that is in Christ.
When a person has lost their hope, there are several steps that I have found to be very helpful when needing to “find my hope.”
- Remember — The Israelites were instructed to erect stones in the middle of the Jordan River as they crossed over into the Promised Land. The purpose of the stones was for the people to see them (not during the flood stage) and be reminded of what God had done for them. I think that a person needs to set up some “stones” of what God has done in his/her life for times of remembering. Writing them in a journal or in the back of a Bible helps keep them in a place that will be seen.
- Repent — Again, using the Old Testament as a guide, the Israelites often would lose sight of God and turn to idols or their own wisdom. Each time they took their focus off of God, He would allow calamities, bondage, and defeat to happen. When they would turn back to God, He would require of them to Repent. Repentance happens when a person realizes that he/she is going in the wrong direction and turns around to go in the opposite direction. Repentance carries an attitude of brokenness and humility. If hope is lost, it might be because the focus is on worry or on loss and not on God. Repentance is needed.
- Recite — The Israelites were told to recite the book of the law and to meditate on it. There is power in the Word of God. It is living and active, as well as being comforting and applicable. I believe that it is important that a person memorizes scripture to be used in times of need.
- Refocus — Paul tells the Philippian church to dwell on the things that are good. It takes a great deal of effort to change focus, yet it is an exercise that is worth every bit of the effort.
As I have helped many people find the Hope that is in Christ, these steps have been extremely helpful. I hope that you find them as helpful as I have.