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Ways to Renew Hope
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Nearly everyone has felt hopeless at some time. For some, hopelessness may be a fleeting flurry of simply being overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable tasks. For others, hopelessness may go much deeper, involving depression and despair. The good news is that no one need be without hope. Hope is what surviving and thriving are made of, and hope is available to everyone. Here are six ways to renew (or create) hope in your life:
  • Train Your Brain: You really can re-train your brain to think in hopeful ways. For example, take a post-it note and write at the top I Hope… Under this heading, write at least one thing that you are hopeful about. Do this every day for a week, even if you end up writing the same thing on each day. The point is to train your brain to think in hopeful ways.
  • Observe Hopeful People: How do hopeful people act? What is their speech like? Hopeful people are not just people who have a surface attitude of “positive thinking.” Hopeful people have a plan and an inner motivation to see their goals happen. Try to relate to them.
  • Listen to Yourself: Make sure you are using the word hope in your thoughts, conversations, and prayers. For example, I hope… I am hopeful that… It gives me hope to think about… Hearing your own words being spoken to others helps you take ownership of them. So speak hopefulness not only to yourself, but to others. It will bring them hope, too!
  • Bible Search: Do a search for the words “hope” in the Bible. Use a concordance and write down the references that use that word. Then look them up and write them in a “hope” journal. You may even want to memorize them. Filling your memory with hopeful promises from the Bible will be of infinite use as you embrace renewal.
  • Gratitude Journal: In addition to writing down Bible verses about hope, write down what you are already grateful for, even if you have to write a few things over again. Build on your list by adding more things every day for which you can be grateful. If you are more visual, keep a sketching journal and draw things that make you feel grateful.
  • Prayers of Thanks: Every day, be sure to talk to God about your hopes. If you feel you don’t have any hope, ask God to give it to you. Hope is a gift that God is willing and waiting to give to every person. Even if you feel completely hopeless right now, ask for hope. It’s the first and best step toward renewing (or creating) a hope-filled life. Remind yourself, also, that the Great Hope of Jesus’ return is real, and keep your mind focused on the life to come on the other side of that hope.
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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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