“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13
For the last few weeks I’ve had some anxious thoughts. Personal situations and discussions about the political climate, along with the random worries I can generate all on my own, have really messed with my perspective.
But I’m making a choice. One which I want to take deep root in my heart and mind and transform my thinking.
I want to be defined by hope.
A hope that is more than wishful thinking.
A hope not reliant upon a political candidate or an agenda, which leaves me empty and focused on the things of this earth.
A hope that is more than counting on someone to keep a promise, because sooner or later I am disappointed. Or the disappointer.
A hope bolder than feeble prayers I offer when I honestly just want my way.
A hope stronger than my emotions or circumstances at any given moment.
But to really live IN hope. And for that to happen I have to seek God to shake some things up. Change my desires and habits to live a life defined by trust and purpose will require:
· Shutting out the voices of many to focus on the voice of One. It’s my fault for letting the news, social media, and various opinions define my patterns of thinking. While many I chose to hear are positive, that’s not enough. I need to be in God’s word and in prayer.
· Living as if this world is not my home. Too much energy has been given to things I cannot change. Colossians 3:1-2 states,
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
I am a steward of what God has entrusted me to care for in this world. But I cannot let those things, however noble and right, own me. Otherwise, they become little gods rather than what can give glory to Him.
· Truly worshipping. Not the Sunday check-in. But cultivating a heart turned to God. Every thought and decision should flow from being in his presence. Without it comes confusion and selfishness. I have known that place of worship. And it’s beautiful. It’s time to go back.
Living in hope is not devoid of struggles and hard times and life changing moments of despair. Actually, I expect these times to come. But, good times and bad, I want a life defined by a hope secure.
Secure because of the work of Christ, who continues to work in me and for my good. And for His glory (Colossians 1:27).
(Special thank you to Ali Leonard, who made the beautiful handcrafted “hope” plaque. Check out her and Courtney Tidwell at Our Funky Farmhouse page on Facebook.)