December 18, 2016

Hope: 7 Methods for Achieving it Right Now

Hope is belief in a brighter tomorrow—no matter what you’re going through now.

It’s hard to accept that our lives will improve when we keep getting pushed down by circumstances. Present trauma tell us, “Be realistic; this is good as it gets.” We may not know what it’s like to feel healthy, happy, or loved.

Believe me, I know that feeling well! During my lifetime, I have struggled for absolutely everything except money. If I were a Marvel Comics superhero, I would be called “Endurance Lady”. I would defeat the bad guys simply by patiently surviving their attacks.  My label would be, “The Last One Standing”.

Most superheroes rise from a background of battles. The Incredible Hulk was born from a science experiment gone wrong. Spiderman and Batman were created out of fateful encounters with animals. What do such stories teach us? The past does not have to define the future. Today’s struggle will become tomorrow’s strength.

What is Hope?

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary calls it “a desire accompanied by expectation of, or belief in, fulfillment.” Other sources mention the following:
  • Trust
  • Desire
  • Expectation
  • Endurance

Methods for Achieving Hope

1.     Practice mindfulness (living in the moment)…Certain activities can keep us engaged in the present and make us forget our worries. This varies with the person. It could be art, writing, gaming, music, or any other hobby.

2.     Talk victory instead of defeat…Turn off the negative chatter in your head. Speak and think positive statements. “I can do all things in Christ,” (Philippians 4:13) is a good example.
3.     Have gratitude…No matter how much is wrong in our lives, there is always something for which to be thankful. For instance, I have narrowly avoided automobile accidents about four times in the past week.
4.     Give yourself doses of positivity...This is an excellent cure for what ails the mind and body. If we make the choice to read, or listen to, optimism, we will brighten our minds and souls.
5.     Recognize how close you are to victory…The most difficult time of childbirth is near the end. Once the mother starts pushing hard, the baby will be born in minutes.
6.     Look beyond your feelings…(Look to God, not your circumstances.) Constant challenges speak negativity. God speaks positivity. He tells us trials are only temporary. If this entire life is full of trauma for us, we can still anticipate going to Heaven.
7.      See the long-range picture…Don’t have narrow vision that doesn’t allow you to see past today’s battles. Many of us have achieved triumphs after lengthy struggles in the past, and we will continue to do so.

My Conclusion

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”—Romans 12:12 (NIV)

It’s easy to bury our dreams, or to even forget what optimism feels like. That’s why we must continually refresh our supply of hope however we can.

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Have you filled up your tank of hope today?

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