March 4, 2022
Reading the news headlines for the past two years has been depressing. Doom. Gloom. Everyone’s in the Zoom Room. (humor intended) Not only have we seen a tremendous upset in our day-to-day routines but we also are suffering from higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide. Finding hope when we feel hopeless has become more difficult than ever. Even though we get regular dopamine hits from our handheld devices and the endless supply of cat videos, we are struggling to find hope.
Write down all the things. Journaling is one of those incredible habits that releases negativity and can help us reframe our lives with a positive outlook. Why do I say DUMP Journal?
If your brain works like mine, bad news kicks you into an imagination overdrive to the worst-case scenarios. I go from toilet paper shortages to buying a bunker and planting a self-sustaining garden on a windowsill. The endless rehearsing of what terrible thing could happen next robs you of reformatting your thoughts with positive expectancy. Take yourself off of that downward slide into the muck. Look at what is happening in YOUR life. Nevertheless, we must consider global events, we can leave them in the hands of Him who created the world right? Here is an exercise a therapist once taught that helped me be present and stop rehearsing the uncertainty of the future. It’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise.
Taking the time to be in the present moment can help us reduce anxiety and evaluate our current circumstances. We can find hope in the fact that we are alive and living through another day. Tomorrow has its own troubles but we don’t need to focus on those for now. They will come soon enough.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV
There is nothing that will build your hope more than reflecting on those times and moments from your past where God showed up and showed off. Here are a few ideas to jog your memory.
When we reflect on how much God is participating in our lives we get a renewed sense of hope that He’s watching out for us. No matter what we face He is there. He is already prepared for our future. We do not need to fear. When we intentionally focus on God, we are released from the fear of the world. God is faithful. He can deliver us from every form of evil. We can be thrown into a lion’s den, face giants, even be raised from the dead when we trust God.
When we practice “Habits to Hear the Voice of God,” we will be more likely to feel hopeful. Not only does listening to God help but reflecting on scripture about His faithfulness will restore our hope. Here are 5 of my favorite verses that remind me of God’s faithfulness.
When we set our eyes on God and not on the news of this world we can find hope in hopeless situations. God is not bound to circumstances or time. He can change things in a moment if we believe. When life feels like everything is doom and gloom, take your fears to God. Stay present in reality, and remind yourself of all the good things God has done for you already. If you still feel unsteady spend time reflecting on scriptures and stories that remind you of God’s track record of faithfulness through the Bible. Even if we don’t see a breakthrough in our current situation we can be full of hope for our future. God will give you the endurance you need to walk through the trials on your way to triumph.
How do you find hope when you are feeling hopeless? Are there any other habits you have that boost hope? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.