Sometimes I notice that I’m frowning or staring blankly. Often this happens when I’m commuting early in the morning or at the end of a long day. I get a sudden inner glimpse of my overall expression and posture, and I wonder, Why so grim?
Maybe I simply forget to hope. Hope is a gift from God, but it’s also a habit we cultivate—or forget to cultivate. How can we help our hope?
- Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve heard this advice from several sources lately. The idea is that gratitude is a habit we build. And if we get used to noticing what’s worthy of thanks, then it’s a logical progression to become more hopeful about what the future holds.
- Remember some key Jesus phrases: “Do not worry” and “Be not afraid.” Whenever you’re feeling un-hopeful, just imagine Jesus standing there next to you, saying one or both of these statements. Do you really want to argue with Jesus?
- Collect some stories of hope—the aunt who beat cancer, or the friend who finally found employment. We tend to remember only what’s going wrong.
- Imagine a diagram of your life journey. Celebrate what’s gone well. Envision how you will have grown in the next five years. Imagine the joyful events that might occur during that time. We’re very good at imagining what might go wrong—why not turn that habit on its head?
Please, please, send your ideas about how to help us hope!