Tag Archives: finding hope

Finding HOPE by moving towards PEOPLE

Today, we’re going to look at how moving towards PEOPLE in the body of Christ can help us find HOPE during the joyful times and during the dark times in our life.

When you’re in pain, do you usually want to be around people or would you rather hide out somewhere by yourself?

We’ve already talked about how we have to start living in a new kind of way. We have to be HONEST  about our pain AND believe God’s truths-particularly the truth that He is OMNIPRESENT– to help us move through the pain. Many times, when we’re in the midst of pain, we can’t take hold of God’s truths without the help of other people.

Who do you have in your life? Who do you trust? Can you think of 5 people that you trust? Write their names down in a journal. Think about your family, your friends, your coworkers, your youth leader, people at church, neighbors, teachers, etc.

I’m going to ask you to take a risk and share some things with at least one of them. Remember when we talked about how we each have a story?  We need to share those stories with each other. God has put us in the body of Christ for a reason. He knows that we need each other!  We need to be connected with people who can
share truth with us and who can help us move towards hope.

Remember God has also given us a story to tell.

Get out that journal again and that cup of coffee.  Take some time to think through your life story.

Who are the characters in your story?

What’s the setting?

What’s the problem or conflict? (There might more than one).

What are some resolutions you’ve seen? (Are you still waiting for resolution for some things?)

You might want to focus on the last few days or weeks or months, or you may want to go back further than that. Create a plot diagram or a just write down the answers to those questions.  You can draw pictures too if you’d like.

Then think about……

How have the CHARACTERS in your life impacted you? How have the people in your life made a difference to you?

Name ONE PERSON who has made a large impact on your life. Also tell HOW they have made a difference in your life.

How have YOU made a difference in someone else’s life?

What do you LOVE about your story?

What do you HATE about your story?

Now, take a minute to think about God’s story. Even though His story is much bigger than yours, guess what? Although He is the King of the Universe, He has YOU in the palm of His hand.  Your story fits into the bigger story of God’s story.

Sometimes we can’t see where our story is going, but He knows and He has a plan that is much bigger than our plan. Take a minute to think about how big God is. Can you even fathom it? There are more than 7 million people on this planet, and yet He has the whole world in His hand. He knows each person, and He has control over each and every one of those people’s stories-that includes YOUR story. He knows what is best for you, AND He has the power to make sure the best happens.

How do you think your story fits into the bigger picture of God’s story?

How have you seen God at work in your story?

NOW, here’s your challenge.  How much of your story have you shared with those people you listed before?   Some of us don’t like to share our stories with others.  Now the truth is that we don’t have to share our story with everyone we meet, but remember that God has put us in fellowship with others for a reason. He knows that we need each other people.   What part of your story do you think you could share with one of those people?

Think about those same people. How much of THEIR story do you know? Which one of those people do you feel comfortable asking more about their story?

Finding Hope in the New Year-Trusting in God’s Omnipresence

The Pacific Ocean

Last time, we thought about how HOPE starts with being HONEST with where you are. He already knows what you’re thinking and feeling. He wants to meet you there!

Today we’re going to think about His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake us. The O in HOPE is going to stand for God’s OMNIPRESENCE. He is AWAYS with us. He hears everything we say and think. He knows when we need to just be held in His arms. He knows our fears and our tears. He is OMNIPRESENT!

We have to remind ourselves of the truth even when we don’t feel like it. It’s like living in a new way. You and I need help to act on God’s truths even when we don’t seem to experience it. We need to remember that God is always with us even when we don’t feel His presence.

There will be times where we have to step forward in faith even when we feel like the water is crashing down on us. Because He has promised that He will never leave us, we can trust that even if we don’t see what He’s doing in this moment in our life, He is working-it might just be somewhere where we can’t see it.

How can we take comfort in the fact that God is always with you (even when it may not seem like He is)?

Grab a cup of coffee and take some time on this New Year’s Day to read Psalm 46. Get out that journal or that piece of paper or open up a new document on the computer.

List names of God from that Psalm. Then write about how that name of God gives you comfort/hope.

Here are some I’ve thought about this year.

God is…..
My CounselorHe listens to me.
A Great LightHe shows me the way when I feel that I am in darkness.
My High Tower-He is higher than my troubles. He is a place of calm and refuge.

Why don’t you try these…
My Strong Rock
King of Glory

Check out Psalm 46 and other psalms for other names of God too.
Maybe make a bookmark to keep in your Bible or write them on an index card and hang it on your fridge or in your car.

Let’s thank God today for His OMNIPRESENCE! In this New Year we can remember that no matter what comes, He promises to never leave us alone.

Monday Moment of Joy-Honesty in Finding HOPE

Hope bookmark2

How do we find joy and hope this coming year? In my next few posts, we’ll take a look at the word HOPE and use an acronym to help us look for hope. The H in HOPE will stand for “HONESTY.” The first step in finding hope is to be honest about where we are. Be honest about our feelings. Be honest about our circumstances. Be honest about our sin. Be honest about our dreams and desires.

Take a look at the list of feelings below. Find a journal or an index card, and write down 3 feelings that you’re feeling right now. I know there are a lot of feelings, but try to choose your top three. Come back tomorrow or next week and choose three more. Our feelings change constantly, but God meets us there in each moment!

Be willing to be HONEST about your feelings! People may tell you not to feel this way or they may tell you to get over it. Be willing to take a risk and name your feeling-name your suffering, your pain, or even your joy.

• content
• satisfied
• joyful
• anxious
• glad
• ecstatic
• sorrowful
• upbeat
• unhappy
• beaming
• blessed
• condemned
• fortunate
• sparkling
• unfavored
• guilty
• ashamed
• peaceful
• worthless
• inadequate
• lonely
• frustrated
• confused
• worn-out
• defeated
• energetic
• useless
• strong
• bored
• enthusiastic
• weak
• unimportant
• agitated
• nervous
• fearful
• Sad
• Angry
• Hurt
• Happy
• Irritable
• Hopeless
• Isolated
• Furious
• Tired
• Resentful
• Happy
• Proud
• Cheerful
• Bitter
• Sluggish
• Depressed
• Thrilled
• Helpless
• exhausted
• moody

Now take those to God. Continue writing in your journal if you’d like or just talk to Him. What makes you feel that way? What has happened in your story? Describe those feelings. What do they feel like, sound like, look like?

How does this feeling show up in your life? “When I feel____________, it shows up in my life in the following ways…”

Thanks for being honest! Stay tuned for a next step in finding HOPE in this New Year.