Hope Is a Verb. Practice It. {28 Day Series}

Just try to keep your hopes up.

That’s what we often tell ourselves and others.

But is that enough?

28 Days of Practicing Hope #Write28Days LisaNotes.com


Index

1 – Hope Is a Verb. Practice It.
Don’t just try to keep your hopes up. Practice hope as a spiritual discipline.

2- The Anchor – A Symbol of Hope
Anchors are often used as symbols for hope. Why? And what anchors a Christian to hope?

3 – We Have an Anchor – Hebrews 6:19
The Bible is full of scriptures on hope. Download this image of Hebrews 6:19 about hope in Jesus as our anchor.

4 – 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – Hope Edition
Links and pictures of articles, books, and things I love – February 2019

5 – When Hope Feels Dangerous
Our hope for the future isn’t defined by our past. Here’s why we should continue to practice hope, even when it feels dangerous.

6 – Hope for Far More {Scripture Image}
When you’re afraid to hope, remember this truth about God’s power. It’s far more than you can imagine. Download Ephesians 3:20 graphic.

7 – Hope in Politics – Is It a Choice? 5 Ways to Practice Hope
Politics can feel hopeless. But here are 5 ways to practice hope, even in politics. Make the choice.

8 – Choose from Hope, Not Fear
We can’t always choose our circumstances. But we can choose to respond from hope, not fear.

9 – Doves as Symbols of Hope to Start Again
When the dove brought back an olive leaf, he also brought back hope.

10 – May the God of Hope Fill You {Scripture Image}
The God of hope fills you with joy, with peace. Let hope overflow by his power. Romans 15:13.

11 – Hope Leads to Action
The more you hope, the more you’re likely to take action and succeed. Keep hoping. Keep moving.

12 – Hope, Not Just from Bad, But for Good
Hope isn’t just a desire to escape FROM something bad. It’s also FOR something good to look forward to.

13 – Even Death Is About Hope
“Connecting with the certainty of death is a critical step toward connecting with the certainty of hope.” Even death can be about hope.

14 – Hold Hope for One Person at a Time
When you can’t do the big things, do one thing. For one person at a time.

15 – Battling Between Fear and Hope? Stand on the Rock
When darkness tries to roll over your bones, don’t be shaken. Fear doesn’t stand a chance when you stand in Jesus’s love.

16 – Another Symbol of Hope – Complete and Unending
The Native American Indians used an 8-pointed star as a symbol of hope. Complete and unending.

17 – Never Give Up Hope?
“I will never give up hope or stop praising you.” (Psalm 71:14). David makes a bold claim. I’m not there yet.

18 – Presidents’ Day Hope
In honor of Presidents’ Day, here are three quotes on remaining hopeful.

19 – How Does the Bible Actually Work?
The Bible works not by giving us an answer key, but by showing us what God is like. He is our hope.

20 – God Is a Safe Place
Hope comes from somewhere. It always has a source. In God is the safest place to be. Psalm 62:5.

21 – 4 Ways to Express Your Hope
When you feel too cynical or things seem hopeless, that’s the best time to practice your hope. Here are 4 ways.

22 – Raise Your Hallelujah
When hopelessness tries to assert itself, raise your hallelujah higher than your doubts. It is one way you can practice having hope.

23 – Are You Like an Iris? There’s Hope
Resilient. Adaptable. Faithful. Do you have these traits? Like the iris, be a a symbol of hope.

24 – Another Way to Practice Hope – Recite Scripture to Yourself
One way I practice hope is by reciting scripture to myself about the Lord’s goodness. And what more beautiful passage than Lamentations 3 to recover any lagging hope?

25 – Opt for Hope – The Promises of God
See these promises of God. And opt for hope. God’s promises come from his character. And his character is Love.

26 – Get Your Hopes Up for Good Gifts Ahead
We can’t imagine the gifts God has planned for us or what time they will arrive. But we can know they will be good. Get your hopes up.

27 – 7 Books of Hope I Recommend
Here are books I recommend from what I finished reading this month.

28 – 4 Places to Look for Hope
It matters where you look for hope. It determines what you see. Here are four places to look.


This post below is Day 1 . . . Hope Is a Verb.

Does Hope = Positive Thoughts?

I have a dear friend in the hospital right now. He’s fighting against an infection in his blood after having open heart surgery.

I’m trying to keep my hopes up.

But it feels inadequate.

Sometimes forcing ourselves to hope feels only like “the power of positive thinking.” A contrived Pollyanna mindset. A lesson from our children’s book, “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

I’ve never been a big believer in dream board collages of vacation homes I’ll own. Or of visualizing myself crossing the finish line at the Olympics to turn me into a world-class runner. I don’t want to trick myself into believing if I think about it hard enough, it will happen.

Nor do I believe that if I claim a promise in the Bible, then it will automatically be mine. Not every promise is meant for me. My prayers about what is best rarely match up to God’s perfect thoughts about the full situation.

Hope Is a Noun

Granted, thinking positively does matter. God doesn’t want us to sink into our gloomiest thoughts and stay there.

But even as I pray for my friend’s healing, his strength, and God’s grace, I know that my hope muscles needs strengthening.

I want my hope to be genuinely based on truths about God’s goodness. About his faithful character. About his unending love.

I know who is Hope.

Hope is Jesus. He is Hope personified. He is the foundation of all hope.

Yet hope is more than a noun. 

And Hope Is a Verb

Hope is also a verb. Hope is something we can do. Something we can practice.

Even when hope feels unsafe, when it feels dangerous to expose our heart.

So this month I will do more than try to hope. I want to make a practice of hope.

Every day of February, I’ll share here about practicing hope, about acting on hope in real and tangible ways.

Just as physical exercise makes a difference in our physical health, so spiritual disciplines make a difference in our spiritual health. Not as a result of our strength. But from a deeper awareness and reality of the presence of God.

God can cause our hope to grow when we practice it. Our hope can become more steady, more reliable, more second-nature. And spread to others as well.

Hope Leads to Love

The apostle Paul said these three remain: faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

But the greatest of these is . . . love. Not hope? No.

But if faith and hope contribute to building up love, then faith and hope are also worthy goals to pursue.

I will continue to pray that my friend will improve enough to leave ICU soon and return home to his wife (one of the Four Corners) by the end of this month.

And I will also hope. With faith. And for love, the greatest of all.

* * *

Does hope come easily to you? How do you practice hope? Do you have a favorite scripture on hope? Please share in the comments.

If you want to read more #Write28Days posts or write your own, visit Anita. She’s got the details.

Write-28-Days-Challenge

Practice Hope with Me

If you want to practice hope, too, please join me here for 28 days in February. I appreciate hearing from you and learning from your wisdom. (And I’ll be looking at Hope all year; it’s my One Word for 2019).

Here are four ways to follow along. I also share ideas on TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

  1. Sign up here for daily emails.
    Each post comes to your inbox.
  2. Bookmark this page.
    This post will be the index.
  3. Subscribe in a news reader.
    Feedly is my favorite for all the blogs I read.
  4. Join me on Facebook.
    I’ll link the daily post on my LisaNotes FB page.

 

20 thoughts on “Hope Is a Verb. Practice It. {28 Day Series}

  1. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, this was such a good post. Interesting to think about “practicing hope”. I usually find it easy to be hopeful probably because the alternative is not desirable. I am so grateful the Lord is “all our hope and stay”. Praying for your friend this morning.

  2. Anita Ojeda

    I’m having to practice hope right now—mostly it involves fervent prayers for some of my students who made bad decisions. I can’t see any good coming from the consequences. All I can do is to continue to pray, hope that they understand how much I love them and want the best for them, and hope that the Holy Spirit will work on their hearts.

  3. Pam Ecrement

    I agree that hope is a noun, but also a verb. This statement brings to mind other words in that passage you quote such as love that is both a noun and a verb. Praying your friend recovers soon and God restores him to health.

    Hope is something that seems to be in short supply in so many places as we look at the world both far and near in our lives. It keeps taking me back to Romans 5:1-5.

    Looking forward to visiting you on this journey you are writing about, my friend.

  4. Theresa Boedeker

    Another wordy person. Love it. Yes, hope is a verb and a noun. Hope comes pretty naturally to me. I know for me, part of it is keeping my eyes on him and knowing he is in control and is orchestrating my best. But I also agree, hope can be hard in hard situations. would love to read more of your thoughts on hope.

  5. Rebecca Jones

    Jesus is our hope, the anchor of our souls, it is a step above average or natural hope.
    Hebrews 6:19 and Romans 15:13 call God, the God of hope. And faith is hope in what we don’t see, so glad there is hope.

  6. Barbara Harper

    I don’t have a problem with far-off hope – eternal destinies and heaven. But everyday hope is a little harder because we don’t know when and how God will answer our prayers and work things out. Yet it’s a step of faith that He’s “got this” just as much as He has our eternal destiny. The timing and answer may not work out like I had wanted, but because of Who He is, I can trust that His way is best.

  7. Trudy

    I’m so sorry about your friend, Lisa. Infection in the blood is so serious. I pray God will heal him and bring him home to his family. It’s so true that hope is both a noun and a verb. I’m so with you in hoping. “With faith. And for love, the greatest of all.” Love and blessings to you!

  8. Pam Collins

    I enjoyed your post. Your thoughts on hope and trusting God made me think about the need for us to have at least faith as big as a mustard seed. If we don’t, we can ask God to help us grow our faith.

  9. Karen Sebastian-Wirth

    Lisa,
    I could not agree more. I want to jump up and down when someone says, “Don’t get your hopes up.” I look forward to reading the entire series. Blessings on your writing. I have struggled to get started, yet know that it will be so worth it.
    Karen

  10. Amy Jung

    I like the thought of a series of hope! I too have grappled with hope, knowing that narrative in the bible isn’t always normative for my life. I had a pastor who passed away from cancer. He had great hope. He hoped in God’s ability to heal so he allowed himself to expect that, but he held it loosely and he would follow up his hopeful statements with these words: “But even if he doesn’t…He is still good.” I think our theology drives our hope. Trusting what we’ve studied to be God’s character and actions in the past fuel us toward hope…holding it loosely as we allow Him to do as He wills in the world. Perhaps so much in life is learning how to do this well.

  11. floyd samons

    This is a powerful and encouraging post, Lisa.

    To be aware of the hope, which is confidence, that comes from God and the power we have to see with the eyes of our Father is miraculous.

    Thanks for the reminder of the exercise I need in this area too.

  12. Lynn D. Morrissey

    This is one of my favorite hope verses, Lisa: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  13. Brittany

    I think of “practice makes perfect.” Faith and hope for me go hand in hand. I think of the verse, “Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for…” I love what you reveal here. #Grace&Truth

  14. Joan Davis

    Hope is my word for 2019, too! In fact, I’m just working on a new blog/website with Hope in its title!

    I practice Hope by continuing to look to God, even in the midst of trials. Besides hoping for someTHING to happen, by placing my hope in God, I know my future is secure. Hope increases my trust and in turn my faith. And, when I practice hope, I feel at peace.

    Blessings, Joan

    (formerly from The Beauty in His Grip)

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