I’m a firm believer that hope is the first step in healing. That’s not to say that God never heals someone who feels as if there is no hope. But I think as Christians, we have every reason to live with hope all of the time.
Throughout the Bible, God tells us that we can put our hope in Him. And we know that when He tells us something, it’s a promise. And that promise is as true today as it ever was or ever will be. Still, it took me nearly 29 years on this earth to start understanding what that really means for my life.
That’s why Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. I pray it for myself and my friends and family, I share it with people I love all the time, and I meditate on this verse on a regular basis. I’ve found that when I live with this verse in my heart, I allow God to open my eyes to the ways in which He’s blessing me even through the hardest times.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
I love that this promise belongs to everyone who enters into a relationship with Jesus and that each of us can lean on it just as surely as when God first spoke these words to Jeremiah when the Jewish people were living in captivity.
(And I love that just as surely as God delivered his followers from captivity exactly how He said He would, we can trust Him to deliver us from whatever hard times come our way.)
So why do I believe that hope is the first step to experiencing a healthier life?
Because I think that when we put our hope in God and believe that He can turn our lives around – no matter how messed up they seem – we give Him the opportunity to show how good, loving, and big He is. We give Him the opportunity to do the impossible and be glorified through our lives.
But I think when we live with hopelessness, we answer our own prayers before He even has a chance to. Sometimes when I’m hopeless about something, it takes me ages to realize that I’m essentially saying, “God, I would like this thing. But I know it’s hopeless and you’re probably not going to do it, so never mind. It’s no use.” And then I have to wonder how anything good can come of me deciding for God that He won’t answer my prayer almost as soon as I’ve said it.
This year I’ve resolved to put my hope in God through thick and thin and to share that same hope with others. When I look at where I was 29 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago, I can’t help but be amazed at what God has done in my life. And I think if He can free me from the trials and pain of my upbringing and heal me of chronic illness He can do the same in anyone else who looks to Him with hope.
Somehow when I commit to sharing about something for a period of time, life always gets in the way. But I have a whole slew of posts about hope waiting in the wings, and I feel so strongly about sharing hope that I *hope* to let nothing else get in the way! And I hope you will join me, too!