Learn how you can strengthen your faith by apply these 7 tools that will build hope in your life.
Did you know you can strengthen your faith in a lot of ways, but one way we can do that is by building up hope in our lives. Hope is a powerful thing to have. And it’s absence can wreak havoc in all areas.
God wants us to live a life full of hope. But sometimes situations and just life can make that really hard. A bad day, month, year(s) can really bring discouragement.
So, I want to share with you 7 tools to raise your hope and in turn strengthen your faith! But before we dig into the tools here is a little bit on my personal struggle with hope.
My Story Of Learning About Hope
In 2010, I took the StrengthFinders test as part of my leadership development at church. When the results came in my number one strength was being “Futuristic.” Now, you may be asking what does that even mean and what does that have to do with hope? Well, let me tell you.. This is the description futuristic:
Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow.
While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests — a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world — it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions.
When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too…”
This nailed me! Since I was a little girl I would constantly think about what could be in the future. How things could be better, bigger, greater and how I would play a part in all of it.
I would stare at blank notebooks and think about all the books I could write on those blank pages. I would see a bare piece of land and think of the different types of houses that could be built on that property.
As an adult, I still have those strong tendencies and they have aided me greatly in my personal growth and helping others catch a vision or reach goals.
Because of this strength, I have started and built many things in ministry and life. It’s really great, but with every strength there comes it’s weaknesses.
What happens when the dreamer is faced with the reality of the here and now?
The here and now can sometimes be a major Debbie Downer.
It’s a constant reminder of what you are NOT and what you DON’T have. It has the ability to crush you in an instant if you let it.
In my many years of ministry, I have noticed a lot of futuristic/dreamer types tend to fall victim to this ferocious hope eating monster.
The thing is that the monster is not the here and now reality, but our viewpoint of the here and now reality.
We can either look at our life right now and be disappointed in it. Feel like a failure and even start to view the future the same way. I know I battled this greatly when I had some very hard years and BIG disappointments happen.
I realized my hope was gone and it was because I started to look at everything through a lens of hopelessness. See we can look at situations and cause it to motivate us to change and better it or we can cause it to destroy us. The key factor is how we view it.
Are you going to wear the lens that says you’re a failure? That you are hopeless?
Or are you going to wear the lens that says you are full of potential and hope?
The Bible is very clear on the type of lens we should be wearing.
- 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. – Jeremiah 29:11
- Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6
- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
These are only 3 little verses in the midst of 100’s of others that encourage us to hope. You can check out more here: Hope Raising Scriptures To Lift Up Your Day.
Our present state in our life does not determine our future.
God has good plans for us, but we need to accept that truth and partner with Him in it. We must learn to be proactive with God and set changes in our life. God will do His part, but we must do our part also. We need to learn to trust and submit our lives to Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 5-6
I don’t want to leave you with a few verses and a happy little, “Be Hopeful” phrase. I want to give you some practical tools to help you switch your lens from hopeless to HOPEFUL.
How To Strengthen Your Faith By Building Hope
Worship causes us to refocus on God and not ourselves. Psychologist Martin Seligman blames skyrocketing rates of depression on “rampant individualism.” (Source) Which, is the focus on ourselves.
Nothing raises hope as when you get your eyes off of yourself and your problems. Giving a sacrifice of praise in the midst of your circumstances breaks the weight of that heavy yoke. This builds your hope and strengthens your faith.
So, many times we forget to go before God in prayer with our present situations and our future. We must learn to make time for prayer in your day. Prayer has the power and ability to shift things in your life. I heard a famous preacher many years ago say, “You want to change your destiny and have a better life? Then pray!”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
3. HAVE A THANKFUL HEART
Having a thankful heart is very much connected to worship. It’s getting your eyes off of what stinks and onto what good things has God brought into your life.
We have so many things to be thankful for! Stop right now and list 5 things you are thankful for….really stop and do it!
Then really think about those things…
We are such a BLESSED people, there should be no reason for us not to be thankful and happy.
For Pete’s sake, Jesus has redeemed us from the fall! We get to spend eternity with Him. That alone should make you thankful for all eternity. Somebody get HAPPY! This is the JOY of our salvation!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 51:12
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GREAT RELATIONSHIPS
God created us to be in a relationship with people. He gave us our family, friends, and significant others to help us walk through this world. Isolation and loneliness are a death trap to hope and faith.
We need to learn to cultivate healthy strong relationships. Friendships strengthen and better our lives. I encourage you to make a goal and take one person who has blessed you and to deepen that connection with that person. You will become like iron sharpens iron. Strengthening your faith and hope. You won’t regret it!
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
5. THE BIBLE
The word of God is foundational in our walk. It helps bring clarity and guidance in our life. It also encourages us and builds up our faith. We should be getting in it daily…reading and studying it.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105
6. DEVELOP YOURSELF
We have a responsibility to always be growing and developing ourselves. Being positive about your personal growth will help keep your eyes on the greater goal set before you.
I leave you with a question from Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson,
“What are you doing, year by year, to invest in your own growth and development?”
It’s a great question and if you sit and think through it. Let it motivate you for the better! Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
7. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Beating yourself up for your shortcomings and failures will get you nowhere! God is NOT beating you up because of them so what gives you the right to beat yourself up?
God created you for great things. Learn from your mistakes and go back to number 5 and develop yourself! Look at all the people in the Bible that God used. He’s not worried about our shortcomings…He just wants a heart that is ready and willing.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10
If being hopeful has been hard this season. I encourage you to put some of these tools into action and see what happens. God is waiting for you to step forward so He can blow that dark cloud away and strengthen you.
If you would like you can leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you and what God is doing in your life.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…