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.
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.
Stay tuned for a preview of a new booklet geared towards teens who are dealing with hopelessness or grief. The booklet walks through the acronym HOPE that I’ve described below-putting the finishing touches on it now!
Name what you’re feeling. Name your sin. Think about your story-where have you been? Where are you now? Where do you hope to go?
Remember God’s constant presence with you. He promises to NEVER leave us! Thank Him that your story is a part of His bigger story.
Move towards other people in the body of Christ. We need each other! Listen to them. Be honest with them. Ask for help. Allow others to remind you of God’s truth.
Remember that this world is not all there is. Christ died for us so that we could live eternally. 2 Corinthians 4
Where do we find joy? I’ve been studying Psalm 119 with a group of women, and today several verses about joy popped out at me. Verse 103 says “How sweet are your words to my taste. Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” The author compares God’s Word to honey often, but I began thinking about what my favorite foods are-chocolate came to mind first of course!!
What food do you run to when you want something sweet? Do you run to God’s Word the same way? The psalmist says later in verse 111 “I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” Where do we find joy? God’s Word will give us pure joy.
I began thinking-where do I run for joy? Do I run to chocolate to get that sweet little bite of joy? How many times do I run to God’s Word to find true joy? Grab some coffee (or chocolate:) and God’s Word and spend a few minutes looking for joy there.
Pray that God would remind you to run to His Word. Maybe that favorite food can even become a reminder. Ask God to help you remember His Word when you take a bite of that certain food.
Here’s a song about it- oldie but a goodie…check it out.