GET HIGH ON HOPE

I have never seen anyone lose out in life because they were high on hope. It's true. There are a ton of people who fly so high on hope it seems almost unreal. To be honest, I am high on hope. I try and see the good in every thing and every person. No matter how bleak a situation may look I will find some good, somewhere.


Over the last 18 months of non-stop the anti-hope news has weighed down even the strongest of people. Constant images of people dying, families grieving, and a death tally on repeat has taken its toll. Smiles were replaced with masks. Physical connection was replaced with social distancing. All of that, plus the fear you can die, has robbed people of one of the most important tools to coping - hope.


Randolph C. Arnau, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Southern Mississippi and his colleagues have looked at hope's connection to depression and anxiety. They surveyed more than 500 college students on measures of hope, depression and anxiety, then repeated the survey months later. They found students who expressed higher hope at the beginning of the study had lower measures of depression and anxiety one and two months later {APA, 2013}. In other words, hope is therapeutic. The Bible says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12). Solomon was saying, "Get high on hope."


Why is hope so important? Because it is more than an emotion; it is "a dynamic cognitive motivational system. Under this conceptualization of hope, emotions follow cognitions, not the other way round" (Scott Barry Koffman, 2011). Basically, hope helps direct the emotions we all experience, not visa versa. Without hope you will not be able to manage depression, anxiety, or overwhelm. My advice, get high on hope.


"God's mercy and grace give me hope - for myself, & for our world." Billy Graham

2020 tried to kill our hope.

2021 has tried to destroy what hope was left.


Here's the truth: You don't have to lose hope. Hope is a choice based on the foundation of truth. Not data, not statistics, not percentages, not negativity, and not mainstream news. The truth where you can find real, lasting hope is a person called Jesus. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD" ( Jeremiah 17:7). Put your hope in the Lord and you will never lose hope.


TURN OFF THE NEWS

A steady diet of negativity never produces anything positive. I have been saying this for 18 months, but please do not keep the news on constant replay. Turn it off. You will quickly discover that your hope will come back. Yes, it does not matter what news outlet you watch or listen to. The news has a slogan, "If it leads - it bleeds." News is designed to focus on the negative. If you have to watch the news - get your information and then move on.


GUARD YOUR CIRCLE

Be very careful who you allow to speak into your life. Not everyone is going to inspire you. Some people live to be a voice of negativity. They love keeping everyone down. Watch who you allow to gain access to you! Not every person deserves the right to get your ear! Guard your circle, because your circle determines your cycle! So, be very cautious of the people who get your ear!


STAY POSITIVE

How do you do that? You get HIGH ON HOPE. Even when things are going tragically wrong, you can remain positive because you have firmly established hope. Not based on what you go through, but based on who goes through life with you. That person we all need is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate hope dealer. He will keep you positive in the middle of the greatest negative season.


The Bible declares, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23). God is faithful. If you get high on Jesus you will always be high on hope!

"To live without Hope is to cease to live." Fyodor Dostoevsky

So, get out there. Live life. Trust God. Never lose hope. Wait, pause, check that: Get high on hope!


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