TELL SOMEONE working extra hours that he'll receive a reward at the end, and he will be glad.
Tell a cancer patient going through chemotherapy that everything will be okay—and you'll give him hope.
To persevere in hope, you must believe that things will be better—you must believe that things will change.
Martha was greatly worried about Lazarus when Jesus arrived at Bethany.
"If you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died. But I know that God will give whatever you ask Him," she said.
And Jesus replied, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
He seemed to be saying, "Martha, there's hope."
PAUL was in prison when he wrote the Philippians.
These were some of his words:
"I've learned to be content in whatever situation I'm in. I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little." (Philippians 4:11-12)
Paul spoke like a man hopeful about the future.
But how can you be hopeful in difficult times?
WHEREVER YOU find joy, hope is nearby.
When Ezra read the scriptures to Israel, and skilled ministers explained things to them, they wept.
They realized that they had failed God. But Nehemiah was quick to remind them that they could delight in the Lord—for the joy of the Lord is their strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
Joy keeps you steadfast in your walk with God. (James 1:2)
THANKSGIVING helps you take stock of what God has given you—it also reminds you that your lines have fallen unto you in pleasant places, and you have a goodly inheritance in Christ. (Psalm 16:1)
And as you show your gratitude in prayer, the peace of God will fill your heart.
The peace of God isn't the absence of challenges but tranquillity in chaotic times—and Paul had it.
IT WOULD help if you guarded your peace by thinking the right thoughts.
When you're more concerned about your desires than the Will of God or you are constantly agitated about tomorrow, you are anxious.
But God doesn't want you to be anxious for anything; rather, he wants you to pray.
Think about the things that are true, honourable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. (Philippians 4:8)
These things will not only give you hope, they'll also give you a clear conscience before God and men.
Learn to be content
CONTENTMENT isn't something you receive—it's something you learn through life experiences.
It's not dependent on anyone. If you depend on someone to make you happy, what will happen at the person's passing?
Life and concerns are always changing—there will be discontent in wrestling moments—and the decision you make in such moments will determine if you are content or not.
It does not depend on personality but your thinking. If it's governed by something outside yourself, then you'll be discontent.
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
THE LEARNING CURVE may be steep, but it's vital.
The high cost of not doing good will cause evil to reign.
But when YOU do right, the Christian life becomes attractive to unbelievers. And YOU become the hope for the world.