I have a friend who will sometimes think that I am crazy for not just giving up.  He has this unspoken idea that the grass is greener on the other side.  He looks at me, like I am crazy when I tell Him that I am where God wants me to be and I am doing what God wants me to do.  This week, for some reason, I have been thinking a lot about this!  I have come to this conclusion:  God in His GRACE has placed HOPE in my heart and this keeps me going, even when the going gets tough.  Below I have listed seven activities of hope that I have found challenge me to do and be better!  I hope they will challenge you!

1.) Hope looks for the good in others instead of critiquing the bad! I don’t want to critique the bad, but I sometimes get caught up in this game that most of the world plays.  We have all been created by God and that means that there is good in every human being.  I want to find that good and grow it for God’s glory!

2.) Hope opens doors that others close! A closed-door is not always God saying no.  Sometimes a closed-door is God’s way of saying” “You’ve got work to do!”  May I always be willing to do whatever needs to be done so that the doors that God has put in front of me might be opened for His glory and all of our blessing!

3.) Hope see problems as opportunities! Many times when a problem comes our way, we get frustrated and want to give up.  Live on this earth long enough and you will have problems, I want to use my problems as learning opportunities that will help me to not keep making the same mistakes over and over again!

4.) Hope uses the light to illuminate the darkness! Knowing that God has a future for me lights the way, so that I can follow the path into His perfect will.  Hope allows me to chase away the darkness with what God says can be!

5.) Hope focuses the possibilities instead of dwelling on the impossibilities! I make the choice to focus my energy and efforts in the direction of what can be done, rather than what can’t be done!  This is a daily battle, but one that is well worth the fight!

6.) Hope lives in reality and refuses to die even when attacked by cynicism! I do not live in some fantasy world.  I live in the world created for me by my Creator!  I know that my hope of something better will be continually attacked, but I refuse to give up or give in, because I know who I am and Whose I am!

7.) Hope draws its power from trust in God and the goodness that He has put into man! I grow my hope when I spend time getting to know and grow my trust in God by spending time with Him.  I grow my hope when I risk experiencing bad by investing time with others that are just like me.  We can grow one another as we acknowledge our bad, believe that we were created for better and commit our lives to being helped while helping!

I hope these seven give you a greater hope today.  God has you where you are, it is no accident and God will use where you are in an incredible way to grow you for His glory, if you will allow Him!  Enjoy the journey, appreciate the grace and thrive in the hope!