I recently had someone ask me where i go to for Hope on those hard days.
The sources I use to redirect me back to Him, so I can keep my eyes focused on my Hope and not the circumstances surrounding me.
First, I turn to God, which is three part for me:
- The Word: i read the Bible every day. You may have a favorite translation as do most of us. For reading in chunks, I like the Message. For in depth verse studying, i use the ESV, NIV & NASB. I read the Bible in book, tablet & online formats on a daily basis. I love the free resource of Bible Gateway, and prefer my Olive Tree paid app for my tablet/phone (both iphone & android).
- Worship: I worship daily. Even if its singing along in the shower or making breakfast, or with my headphones on walking to work or riding the bus. Depending on your favorites, we could all have a very different worship mix on our phones or ipods. That doesn’t matter. Offering Him praise & worshipping Him for who He is is what counts.
- Write: I write my prayers & what I glean from the time spent in the Word & in His Presence. I tweet, journal & blog most days, to in part hold me accountable to do so, but also records what insights He speaks to me.
I read a few devotionals:
Christine Caine’s First Things First reminds me to keep God in first place in & over all things.
Max Lucado’s Daily Devotionals are both audio and written, s depending on the day I can either read or hear today’s reminder for my soul.
On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, I receive Drops of Encouragement emails from Remade Ministries for an extra jolt of encouragement for my soul.
Bonnie Gray, of Faith Barista is one author I follow, so I receive an email whenever she has a new post. I resonate with both her writing, and that of fellow Canadian Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience. God has used these two women’s writing in particular to help reshape, encourage & heal me.
I also study the Word.
Currently I am working through Stronghold by Remade Ministries founder Beth Kinder with an online support group that meets weekly via Facebook.
She Reads Truth is both a great site & app for bible studies, and one example of online based ones I love to use.
I also follow encouraging & uplifting sites, writers, worship leaders, etc on social media. Sometimes God only needs to catch my eye with one image or quote to redirect me, raise my hopes or encourage me.
I meet with my friends & support network at least once weekly.
Without knowing i am arm in arm with my sisters & fellow believers, I can wallow in loneliness and allow despair to try & suck me under the waves. My sisters help keep my head above the surface, prayerfully lifting me up & reminding me I am not alone, neither here or forever.
I share the good times, hard times, frustrating times & wait times with those God has blessed me with. I offer the same to them in return.
Iron indeed sharpens iron, and a chord of many strands will not easily be broken.
Daily time with God is my source of Hope.
It has taken me many years to structure my life to put Him in first place, and as I am not perfect this is always being tweaked & modified as I go through different seasons and life.
By purposing to seek Him first, He becomes my source of Hope.
May you rely on Him for the same.