Have You Lost Your Hope?

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is April 12, 2021, and this is Episode #10 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “Have You Lost Your Hope?”

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It is no secret that we have been living in times that pose a great challenge to our hope. Hopelessness, depression, and despair are widespread, particularly among our young people.

So, what can we do not to lose hope?

As always, the Bible gives us the answer. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he writes, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (1 Timothy 1: 1). Notice that Paul calls Jesus Christ our Hope.

Jesus is our Hope. We not only put our hope in Him. He is Hope itself.

Let’s take a look at the nature of hope. What is it, and why is it so essential to life?

In his 1828 dictionary, Noah Webster defines hope as follows: “Confidence in a future event, the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope found on God’s gracious promises.” Webster continues his definition of hope by quoting the Scripture verse in Joel 3: 16: “The Lord will be the hope of His people.”

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“Jesus Christ, our Hope” (1 Timothy 1: 1)
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So, according to Webster’s definition, the Lord God is our Expectation of Goodness. When we consider the Lord, we can always expect goodness from His hand. When we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are expressing confidence in the truth that goodness from His hand always lies ahead. This is hope.

So, how does hope operate?

Now, please pay close attention to what I am about to explain, as it is very important to receiving what we need from God. This truth transformed my life. I know it will transform yours as well if you grasp it and apply it to your own life.

Just as the soul is comprised of the mind, the will, and the emotions, the spirit is comprised of the conscience, the intuition, and the imagination. Hope is a function of the imagination. Hope is the blueprint that resides in our imagination. That blueprint is the inner picture we have of ourselves and of our situation in life. So, we can say that hope is a blueprint.

This blueprint or picture of ourselves inside ourselves is what faith turns into reality. Let me give you an example:

Years ago, my husband and I built a house. Before the house was built, the architects gave us the blueprints of the house. When family and friends would come over to visit, we would show them the blueprints and say, “This is our house.”

Now, the blueprints were not the actual, physical house. They were the picture of what the house would eventually be. They were, in other words, the hope of the house. When we looked at the blueprints, we were exercising the hope that one day that house would be a physical reality. 

When the physical house was actually built, it was the substance of our fulfilled hope–the physical, material reality of what we had seen on the blueprints.

So, first we had the blueprints of the house, and later, we had the actual house.

Now, the blueprint was necessary to build the house. Without a picture of what the house should look like, the builders could not build the house. Without the blueprint, the builders could not give substance to the house.

Scripture says in Hebrews 11: 1 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

So, continuing with the metaphor of the blueprint and the house, the blueprint of the house represented our hope, and the actual house represented the faith that gave substance to that hope–in other words, the faith that made that blueprint of the house or that hope of the house a reality.

In order for us to receive from God, we must have a blueprint in our imagination of the promise of God that we wish to receive. In other words, if we are praying for healing, then we must have a blueprint–or a picture on the inside–of ourselves as healed. Our faith, then, will turn that inside picture into a physical reality. If our blueprint or picture of ourselves on the inside does not match God’s Word, then our faith will turn into a physical reality whatever picture we have on the inside of us–whatever picture we are imagining.

Our faith, then, will bring into reality whatever we picture on the inside, whatever we imagine. Make sure that what you are picturing in your imagination is only what God says about you. Nothing more, and nothing less.

In closing, I’d like to ask you, “Is Jesus Christ your Hope?” If not, you can make Him your Hope right now. Just pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I need hope. Since You are Hope, I need You. I ask You now to come into my life. I receive You as my Hope, as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sin. Thank You for restoring my hope. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you will not miss a single weekly episode:

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Now it’s your turn: Have you struggled with getting hope? Have you struggled with finding hope in the midst of despair? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

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Additional Resources: Andrew Wommack Ministries
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For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table . 

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Finally, be sure to check out my latest book, The Iron Saint. This book talks about the coming persecution of the Church in America and how you can prepare for it. The Iron Saint is available on Amazon and on my website at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. Get a copy for your pastor as well. 

Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word

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Featured Book of the Week:  THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.

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Copyright 2000-2021 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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DEALING WITH DISAPPOINTMENT

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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One doesn’t have to live too long before encountering disappointment. Even children at a very young age experience this unpleasant emotion. 

What exactly is disappointment, and how should we handle it?

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In his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster defines disappointment as “defeat or failure of expectation, hope, wish, desire or intention; miscarriage of design or plan.”

We see from this definition that disappointment involves expectations. It involves plans that have not come to fruition and hopes that have not been fulfilled.

Bottom line, disappointment is not getting what we’d hoped we would get.

So, what should we do when we experience disappointment? Here are some insights from God’s Holy Word:

1. Give your disappointments to God. Whenever we experience disappointment, our first step should be to turn to God. In Hebrews 13: 5, God says this: “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”  This means that God is with us even in the midst of our worst disappointment. He is with us when life crumbles around us, when relationships fall apart, when dreams turn to despair. He wants to comfort us in the midst of our disappointments and to help us learn from them. 

2. Realize that disappointments can build your character. It’s all up to you. In Romans 5: 3, we read this: “…We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” 

By the time I’d reached the age of twenty, I had experienced many serious disappointments in life. I remember standing in front of the mirror one morning, on the edge of despair. By God’s grace, as I stared at my reflection in the mirror, I suddenly realized that I had a choice. I could let my disappointments destroy me, or I could let them strengthen me.

Squaring my shoulders, I took a deep breath and, looking myself in the eye, I said aloud, “Girl, your past can either make you or break you. What’s it going to be?” Without hesitation, I replied, “My past is going to make me!” That decision set the course for the life I am living today. 

3. Balance your expectations with reality. Some people are afraid of disappointment and, therefore, refuse to expect anything of life. They refuse to set goals. They refuse to pursue dreams. All because they are afraid of being disappointed.

Others, on the other hand, set unrealistic goals that are outside of the realistic realm of possibility.  For example, they may set a goal to lose 20 lbs. in one week. Or they may set a goal to run a marathon without training for it. When they fail to achieve their goals, they become embittered or angry or depressed. 

Neither of the above scenarios is a healthful one. Both are unbalanced, and both lead to disappointment. 

4. Trust that disappointments are a blessing in disguise. As I look back over my own life, I realize that, in many cases, what I wanted was not what I needed. In His mercy, God gave me what I needed, and I am so very thankful.

Now, it’s your turn! How do you deal with disappointment?  Please share your insights in the box below. Thanks!

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In my latest novel, RETURN TO BELLA TERRA, heroine Maria Landro Tonetta great disappointments in the form of shattered dreams and unfulfilled expectations.  Will she find the strength to deal with them? Read this third novel in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy to find out.

A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . . 

Available now on Amazon.

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend or relative. Thank you!

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right.

Some of our most popular posts:

When All Hope Seems Gone

How to Handle Frustration

Horoscopes? Ouija Boards? Séances? Are They Really Harmless?

Are You Afraid of Confrontation?

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit


For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers


Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!


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Copyright 2001-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

 

HOW TO HANDLE FRUSTRATION

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on
Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar
to the right for subscription options. Thank you!
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FRUSTRATION!  We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Yet, how do we handle it?

Some feed it by getting angry. Others squelch it by seething inwardly. Still others deny their frustration and hope it will just go away.

But none of these methods works in the long run.

So, what is the best way to handle frustration in our lives?

Before I offer my suggestions, I’d like first to define frustration. Possibly the best definition I’ve come across is this: “Frustration is the discrepancy between what we hoped to achieve and what we actually achieved.”

From this definition we see that frustration has to do with expectations. When we have expectations that do not pan out, we become frustrated. 

So, how can we avoid frustration in our lives and live the peaceful life Jesus died to give us?

Here are three tips that help me when I am tempted to be frustrated:

1–Set realistic expectations. A realistic expectation is one consistent with the situation in which you find yourself. For example, if you need to lose 20 lbs., it would be unrealistic to expect to lose all 20 lbs. in one week. To expect to lose 20 lbs. in one week would be setting yourself up for failure–and frustration.

2–Change your focus.  All of us have good traits as well as bad. When you find that someone’s behavior frustrates you, shift your focus from the person’s flaw to the person’s strength. For example, if your teenage son forgets to pick up his clothes from his bedroom floor, close his bedroom door and focus on the fact that he is kind, helpful, and respectful. 

“Frustration is the discrepancy between what we hoped to achieve and
what we actually achieved.”
 ~ Author Unknown

3–Practice gratitude. One of the best antidotes to frustration is the practice of gratitude. Instead of grumbling about what frustrates you, be thankful about the things that bless you. Take time every day to count your blessings. If you do, not only will you find your frustration level decreasing, but you will also find your happiness level rising to new heights.

Now it’s YOUR turn! How do you handle frustration? Please comment in the box below. Thanks! 

TWEETABLE: “How to Handle Frustration” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

STAY IN THE LOOP:


In my latest novel, RETURN TO BELLA TERRA, heroine Maria Landro experiences frustration when her son does not fulfill her expectations. 


A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . . 

Available now on Amazon.

 BUY PRINT FORMAT NOW.

BUY KINDLE FORMAT NOW.

BUY iPAD FORMAT NOW.

BUY NOOK FORMAT NOW.

BUY KOBO FORMAT NOW.

 

 

 

 

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend or relative. Thank you!

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right.

Some of our most popular posts:

Horoscopes? Ouija Boards? Séances? Are They Really Harmless?

Are You Afraid of Confrontation?

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
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Copyright 2001-2017 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. All Rights Reserved. 

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

The Dangers of False Expectations

Are you disillusioned with your life? Do you feel that the grandiose plans you once had have turned sour? Perhaps you feel stuck in a relationship that’s going nowhere, but you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Well, maybe the problem in all of the above examples involves a false, or unrealistic, expectation. Let’s take the marriage relationship, for example. It has been said that disillusionment is the number one cause of divorce today. When a young man and a young woman marry, they have certain expectations about their life together. For instance, the wife may expect her husband to remember their anniversary. When he doesn’t, she’s disappointed. Her disappointment may lead to sulking or a cold shoulder.

The husband, on the other hand, may expect his wife to warn him before she writes a check for over $50.00. When she doesn’t, he becomes angry and yells at her. As a result, an argument ensues that may last several days. Each of these negative scenarios could have been avoided had the young couple discussed their expectations early on in their marriage, or better yet, before their marriage.

The same is true in any relationship or in any situation in life. All of us have unspoken expectations that color our view of life. When, however, our expectations do not correspond to the expectations of those with whom we are in relationship, conflict results. The sad thing is that such conflict could have been avoided had the people involved openly communicated their expectations. Unfortunately, however, we usually assume that others can either read our minds or read between the lines. When they don’t, we become angry or disappointed.

The Bible, God’s instruction manual for man, gives us a key to dealing with unrealistic expectations. In John 2:24-25, we read that Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. In other words, because Jesus understood human weakness, He did not put all his hope in people. He did not have unrealistic expectations of them. Not only was He not disappointed when they failed Him, but He also did not base His life or His self-worth on other people, but on God. Such an attitude enabled Him to live in perfect peace.

When you feel disappointed by an unfulfilled expectation, ask yourself if your expectation is realistic. For example, is it realistic to expect your wife to maintain a spotless home when she works a full-time job while raising three kids? Is it realistic to expect your husband to remember every detail about your first date? Does it mean he no longer loves you if he doesn’t? Is it realistic to expect your teenager to keep a perfectly neat bedroom or your toddler to be the epitome of a sharing heart?

Finally, remind yourself that you too have very likely failed to meet someone else’s expectations of you. By looking at our own weaknesses, we get our eyes off the weaknesses of others and we become more understanding of them.

So next time you’re tempted to be disappointed by someone or something, take the time to evaluate your expectations and to communicate them if necessary. You’ll find that in so doing, you’ll live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Questions:  What single false expectation has caused the most suffering in your life?  How did you develop a new paradigm regarding that expectation? You may leave a comment by clicking here.
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.