Hoping against Hope

Hanging on to Hope in Hopeless Times

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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When Jim arrived at his office, a pink slip lay squarely in the middle of his desk.

His eyes did a double-take. Impossible! Only the week before, his boss had given him a great review. What was up?

With trembling hands, Jim picked up the slip and headed to his boss’s office. Ted, his boss of five years, was seated at his desk.

“Ted…” A lump caught in Jim’s throat as he held up the pink slip. “Why?” That was the only word he could utter.

Ted motioned Jim to take a seat. “I’m sorry, Jim. This was not my doing. I got the notice from corporate that revenues have dropped drastically. Over 20 people have been laid off. Not just you.”

“But what am I going to do? I have a wife and five kids.”

Compassion crossed Ted’s face. “I wish I knew what to tell you. Just don’t give up hope.”

Hope Colorful Blocks

HOPE. Sometimes that’s all we have to hang to. Yet hope is much more powerful than we may think. Here is what the Scripture says about hope:

1-Hope undergirds faith (Hebrews 11: 1). Without hope, faith doesn’t work. Just as one needs a blueprint to build a house, so does one need hope to build faith.

2-Hope is the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6: 19). When the soul is troubled, hope keeps it anchored in Christ.

3-Hope is eternal (I Corinthians 13: 13). Like faith and love, hope will last forever. There is an endless supply of it in God’s storehouse, so fill your cup to overflowing with hope.

Hope draws its value from the person in whom one puts his hope. As believers, our hope is in Jesus Christ. He will never fail us. He will always be faithful to His promises.

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Holding on to Hope in a Hopeless World

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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To be without hope is the worst place to be.  

Hope is the key to faith. Without hope, there can be no faith for future good.

Hope Concept. Keys with Keyring on Black Wooden Table. Closeup View, Selective Focus, 3D Render. Black and White Image.

Scripture calls hope “the anchor of our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).  For faith to ignite, our souls must be anchored in hope.

But what hope?

There is only one hope that will anchor our souls. That hope is Jesus Christ.

“In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Is your hope anchored in Jesus Christ? 

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How to Anchor Your Soul on What Really Matters

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Inside every human being is a knowing that there must be more to life than we see. Otherwise, we would not strive to improve our lives.

Where does this knowing come from? It comes from a subconscious intuition that the human race was originally created perfect but then fell.  On a subconscious level, we know that we were destined for something far better than what we have experienced because of sin.

Marine boat ship metal anchor - marine boating transportation background image

The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ came to restore us to our original state of perfection. When we accept Him as Savior and Lord, we enter into the original realm of our creation. We return to the Garden of Eden–the realm of supernatural perfection.

As we follow Him and as we enforce His will and His Kingdom in the earth by the power and authority of His Blood, we move more and more into that realm of supernatural perfection. One day, after we leave this earth, we will totally enter that supernatural realm in its full perfection.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).

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Are You a Victim of the “If Onlys”?

Three Tips for Handling Regret

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you’ve lived a few years on this earth, you’ve most likely made some decisions you’ve regretted. Perhaps you made a poor financial decision that now has you in tremendous debt. Or perhaps you had an abortion and are now tormented with agonizing feelings of guilt. Whatever the case may be, how you handle your regret will determine the kind of future you will live.

Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

Some people have the ability simply to face their mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Others, however, have a very difficult time letting go of the past. Instead of accepting the fact that they’ve missed the mark, they allow the mistake to torment them. They keep thinking about it, wondering what their life would be like if they had not made the mistake. They allow themselves to become a victim of the if onlys.

The Bible, God’s manual for man, addresses every problem you will ever face, including the problem of the if onlys. Let’s take a look at what it says.

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Before giving his life to Jesus Christ, Paul had Christians killed. He would drag men, women, and children out of their homes and turn them over to the authorities to be beaten, imprisoned, and murdered.

After he had an astounding encounter Christ, Paul deeply regretted what he had done and asked God to forgive him. Paul could have allowed the memory of his past sins to stand in the way of being all that God created him to be, but Paul refused to do so.

The above verse reveals the three steps he took to overcome the regrets of his past. These same three steps will also help you to get rid of the if onlys of your past.

1) Forget those things that are behind.Great!” you say. “How do you forget the mistakes of the past?” First of all, you admit them. Secondly, you repent of them by asking God to forgive you and by determining that you will not make those mistakes again. Third, you decide, by an act of your will, to put your mistakes behind you.

God, in His great mercy, has made provision to cover all our mistakes, our poor decisions, our regrets. That provision is Jesus Christ. He’s called our Redeemer because He redeems us from the past. To redeem means to release from blame.

Jesus releases you from the blame of the sins of your past. Not only that, He gives you a bright future. He says, “My plans for you are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). All you have to do is invite Him into your life and let Him redeem you.

2) Reach forward to those things which are ahead. Living in the past is like trying to drive while continually looking in your rear-view mirror. Sooner or later, you will crash. The same is true in life. If you keep looking back, you’ll never get to your destination.

Concentrate, instead, on those things that lie ahead. What are those things? They are the dreams that God has placed in your heart. Dreams energize your life and pull you into the future. The Bible says that a person without a dream will die (Proverbs 29:18). He may not die outwardly, but he will surely die inwardly.

3) Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The greatest goal that you can pursue is Jesus Christ. As you look to Him to save you, you will find all of your if onlys slipping away. He Himself will cut the cables that have kept you emotionally bound to your past, and, like an eagle, you will soar joyfully to the great heights of freedom for which God created you.

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, regrets that she did not have more time with her dead husband. Join her as she struggles to overcome regret and move into the future God has ordained for her.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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Copyright 2015 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 maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: