When I was studying counselling, I wasn't surprised to find in the research that hope is a protective against depression. It acts like a bit of a buffer against stress and adversity. Hope provides a sense of purpose and motivates action. When people have hope, they are more likely to set and pursue goals. It can literally help us get out of bed in the morning. Hope gives us something to look forward to, a belief that life will get better! People with hope tend to be better connected, have richer relationships and live longer. Christians find their hope in Jesus-a relationship with him is a source of strength, joy and comfort. During times of difficulty and uncertainty Christians find it helpful to meditate on God's Word and his promises. Here are a few of our favourite verses that we've collected here at Hope Christian Counselling.
Romans 15:13 (NIV): "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Psalm 39:7 (NIV): "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV): "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV): "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Psalm 71:14 (NIV): "But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
Lamentations 3:24 (NIV): "I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.'"
Psalm 42:11 (NIV): "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
Proverbs 23:18 (NIV): "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV): "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
The Bible is full of hope, but it can be tricky to see a way forward when life is difficult and complex, it can be hard to trust in God's promises. Counselling is a wonderful way to find a way forward again, to feel supported and encouraged to believe that life will get better.
There are many ways a life of hope can be cultivated to help you overcome challenges, some ideas include setting some realistic goals then breaking them down into smaller steps, challenging negative thought patterns and replacing them with truer, hopeful thoughts. Connecting with friends, family, or support groups. Building a strong social support network who can provide encouragement and reassurance during difficult times. Mindfulness practices can help you stay grounded in the present moment and reduce anxiety about the future. There are lots of beautiful Christian meditations that can help build hope, here is a wonderful one to try.
Being kind and compassionate towards yourself like Jesus is and identifying the gifts and strengths God has given you can improve how you feel about yourself and build hope!
If you're feeling like hope is a challenge to find right now, we would love to support you please get in touch by heading to our contact page