How to Have Hope

How to Have Hope

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

By: Rusty McLen Hope is a commodity that seems to be in short supply today. The news is devoid of hope and feeds despair. If despair can be fed, so then can hope. A man said to his friend one day, I feel like a have a good dog on one shoulder and a bad dog on the other. When asked which was biggest he said the one he feeds the most. The absence of hope produces ‘{{more}}’ many of the woes in our world today. Despair leads us to unhealthy and destructive life styles. Hope leads us with enthusiasm in a positive and productive direction. The trick for me is finding the way to reach a hopeful state and maintain it. Simply saying, “be hopeful” doesn’t cut it for me. I need something more concrete. I need a map to get to that better place. So, how do we get and maintain hope? Let me suggest that our hearts and our stomachs have much in common in that neither just naturally stays full. We eat breakfast in the morning, but the activities of the morning consume the food eaten, so at noon we eat again. The growls of the stomach speak to the need to eat again. We don’t go to doctors or counselors; we just eat, knowing that in a little while we will need to eat yet again. So it is with the heart.There are many sources of encouragement that feed the hope of our hearts. For me, many are the words of my faith. There are others like pleasant memories, good music, good books and movies that inspire. I visited a friend recently who is late in years and facing health problems that may take his life. As I talked to him about his circumstance, he consistently responded with a list of how he has been blessed in life. He was using gratitude to displace despair. One theory for modern day obesity is that many of the foods we eat are devoid of nutrition. Today, we are more connected and informed than ever, yet the hunger for hope seems epidemic. We are starving spiritually. I want food for my spirit that has nutrition. I want a lot of it, I want variety, and I want it handy so that when my hungry heart growls with despair, I can feed it something that will satisfy my hunger for hope. For those who have jobs requiring a lot of physical work, they need to eat a lot of calories to sustain them. When I am in the throes of hardship, I need a lot of hopeful nutrition to bear up under the strain of trying times. Let me encourage you to create a ‘hope pantry’ and to stock it generously. Fill it up with the things that inspire you to the point that stuff falls out when you open the doors. Feed on your sources of hope and when times are difficult, eat a lot.