Have you longed to be more hopeful? Have you looked at a person who always expects the best in any situation and wished you were more like them?
A successful and fulfilled life is built on a number of key ingredients. One of greatest of these is hope. Hope is a confident expectation of good, a firm assurance even when the circumstances may not warrant it. Hope is not just wishful thinking. Hope’s foundation is rooted in the very goodness of God.
When it comes to human psychology, we all live on a plain stretching from the very optimistic at on one end to the very pessimistic at the other. Some people are considered to be optimistic in their outlook on life, while others are staunchly pessimistic.
I was definitely more towards the pessimistic side of the spectrum. I could find the negative in a situation long before I found a positive. I saw the flaw in a plan before ever I saw the opportunity. I often saw the worst in a person before I saw their best.
I didn’t even realise that I had a problem in my thinking until I got saved. The first time I experienced the presence of God, hope rose up in me and it became addictive. Hope felt so light and free; utterly different to the heavy pessimism that so often smothered me.
That life-changing experience started me on a journey to pursue God in order to get a fix of hope in my otherwise negative world. The highs were amazing, but every bit in between was still gloomy.
The problem I had was that I believed I was stuck with my deeply ingrained outlook on life with the exception of a few fleeting moments of encounter with God.
I know differently now! The truth is you and I can live in increasing levels of hope every day.
How do we increase our hope levels until we are ‘hope-full’?
The key is in what you think and what you speak. Romans 12:2:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
How do we renew our mind? Well, we begin to think and speak differently. I began by trying to change the way I thought. Sometimes it worked for me sometimes it didn’t. The big change began for me when I became intentional in what I spoke. Proverbs 18:21 says:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
I found it was much easier to be intentional with what I spoke than what I thought. But when I was intentional in what I spoke my thinking also began to change. I found myself identifying and capturing thoughts that contradicted the hope I had declared.
The most obvious change came when I committed to a 30 day declaration challenge inspired by Steve and Wendy Backland of Igniting Hope Ministries.
Within the first week my outlook on every part of my life changed. I began to declare over different areas how they would look like when God showed up – and He did!
How do we begin to make declarations?
Firstly, we should declare the promises of God over our situations. (Download Fifteen Declarations from the Promises of God for free)
Secondly, we are called to pray according to the will of God and for His Kingdom to be established in every place. This legally gives us the right to declare over situations what they would look like if Heaven invaded the atmosphere. (Download Fifteen Example Declarations for free)
Remember according to our faith it will be done for us and faith is, ‘the substance of things hoped for‘ (Hebrews 11:1).
Start making some promise filled declarations over your life today, and watch your hope levels rise. A ‘hope-full’ life is a rich life.
I would love to hear about your experiences of using declarations to grow in hope. Share your story by leaving a comment below.
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