Hope: The Antidote to the Quitter Instinct - Encouragement for Today - July 25, 2018

Carey Scott

July 25, 2018
Hope: The Antidote to the Quitter Instinct

“I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (VOICE)

We recently learned that I’m not the best driving instructor in the family. That award goes to my husband, who doesn’t scream when our 15-year-old takes the corner too fast. I may or may not have said a choice word or two while holding on to the dashboard for dear life. Sweet mother, I think I need therapy.

Truth is, my son isn’t a bad driver. He’s actually quite good. And while he may take a corner a little faster than feels comfortable, we’re not in jeopardy. He might be in learning mode, but the kid is doing a bang-up job (in a good way) of learning to navigate the road and a vehicle. Of course, all credit goes to my husband, who never seems to get his feathers ruffled while in the passenger seat.

For me, these drives are full of all kinds of hopes. 
… I hope Sam will stay on the road. 
… I hope he’ll remember his turn signal. 
… I hope I don’t die.

And I’m sure Sam has one prevailing hope: I hope my mom will keep her mouth shut.

Hope is a powerful motivator. It’s what drives us to try again. It’s what keeps us from sinking under the weight of adversity. Hope keeps us positive, fuels our joy and helps us reach for our dreams with gusto. Hope matters. And while many think hope is nothing more than wishful thinking, Christian hope means confident expectation. It’s believing in the possibility.

It takes hard-won grit and grace to hold on to hope in this world. Grit, because sometimes we’d rather give up than white-knuckle it. Aren’t there moments it would just be easier to throw in the towel? And we need grace for ourselves, because sometimes we don’t walk it out as well as we’d like. Holding on to hope is just plain hard — no matter how you slice it.

But listen in ... if we’re going to live authentic lives — lives true to who we were made to be — then we need to remember hope is already part of our DNA. Because we’re created in God’s image, hope is already part of our blueprint. So while it can be challenging to grab onto hope and hold on, especially when life feels overwhelming, we can absolutely do it. We must do it. Friend, holding on to hope is part of what makes you, well, you. And it’s a beautiful benefit of being a Jesus-girl.

When I’m sitting in the passenger seat, hope comes alive in me. It’s why I’ll hand the keys over to my son. It helps me believe we’ll survive the drive and return home uninjured, so I’ll be able to have my coffee. Hope helps me have faith in his abilities.

Romans 15:13 shows us hope is a powerful force: “I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

God created hope to intertwine with every part of life, which is why holding on to it makes all the difference. Letting go of hope is why we walk out of a hard marriage. It’s why we give up on a wayward child. Hopelessness is what makes us reject challenging friendships and step out of frustrating community groups. Losing hope is why we turn our backs on difficult family members, quit frustrating positions of leadership and let go of a dream that feels too far off. But God didn’t create us to be quitters.

We may feel the weight of the battle as we face discouragements in life. Breakdown moments will come because we are humans with emotions. But God created you to be a carrier of hope. And that means you can find the grit and grace to hold onto hope when the diagnosis comes, the relationship struggles, the finances dry up or you slide into the passenger seat with your teenager.

Let’s be warriors of hope to the world. Don’t worry. It’s already in you.

Dear God, sometimes holding on to hope feels too hard. While I know You gave me the ability to hope, it’s a difficult choice to make when I’m staring at overwhelming situations. Please ignite hope within me, and strengthen my bones with faith. I know that with Your help, I can hold on to hope in the darkest of times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 39:7, “And so, Lord, my only hope is in you.” (TLB)

Carey Scott’s new book, Unafraid: Be you. Be authentic. Find the grit and grace to shine, is a call to find the grit and grace to live with fearless authenticity, mustering the confidence to be who God created you to be … stumbles, fumbles and all. You can purchase your copy HERE.

Want encouragement to be real and not perfect? Sign up for Carey’s blog. Or join Carey on Facebook to talk about real life.

If you could use some more hope in your life, enter to WIN a copy of Unafraid by Carey Scott. In celebration of this book, Carey’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify them in the comments section by Monday, July 30, 2018.}

What keeps you from choosing hope? What’s one change you can make today to help you be more hopeful?

© 2018 by Carey Scott. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Barbour Publishing for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Originally published Wednesday, 25 July 2018.