God specifically gave me the word Hope last year. What I learned about hope last year was really completely unexpected because I wasn’t terribly excited about the word in the first place. But God spoke it to me and didn’t give me anything else so I decided that was the word I was stuck with. Great attitude, isn’t it?
Psalm 31:24 (NLT) “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”
As I shared this word with a mentor/friend, she immediately said that she saw a picture of a wheel with the center being Hope and every other part of my life flowing out of a hope. This was the confirmation that I really needed to believe that this word was from God.
What I Learned about Hope Last Year
As I mentioned at the beginning of 2017, I find that my picture of the word I’m given for the year completely changes by the end of the year. When I had the word Trust as my word for the year in 2016, my perspective on Trust completely changed by the end of the year and I actually feel like that word is still central in my mind even now.
1) Hoping in the Lord doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy.
I’m still me and it takes a daily decision to continue to Hope in the Lord. I failed to Hope in the Lord many times last year. It can be easy to spend more time looking at the circumstances than looking at the Lord. However, when I spend more time in his Word and learning what it says, it becomes easier to Hope in him, too.
2) Nothing earth-shattering happened in my life because I had this word.
For some reason, I’ve always had notion that I’ll have this particular area all figured out by the end of the year and that I’ll never lack (Trust, Hope, or Delight) again. Well, that’s simply not true. I find the words that God gives me are a catalyst for growth, but not perfection.
3) Hoping in the Lord ultimately means I have to trust him.
Basically, it all comes down to Trust. If I hope in the Lord, I also have to trust him. I have to trust that he’s going to come through for me. I have to trust that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I have to trust him to let go of fear. I actually find it kind of ironic how similar these words are to each other. Kind of like, God knew this was an area I needed to tremendous practice in!
4) For me, Hope meant that in 2017 I learned to let go of the need to succeed in blogging by my own methods or ideas.
This year, I let go of striving to get the numbers and instead, I’ve been learning to focus on writing what God would have me write. It’s not easy writing as onto the Lord, but I figure that’s who I say I’m writing for in the first place, so why would I not actually do that?
5) Hope has allowed me to “let go” of being whom people say I need to be and be who God has called me to be.
I’ve walked through my life with many ideas of what I thought people wanted me to be and do. Hope has taught me that I must (ultimately) place my Hope in the Lord, knowing that he is the one I need to follow. He is the one who created you and me with talents, skills, and abilities so now it’s time to Hope in him.
What about you? Did you have a word for the year in 2017? What was it and what did you learn from it?
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*All Photos are my own*