How To Cultivate Hope: Reigniting Hope In Difficult Times

How To Cultivate Hope: Reigniting Hope In Difficult Times July 9, 2023

A with the word to inspire you to find hope in difficult
Alex Shute/Unsplash

Finding hope in difficult times is not easy. It is the exact opposite. It’s hard. Sometimes the load we are carrying can be so heavy that we can barely see our way out of stressful situations. 

Nevertheless, hope never dies. Cultivating hope can be as simple as practicing self-care, but before we talk about reigniting hope, let’s define it. 

What Is Hope

When I think of hope, I automatically think of a brighter future. But the word hope has many definitions. For example, hope can be defined as wanting a desired result to happen. 

Hope can also mean the expectation of fulfillment. In this case, hope is the faith or anticipation the desired result will happen in the future.  

Why Is It Important To Have Hope In Difficult Times

Without hope, we have nothing. We have no way of navigating the darkness. 

Hope is a light. It illuminates the path, pointing us in the right direction and giving us a different perspective on difficult situations. 

Generally speaking, hope enhances the quality of life. However, it also induces happiness and decreases negative emotions like helplessness and stress. 

In other words, hope is invaluable. It is essential to help lift you out of difficult times. 

What Does The Bible Say About Having Hope In Difficult Times

The Bible is our source of hope. It gives us many insights about this 4 letter word. Here are 3 bible verses about hope to help you find solace in trying times. 

One of my top 5 favorite Bible verses is 1 Corinthians 13:13. It says of these 3 things remain, faith, hope, and love. Notice hope is at the center of this triad. You cannot have hope without having faith in something. Furthermore, you cannot have love without hope. 

Either way, hope is a staple part of the Christian experience. We live in the hope that God’s promises will be reflected in our lives. We live in the hope that when our physical bodies are no more, our Father will call us home to our heavenly paradise. 

Romans 12:12 says we should delight in hope, be patient in hard times, and be consistent in prayer. In this verse, Paul describes what worship looks like. It gives us simple instructions to live by as Christians. 

Finding joy in hope will help you navigate hard times. It will remind you that the rain is only temporary and the sun will come out eventually. Additionally, having hope will help you be patient enough to wait out the storm. 

Romans 8:24-25 says we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Hope is intangible. It is not something that we physically see. If it were tangible, it would not be valuable. 

Our faith is based on the spiritual. The unseen. As Christians, we diligently wait, remaining hopeful and patient, for Jesus to return and create a new earth. 

Yes, the Bible gives us an idea of what the rebirth will be, but physically we won’t know what it looks like until it happens. It is hope that sustains the belief in the great rebirth. 

Hope in difficult times: a picture with the word hope.
Dayne Topkin/Unsplash Finding hope in difficult times

Finding Hope In The Little Things 

In general, I am a hopeful person. But recently, hope has evaded me, even though it is one of my favorite times of the year. 

The Bahamas turns 50 tomorrow, July 10th. Bahamians are a proud people, so naturally, I celebrate Independence all month long on my food blog. Usually, I make traditional Bahamian treats or create new Bahamian-themed recipes for the entire month. Next to Christmas, this is my favorite time of year because I get to showcase a small piece of my culture as well as use native ingredients to create things like fever grass Goddess juice. 

However, this year was a little different. Now I will admit that the Bahamas has come a long way in the last 50 years. But there was one question that kept nagging at me, stifling my excitement. How far have we really come as a nation in the last 50 years? 

Crime is out of control, our leaders claim to be for the people, but their actions tell a different story. Our laws need to be seriously updated, and don’t even get me started on the process of obtaining land. 

Over and over, I kept asking myself, besides Independence, what strides have we made as a people since 1973? I was in so much of a funk that I was strongly considering not creating Bahamian recipes for July.

Until one day, I received a box of mangoes and the biggest watermelon I had ever seen from my family on the island. If you are a foodie like me, food just makes you happy. I immediately started picturing the different ways I would use these ingredients, which sparked excitement about Independence. Suddenly, creating Bahamian recipes became something I looked forward to instead of dreading. 

That’s when I realized it is finding joy in the small things that gives you hope to get through the hard times. Yes, The Bahamas has its issues, but that does not take away from the fact that we have come a long way or the fact that we still have a lot of work to do to become the great nation I hope we can be. 

How You Can Find Hope In Difficult Times

We are surrounded by negativity. Even if we are not going through difficult life situations like divorce, sickness, or financial issues, there is always something that steals your joy. 

For example, you could have the perfect day. However, your great day could be ruined the moment you turn on the news and see the high crime rate. 

The more we feed into negativity, the harder it is to find the light. Here are some easy ways you can find hope in difficult times. 

Look For The Good 

Good things happen every day. However, if we aren’t paying attention to them, they will fly right over our heads. 

At least 1 good thing happens to you every day. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, focus on what went right. 

For example, you may have arrived late to work because your car wouldn’t start. But you still made it to work. You may be dealing with grief. Although you will always miss your loved ones, you can choose to concentrate on the beautiful memories you created together and the invaluable life lessons they taught you. Focusing on the good helps put you in a positive mindset that is essential for maintaining hope. 

Practice Gratitude 

Gratitude is a positive state that involves being thankful and appreciative about something good that happened to you. Just like something good happens to you every day, there is at least 1 thing that you can be grateful or appreciative of that happens every day. Even if you are only grateful for life, knowing that you are alive when so many others are not is a sobering but powerful revelation that will make you feel hopeful about the future. 

Read The Bible

As Christians, the Bible is our safe place. It is our source of hope in difficult times. You can read one of the many parables or stories in the Bible whenever you are feeling down or low. These stories show us how God has always and will always come through. 

They also reignite hope. We can be comforted by our hope in God, knowing He will always take care of us no matter how hard life gets. 

Practice Self Care

Self-care is not a priority when you are going through hard times. It is so ironic how quickly we take care of others when life happens, but we neglect ourselves when we face adversity. 

Sometimes we need to take a step back from the situation and distract ourselves with something else. Self-care is the perfect way to do this. 

Whether you go for a run, meditate, go to the spa, or take yourself on a date, self-care helps you relax. It helps clear your mind, gives you hope that you will figure it out eventually, and refocuses your energy on finding a solution. 

Remember, even though you may be having a difficult time, light always illuminates the darkness. It paves the path to hope and a brighter future. 

Happy Independence to all my fellow Bahamians! Even though we have a long way to go, I am hopeful that we will get there eventually. 

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