Advent Hope

Advent Week One: HOPE

So many of us have experienced the darkest of days in the year 2020. When we see evil rising all around us, it is difficult to cope. Hope is a powerful tool in times of hurt, sadness, loss, or anger. Hope in Christ doesn’t mean you aren’t experiencing those emotions; instead, it means you embrace the antidote for those feelings … Hope!  

What exactly is hope? Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes and desire for a certain thing to happen.  Hope structures your life in anticipation of the future and influences how you feel in the present. What are you hoping for this Christmas season? What are you hoping for in the year 2021?  

Hope also changes situations that seem stuck. Are you in a season of feeling stuck? Has 2020 left you feeling hopeless in an area of your life? The good news is that we can hope for tomorrow in Jesus Christ! When the world is saying, “You have no hope!” Jesus is saying, “I am your hope!”  

4 Keys for a Life Filled with HOPE

Inspiration. Worship changes one’s entire focus. It is amazing how my perspective can change from hopeless to hopeful through worshiping our King!

Positivity. It is so easy to fall into a negative mindset. It will take you down faster than the flu! Sadly, life will not always be sunshine and lollipops. There will be hardships. Try surrounding yourself with people who make a point of living their lives with purpose and a positive mindset. Positivity brings hope to almost every situation.

Serve. One of the most effective ways to get out of your own cycle of self-reliance and tap into hope is to serve others. Sharing Life has opportunities to volunteer and give back in a myriad of program areas.  

Celebrate. Celebrate the small victories in life. We will look back one day and realize the small things were actually some of the most significant in our lives.  The best memories typically have the smallest price tag.  Choose celebration over comparison. God never leaves us, never abandons us and never gives up on us. Do you need God to restore your hope this Christmas season? Will you pray this prayer with me?  

Heavenly Father, we come before You today seeking hope that only You can give. Hope for today and tomorrow. Only in You do we find hope and peace.  There are times when we feel helpless, times when we feel weak. We are asking for hope for a brighter future. That we may shine brightly and bask in Your glory.  Lord, fill us to overflowing in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

The days are long and the years are short. I pray that you live a life filled with hope! Allow Jesus to be your hope. Let His hope minister to you!

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” –Psalm 16:9

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.” –Psalm 119:114

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” –Jeremiah 17:7

"The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!” –Lamentations 3:24

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us.” –Romans 5:5

“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” –Romans 12:12

Shanna O’Shields

Shanna O’Shields is the Community Engagement/Marketing Associate at Sharing Life. Prior to joining the staff at Sharing Life, she spent 12 years in education. Shanna resides in Heath, TX with her husband of almost 20 years Jeff, 14-year-old daughter Haven Emerald, and baby boy Lincoln Hill.