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As I started to think about how we bring hope I wondered if it had something to do with our self-talk. Is our self-talk negative and critical or positive and loving? Perhaps it is positive self-talk that makes us a hope-filled people?
I do think self-talk is something we need to take notice of. It reveals a lot about what we think of ourselves and probably a lot about what we think about God.
But the problem with self-talk is that it is about ‘self’. And actually what we need to hear is God-talk.
I can be a worrier. I have found myself worried about money a few times this year. With the increase in heating bills and food costs, the family budget just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. There are times when our bank balance doesn’t look so healthy and I have begun to worry. Yet I can testify to God’s provision throughout my life. But I think to myself … maybe this time God won’t provide, maybe this time God will say ‘it’s about time you sorted it out’.
I’ve found myself sharing these worries a few times with a small group of women I meet with regularly. I’ve shared the contradiction in myself – I have SO many testimonies of God’s provision, yet I still find myself worrying.
I have felt challenged and encouraged to turn my focus away from worry and towards the goodness of God. To recall his faithfulness in the past. But more than this, to dwell on God’s goodness and his love for me.
This has led me to realise that our hope is based on God’s character.
A practice that has helped me is meditating on scripture. By meditating I mean turning God’s word over in my mind: slowly reading a short passage, re-reading it, returning to phrases that speak to my heart, staying with phrases or images and asking God to renew my mind and transform my heart.
One way we can be a people who bring hope is by deepening our heart knowledge of who God is.
We are not a people of hope because everything in our life is sorted. We are a people of hope because we know a God of hope; the God who flung the stars into space says that we have a hope and a future in him.
Here are some passages you could dwell on that speak of God’s love and care. They may be well known to you, return to them again, dwell on them and in them and allow God to speak to your heart.
1 John 4:7-10
Written by Sarah Ducker