Recently, I was reflecting about a writing topic for a TED Talk, when I was struck by the words of Akash Karia (2012) when he said, “…ask yourself: “What transformative experience have I gone through that can help others? What knowledge do I have that can make life easier for others? If I were to die today and had to leave my son/daughter/niece/nephew with only one message about living life, what message would I leave with them” (p. 12)?

Hope. That’s what I’d say. Hope. Hope motivates. Hope gives back a sense of control. It moves one from despair. It prompts action. Hope fosters creativity, provides purpose, and gives direction. Hope challenges pessimism and nurtures optimism.

God taught us about hope. In Psalms 147 11: The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Proverbs 13: 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Job 11: 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. And, my personal favorite, Job 5: 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.

How do you foster hope in your daily life? Do you speak words of hope? How about your actions? How do you respond to trying situations and disappointments? Do you blame, shame, or make excuses? Or, do you consciously choose hope? One strategy is to take words you write in social media and copy the last 10-12 of the posts and/or tweets, and put it into a wordle (www.wordle.net). I did this, just to see if what I write, reflects what I believe about fostering hope. I was pleased to see that hope was well represented in my social messages (yet, my fingers were crossed!)

A few gambits may remind you of ways to live with hope.

  • Text those you love with words of hope.
  • Wait 24 hours to respond to a negative situation or email, in order to respond later with less emotion and more hope.
  • Extend hope through a smile to a stranger.
  • Pray for those who are in despair. Pray for hope.
  • Respond with, “You’ve got this!” “I know you will be great.” “The lesson is on the other side of your struggle.” “They will be grateful to know you.”

As you think about your day, consider this chiasmus (a literary device that uses words in reverse order for impact): Don’t hope others give back; give others back hope! 

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me be a deliverer of hope. Amen.

With much hope, 

Tammy Heflebower

Reference: Karia, A., (2012). How to deliver a great ted talk, Akash Karia.

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