Maintaining Hope by Sarah Kline

Confession – I sing in the shower. I’ll get back to this one in a minute. It was a morning a few weeks ago that I began my day the usual way, opening my Bible app. The verse of the day was Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” I let the words really sink in this time. I love this verse. How many things are there that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy? It just reminds me to count my blessings and look for the beauty in every situation because I know our God is big and at work in this broken world.

I don’t know what to think these days about the current state of things honestly. Society is consumed with arguments about the importance of wearing masks in public, riots that seem so incredibly senseless are breaking out, acts of racial injustice – what is happening?! It becomes hard to think of things that fit Paul’s list. I remember Pastor Carl saying one time that as Christians we have a duty to maintain hope in this world – even though it is dark, even though we don’t always understand what God is doing, even though our circumstances aren’t always good. Two of my go-to verses are John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” AND Matthew 28:20, which ends with what I call God’s biggest promise: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” When I find it hard to maintain hope and positivity, I remember these verses and find restoration. 

But how do I train my thoughts to think of the things Paul is talking about? It’s simple really. Newton’s law says every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If applied to situations, you can interpret this principle as every positive having a negative and the reverse. So, our circumstances – no matter what they are – will also yield an opposite. Take this idea and apply to today’s world. We’re living in COVID times – the strangest times I can imagine. People are more afraid of germs than ever before, and we all went into a period of quarantine that truly complicated daily life. One can certainly interpret this as a straight negative. But, did you know that shortly after the beginning of this stage, YouVersion Bible app released a statement saying they’ve seen more downloads and engagement than ever before? So, the positive to the negative would be more people started seeking comfort and understanding through God’s Word. 

I realize it’s sometimes a stretch. It’s hard to be an eternal optimist. It’s hard to find the good side of a bad situation. But, when we prioritize the training of our thoughts to focus on ones bearing the attributes Paul talks about, it becomes easier to see the good in things. So about my singing in the shower story. I finished reading the verse and hopped into the shower. The verse was stuck in my head, and I kept going over it in my mind. I remembered the Verse of the Day from a few days prior, Hebrews 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Such a lovely verse. As I was going over these two verses in my mind, a melody and words were revealed. I am not a musician, but I love to sing – when no one can hear me, I might add. I can’t share the melody with you, but I will share the lyrics. It is my prayer that they will bless you as they’ve blessed me.

Fix my eyes on you, Jesus.

Help me fix my eyes on you.

Fill my mind with thoughts that honor you.

Whatever is true, noble, right,

Pure, lovely, admirable,

Excellent, praiseworthy – 

Fill my mind with thoughts that honor you.

Sarah Kline

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Margie negri

    Such a wonderful word and love your illustration – for every action there is a reaction. Thank you so very much. We were m

  2. Sylvia Farrington

    Amen!!! And Amen I needed to hear this! Praise you Jesus.

  3. Laura Lewis

    Love those verses!💕

  4. Gloria Toti

    I love this blog post. Hope is a tool we can use. These uncomfortable days of being stretched are here! Jesus is trustworthy, and He has proven to us that He has what it takes to be the best God ever!!

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