by Casey Treat
Imagine for a moment with me, you have been training for months and months for a marathon that you have wanted to do all your life. It has been on your bucket list for as long as you can remember and now you are finally running the last length of the marathon—the final stretch. Your legs are tired and you can feel your strength waning. There are all the reasons in the world that you could stop running and start to walk, after all, there are a lot of walkers around you and they seem quite content.
You are faced with the decision, do I walk or do I press on and run? You are playing with the idea and right as you decide it is almost time to give up, you visualize your bucket list that says, “Run a marathon”. You didn’t train all those months to walk, you trained to run. All of a sudden—you dig deep inside and find a sense of inner strength you though had left you around mile 16. With this renewed passion you run. You run with all your might and cross the finish line. How did you even do it?
What made you keep running? Athletes would say there is a “second wind” or “energy boost”. Scientists have studied it for years and often times come up with more questions than when they started. How is it that mankind can go past their physical limits and break into a realm of inner strength? How is it that just when you thought you were going to give up on the situation, you pressed on and pressed in one more time?
There is nothing more powerful than your mind.
Imagine if you would have given up right at the last minute. Why would you have stopped? Maybe because the feeling of hopelessness was stronger than the hope you had in your physical capabilities? Maybe you would have convinced yourself that you had tried hard enough but it simply wasn’t possible. It would have started in your mind, your thoughts would plant a seed and that seed of hopelessness would sprout into ultimately giving up. Hopelessness breeds helplessness, but when we put our hope in God, anything is possible! Ephesians 1:18 says, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”
Do you know that God sees greatness in you? He doesn’t see a person who has failed repeatedly or feels insecure about tomorrow. God sees you as the “hope of the world” through His son Jesus.
If you want to change your life, you change it one thought at a time. Remember the story of Gideon in Judges 6? Gideon is hiding in a wine press terrified of the army that is coming against his family and God’s angel comes to him there. Judges 6:12 reads, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” God saw greatness in him that Gideon could not see himself.
The Lord sees greatness in you that you may be blinded to.
Gideon went on to explain all of his problems to God: he is the weakest, the least, and the lowest. His family was under attack and his problems were insurmountable. We all go through seasons where we want to explain our problems to God and tell Him why we cannot possible be mighty men and women of valor. But God never loses His hope in us! His thoughts are always good towards us. Let’s continuously remind ourselves to think like God.
Our circumstances and past failures do not change the Word of God. We are called mighty. Now is the time to lift up our eyes and choose this day to renew our minds.
Gideon goes on to obey the voice of God and put his hope in God’s strength and not his own. We know that his family was then richly blessed and he is lifted to greatness.
Just as the marathoner must dig deep in times of extreme pain to persevere, we too must remember to put our trust and hope in God above all earthly circumstances. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” When we embrace all that God is in our lives, we embrace His hope and our lives begin to increase.
Hope is not a feeling or even an emotion. Hope is choice and a pursuit to embrace God in our lives.
The Bible is full of stories where God teaches us to put our hope in Him, trust Him, and be renewed unto His ways. We may know that we need to hope but fail to see the steps we need to take to renew our hope. Today, I encourage you to do tree simple things:
Target a thought in your life that has continuously brought destruction to you. Whether it is thoughts of past failures, regrets, setbacks, and discouragements.
Replace the negative thought with a God thought.
Repeat the scripture of what God thinks regarding that situation over and over again until it becomes your thought.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” I believe that many times we want to grow but feel we have tried and failed one to many times. You are not alone, let’s today join together in changing our lives by building our hope and renewing our minds to new things in Christ.
It takes great courage and bravery to put your hope in God and I believe it will start with you now. Your hope will be renewed and therefore your entire life will be lifted to a new level with God.
Put your hope in God and see all He has for you!