by Brandy Webb
How do we keep hope within us when it seems that the world around us is falling apart? Since the Scriptures state that there is “nothing new under the sun,” then we are not experiencing anything worse than generations prior to us. So, how do we become “set apart” from the world around us?
Well, for starters, at least for me, we should meditate on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,” virtuous, and praise worthy (Phil 4:8). We have to keep our focus on these things because they bring us peace (Phil 4:9).
Just imagine how peaceful we can be if we search for these positive things ever day of our lives. We could start with the Word of God because it is true. So, open the Bible daily even if it is for five minutes, because we “shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).
We could find things that we are grateful for right now. There is always something right now that we could give thanks for, like—if you are reading this—the ability to see. My father-in-law is completely blind. I’m sure he would jump for joy if his eyesight was restored.
Smile. They say that it releases endorphins into our body when we smile, and if there are people around you, it usually brightens their mood. Try to laugh as often as you can. Plus, instead of only watching negative news stories, search for positive, edifying stories.
I know it is hard to do; trust me, I am learning this very slowly. I am glad that our Father is patient. I just feel that He does not want us to be all “doom and gloom” even if the world is filled with it. Yet, I also understand that we cannot always be positive, because that is actually unrealistic. We are told to mourn with those that are mourning (Rom 12:15b), but we cannot allow ourselves to dwell and meditate on negative things to the point that we become depressed. We cannot have hope if we are focused on hopeless things, and we are supposed to have hope that makes others ask us about our hope (1Pet 3:15).
There is always something praiseworthy around us from nature outside, to people we encounter on a daily basis, to even ourselves. Search for the positives in your life, and meditate on them, for it will rejuvenate your soul and give you strength to endure to the end.