This is a study I shared with those who receive my monthly email. One of the ladies requested I post it on this blog for others to access. Be patient…it is cut and pasted from Word, so it will come thru kind of glitchy here:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Below is a study that I put in my “pocket” (ie Drafts folder) and saved just for you! These are lessons on hope by missionary wife Polly Whitmore from Yap (yes, it is a place…a part of Micronesia–Google it!). She and her husband are one of the missionaries supported by Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, pastored by Dr. John Vaughn. It might be best digested if you can print it out and sit down with it.
I “hope” you’ll find some “hope” in these ideas.
1. A hopeless woman lashes out at God.
A hopeful woman is able to be quiet and still in trial.
Pro 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell secure (a place of refuge;
a feeling of trust, security, assurance) and will be at ease (at rest,
peaceful), without dread of disaster.
2. A hopeless woman develops a bitter and unforgiving spirit.
A hopeful woman guards against bitterness and has a thankful spirit.
1Th 5:16 Rejoice always.
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you.
3. A hopeless woman can’t relax enough physically to rest because her
mind races to solve and “fix” problems.
A hopeful woman is able to enjoy physical rest, turning problems and
concerns to God.
Psa 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
4. A hopeless woman is only cheerful when circumstances fit her
definition of good.
A hopeful woman has inner joy and peace that can shine through no
matter what the circumstances.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded (vigilant); be watchful. Your adversary the
devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
5. A hopeless woman only focuses on what is true about her present circumstances. “This is uncomfortable, inconvenient, unfulfilling, unfair. I deserve better than this after all I’ve done. God doesn’t see me or care…”
A hopeful woman studies what is true about God and ALWAYS reminds herself about that Truth. “God loves me, God knows my need, God is always enough for me.”
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
6. A hopeless woman gives up easily in defeat and despair. “Why try? I’ll only fail again. My efforts never work out. I’m just a loser.”
A hopeful woman realizes that each failure can show her more about God and her own need. Prays for direction and creativity to move forward.
Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
Psa 119:72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
7. A hopeless woman says “This is too hard. I can’t and I won’t do that.”
A hopeful woman has endurance (long obedience in the same direction) and says, “I can and I WILL do this but only in God’s strength. I WILL do this because God said to and He is Right.”
2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
8. A hopeless woman has a well-defined comfort zone and fiercely defends the boundaries, is inflexible (limiting God). “I always do it this way. I’m not the type for that, I don’t want to try anything new.”
A hopeful woman realizes that flexibility is a skill that can be learned. Able to think “outside the box,” relies on God’s limitless ability to overcome human weakness.
Pro 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
9. A hopeless woman hates change. Clings to the past and how current needs are not being met, is not thankful.
A hopeful woman learns to embrace change–or at least to look for the benefits of change. Looks for new opportunities in the future with a thankful heart.
Psa 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psa 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
10. A hopeless woman doesn’t want to hear the truth about God during a trial–only “smooth things” that soothe her conscience. Spends more time explaining her feelings than praying or reading her Bible.
Isa 30:8 And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.
Isa 30:9 For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD;
Isa 30:10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions,
Isa 30:11 leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
A hopeful woman consistently reads her Bible , prays, seeks and follows godly counsel, wants to know the truth about God in order to grow through the trial.
Psa 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
11.The hopeless woman prefers to avoid sharing godly counsel and provides only sympathy, enabling the other person to remain locked in self-pity or anger.
The hopeful woman is willing to present godly counsel to others (wrapped in kindness!)
Isa 50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
Isa 50:5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.
12.The hopeless woman takes matters into her own hands in a trial. “God isn’t doing anything, so I better help out!”
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
Jer 18:12 But they say, That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.
The hopeful woman is willing to wait and pray, realizing that what may make perfect sense to us, may not be God’s way.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth , so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
13.The hopeless woman feels empty and alone. She can’t see God’s hand in her day.
The hopeful woman watches for and counts blessings.
Col 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
14.The hopeless woman compares her circumstances unfavorably to others.
The hopeful woman realizes that God has a special plan and purpose for each of us. She focuses on Him.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
15.The hopeless woman worries about the future, imagines the worst case scenarios, wants answers far in advance and is threatened by the unknown.
The hopeful woman trusts the God who holds the future, willing to take one step at a time.
Psa 112:7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
16.The hopeless woman has a sighing and complaining spirit, sure that any blessing is fleeting and just a “glitch” that will quickly fade away.
Psa 106:24 Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise.
Psa 106:25 They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.
The hopeful woman has a singing spirit knowing that God is good.
Psa 105:2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
Psa 34:1 Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psa 34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
Psa 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
17.A hopeless woman pulls away from godly friends in trial and seeks isolation.
A hopeful woman realizes that godly friends provide spiritual encouragement and accountability. She asks for prayer and counsel.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Rom 15:6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
18. A hopeless woman focuses on “doing” which leads to overload and frustration. “I can’t do this…I don’t have time for one more thing.”
A hopeful woman focuses on “being.”Gives God her schedule and is sensitive to His leading and willing to let go of some things in order to focus on what is best.
Luke 10:41,42 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
19. A hopeless woman thinks that everything depends on her effort or wisdom (produces fear and pride).
A hopeful woman realizes that God is all-powerful. He doesn’t need my help or insight to accomplish His will, (produces great humility)
Jeremiah 9:23,24 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
II Cor. 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
II Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
20. A hopeless woman is selfish with time and energy.
A hopeful woman shares time and energy with others. Realizes that all things come from God’s hand and we are stewards.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Ephe. 5:15-18 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
21. A hopeless woman focuses on and rehearses any negative event over and over in her mind and is unable to move past it.
A hopeful woman releases the negative event from her mind and lays it at God’s feet. Reminds herself of God’s truth instead and uses any recurring negative memory as a prayer reminder for an unrelated event, breaking the negative thought cycle.
2Co 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, 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; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
22.The hopeless woman can’t see or appreciate funny things that happen.
The hopeful woman practices watching for humor in her day and LAUGHS (at the right time!)
Pro 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
Pro 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.