Encouragement & Hope

A Road Map to Hope

Many years ago I was a personal trainer, and I had a friend who decided she wanted to lose some weight.  So we started walking and jogging together, and I would challenge her to go beyond her comfort zone.  One day as we were jogging up a huge hill in our Nashville neighborhood she yells, “This hurts!” I gently reminded her that this is the process to getting results.  She responded honestly, “I want to lose the weight without it hurting!”

Have you ever been there?  Wishing there was an easier way to gain the results you desire?

Unfortunately, most major tasks that we will attempt to accomplish in life, whether it is losing weight, raising children, changing careers, getting married, learning a new skill or hobby…will all have growing pains!

In the beginning it can be extremely difficult to adjust to a new way of life or a new way of thinking. But in order to be a great spouse or parent, or learn that new skill, you have to push yourself even when it is difficult.

triathlon pic edited

Nine years ago I competed in my first triathlon.  I was so intimidated by the training, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  I ran regularly, and enjoyed spin classes, but I was not a swimmer.

So I had one of my swimmer friends meet me at the pool one night and give me some tips.  When I began, I couldn’t make it the full 50 yards across the pool without stopping.  My breathing was labored and my body just did not want to cooperate.

But even though it was extremely difficult for me, I kept pushing.  I remember telling myself, “I can do ten strokes and then I can take a break.”

So I literally would count every time my right arm hit the water…one…two…three…

And I would push myself to make it to ten.

I never became an expert swimmer, but as I pushed through the difficult times, I found that my endurance increased.  Eventually, I could make it across the pool.  Then I could swim an entire lap.  And I’ll never forget the day, I swam an entire mile.

As my endurance increased, I looked forward to showing up for my workouts rather than trying to find excuses to skip them.  Even though I was the only who would be affected by skipping my workout, I wanted to prove to myself that I was faithful to my commitment.  I wanted to have character.

And after a summer of training, I competed in my first triathlon.  I swam first.  It was a nasty mud pond in Kansas, but it felt great to hop out of the water knowing I accomplished something that would have been impossible without my consistent training.

Next I jumped on my bike and began pedaling.  And finally, after 12 miles on my bike, I threw on my tennis shoes and began running…ok…began jogging.  At this point, I was experiencing competing metal voices…I was in pain, I was tired, and I wanted to quit.  However because of my training, I had the endurance to push through.  My body could do it, I just had to dig deep and convince my mind to take one more step.  And because day in and day out, I had trained for this moment, I completed my first triathlon!

I didn’t win a medal.  No one thought I was spectacular, but my heart was beaming with pride.  I had put my body through some intense workouts, developed endurance, pushed through the pain which developed character, and in the end I was confident that I could do what I set out to do. And it felt amazing!

Even though I chose my trial {my triathlon}, life doesn’t always work that way.  More times than not, the trials we face are not ones that have deliberately chosen.

So how do deal with the unwanted trials in our lives?

Romans 5:3-4 offers a great insight.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.”

In these precious two verses, Paul is giving a road map for hope.

You’ve probably heard it said, “Start with the end in mind.”

This refers to a shift in your mind.  If you want to accomplish something, you need to start with the end in mind, and work backward to make a plan to achieve your goal.

The same is true here.

If we want to have a hope that is secure in Christ alone {the end goal} we must first walk through three steps.

First, we will endure suffering {personally, not my favorite step}

Secondly, as we walk through the trial, we will develop endurance.

And through our endurance, we will build character.

And in the end, we are confident of who God is and what He can do through our trials.  When we get to this place, we can experience a hope that is secure in Christ alone.

As an adult, God has provided many opportunities for Him to prove these steps true. {a few more than I would have like, to be honest}

Each time a new trial comes my way, I have two choices…to whine and complain and pout {which I have done}…or to allow the trial to shave off the parts of me that don’t look like Jesus.  Just as physically pushing yourself changes the shape of your body, pushing yourself spiritually also changes you.  It changes your heart.

If you are in the middle of a trial today, I encourage you to use this road map as reminder that where you are today, is not the end of the journey, but rather one stop on the way to a HOPE THAT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT.

You have a choice to take steps today to find hope, or to run, hide and sit in your pain.

My friend, I pray you choose hope.

Listen to how Paul wraps up this thought,

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Don’t miss this…as you walk through your trial, you will develop endurance and character, and you will find a hope that DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!

There have been many points on my journey that I didn’t want to keep pursuing Jesus.  I wanted to be angry at my circumstances.  I wanted to feel sorry for myself.  I wanted to throw in the towel on the situation.  But in God’s strength through the Holy Spirit, I pressed on one day at a time.

Wherever you are today, I want to offer you a word of encouragement today.  Your trial is not in vain.  It isn’t a surprise to God. And when you pursue Him, He will deliver a HOPE THAT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!

In the comments I’d love to hear:

What life experiences you have had, that God has proven this road map true? And what is one action step you can take today using the truths of this road map?

In the free downloadable today, I have two things for you.

  1. I have these verses in a printable version that you can print out and place somewhere that reminds you to keep pressing on in the midst of your battle.
  2. And secondly, I have a worksheet that allows you to keep track of the victories that you are experiencing as you walk down this path. In the worksheet you have the opportunity to write down when you see your endurance increasing, or when you were tested and you character proved strong.  You can track how God shows up and delivers on His promise of hope that does not disappoint.

 

To request your free downloadable click here: {HOPE THAT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT}

Printable Guide

5 comments on “A Road Map to Hope

  1. So inspiring. I am just so lost right now. I lost my husband, and now I have lost me. God is being really quiet right now.

  2. Faith! Thank you so much for this reminder of where my hope lies! That’s what I choose!!! Awesome, my cousin!!
    Love, Dana😍 You Az cousin 😉

  3. speakinginfaith

    Hey, Tina, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I am saying a prayer for you, and praying that God will speak to your heart.

    {I’m not sure how I missed your comment until today…so sorry about that.} Thanks for sharing.

  4. speakinginfaith

    So glad God spoke to you. Hugs!!

  5. Pingback: Finding Peace After Betrayal – Faith Herrgesell

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