A New Strategy for Hope

If insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results, and if we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, maybe we need to change up our strategy. That’s what I did, and it worked!

It isn’t always easy to do, but it is a simple technique that causes joy and hope to bubble up within us. In fact, one Friday night at a prayer meeting, after an exhausting and frustrating work week, I used the technique and I was overcome with laughter. It felt good to laugh again.

I began doing this within the last three months as I got sick and tired of feeling what I call “The Funk.” It’s that insipid feeling of doom, gloom, and despair, and as someone who struggled with clinical depression in her past, I know just how low one can sink, and I was tired of it!

As an extrovert while I loved working from home for 4 months, I wasn’t getting enough human interaction and connection (can I get an Amen?). My milestone birthday celebration trip (Hawaii 5-0, then on to Australia)—cancelled. At the beginning of October, I lost a family member to “broken heart syndrome.” Yes, that was the diagnosis the hospital gave us. Luke 21:26 says, “their hearts will fail for fear of what is to come.” On top of these things I carried the grief of neighbors and friends struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and divorce. It weighs a heart down.

I found myself partnering more and more with anger and sadness than with the joy of the Lord, which is supposed to be my strength, and I was the only one to blame for that. I needed to take responsibility and change my strategy. So, I stopped praying.

Wait, what? Yes, I stopped praying.

I didn’t stop communicating with God, I just changed how I communicated with Him. It changed after I read the book The Believer’s Authority by Andrew Wommack. The more I learned about our authority as followers of Jesus, the more I realized I keep asking for things I already have. It’s like having a bank account full of money and not using your ATM card to access it.

If we believe God for who He really is and what He says, then I’d like to challenge us to rise up to the hope to which He has called us, and begin walking in the authority which He has already given us. I think we asking God to change things which we have the authority to change ourselves. This may be a strong word, but we need to be the barometer changing the atmosphere around us and not the thermometer simply re-reporting the climate of things in our sphere. I don’t know about your sphere, but in mine there is no lack of fear, anxiety, and despair. But we have a choice not to partner with those things and instead to choose love, peace, and hope—and when we don’t feel those things, to call them down from heaven.

So, I started decreeing and declaring—over myself, my family, my workplace, and my nation. Instead of looking at what was wrong with the world around me, I began reflecting on what was in me: in Luke 17:21 Jesus says, “the kingdom of God is within you.” And if we pray the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:20) where we say (or declare) “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” then we need to begin pulling the kingdom of heaven down to earth and out of ourselves.

Well what does the kingdom of God look like? What are characteristics of the kingdom of God?

· Righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17)

· Unity and civility, not violence and division (John 18:36)

· Abundance and provision for every need of yours (Matthew 5:31-33)

· Life, health, and happiness (e.g. no death, disease, or crying) (Revelation 21:4)

That sounds like something we all could use, and which would inspire hope! So, if you want earth to look like heaven, and for hope and joy to arise within you, then begin declaring the change you want to see in your sphere of the world. This isn’t just wishful or positive thinking; this is believing as Abraham did in the God who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence which did not exist. (Romans 4:17) So exercise your right and authority to decree a matter and you will see hope rise up within and around you.

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