Have you ever looked at the facts of your situation and come to the conclusion there was no way out, there was nothing you could do? Most likely you have, and it’s no fun. Feeling hopeless because you have no options drains the life out of you. It drains your vitality and darkens your perspective, tempting you to give up on the situation, maybe even on life. At some point in life, everyone will feel hopeless about a situation they face. When life keeps throwing punches, it’s easy to want to give up and throw in the towel! But there is a way through to the other side, and it’s a shorter path than you might think! In fact, as counterintuitive as it seems, when you choose faith over the facts your entire outlook can change in an instant! This small choice produces a massive perspective change and fills you with new hope! Let me explain how…
What Is Hope?
When I speak of gaining new hope, I’m not referring to the kind of hope many might think. For most people “hope” is nothing more than a wish. It is a best-case scenario that may or may not work out. For example, you are planning a day at the beach and say to your spouse “I hope it doesn’t rain today”. That kind of hope is nothing more than a wish based on uncertainty. You are not sure if it will happen as you desire.
This kind of hope is based on yourself or circumstances you have little control over. This is why it’s more like a wish for the best to happen.
The hope I’m writing about is a very different kind of hope. It is not based on uncertainty. It is not a wish. The kind of hope you can and should be living with is much deeper and more certain because it is based upon faith, which is the conviction that what you are hoping for will come to pass in due time.
Peter called this kind of hope a “living hope”1.
This hope which arises from faith is a living hope because it is based upon God who is alive and well, and actively fulfilling His promises2!
This is why choosing to focus on faith over the facts fills you with new hope, because it’s a hope that’s not based upon circumstances, but rather upon God’s promises which cannot fail3.
Finding New Hope When Your Circumstances Aren’t Changing
You can’t always control your circumstances. Therefore, hopelessness results from having the wrong mindset towards your circumstances4. It comes from believing the lie that there is no solution to your problem or situation.
To experience new hope, you must recognize the choices you have in the situation.
- You can choose to only look at the facts and believe the lie that there is no hope for your situation.
- You can choose to believe the truth that there is always hope, even when you don’t see how it will happen.
In the end, every situation comes down to this… drawing conclusions based upon what the facts tell you or based upon the truth of God’s word.
You may not be able to change your situation, but you can choose to change your perspective. Experiencing hope or hopelessness begins with what you choose to believe. On one hand, God has given you His promises. On the other hand, Satan has spoken his lies. You must choose which you will believe!
The lies of Satan5 are powerful because they focus on the facts of real-time… what is happening in this moment. They feel unchangeable because facts are facts, right?!
The promises of God are powerful because they focus on His character and are based on eternal truths6. Because they are eternal, they are very much applicable to your life today! They are true despite the facts.
So here you sit, faced with the facts and with the truth. The first thing you must know is that the facts and the truth are not the same. They can be, but usually, they aren’t.
Facts are governed by natural laws and are only based upon what you can see and hear right now.
Truth is not limited to natural law because it is based upon God’s Promises which are supernatural. The truth can be based on facts but it is also based upon faith, the things you can’t see but know to be true7. Let me give you an illustration…
How To Exercise Faith, Even When Circumstances Are Out Of Your Control
Suppose you lost your job. To make matters worse, you have no savings, no job prospects, and the economy is in a down-turn. Those are the facts and the facts don’t look good. It would be easy to succumb to hopelessness at this moment if you only take the facts into consideration.
However, the truth is very different than the facts. While it doesn’t change the facts it adds another layer to them. The truth is this: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.”8 God is faithful and He is your provider. He also can open doors for you that no one else can.
Now you’re faced with a choice: Do you stick your head in the sand and ignore the facts, sitting on your couch waiting for God to provide from heaven? NO!
Because you are choosing to believe the truth and not just the facts, you have every reason to make a move and act upon your hope. You trust God will open doors for a new job, so you begin looking for that new job, trusting He will provide the food and funds you need while you are pursuing the job He has for you.
Choosing to only believe the facts can cause you to feel hopeless. Choosing to believe the truth will motivate you to take action and walk by faith until your hope is realized.
In situations where the facts seem hopeless, the first thing you must do is learn to focus on the truth as greater than the facts. This will give you a healthier perspective on your situation.
Choosing to believe the truth by faith is a big step towards being filled with new hope.
Many today, including myself, are too quick to live by sight and not by faith. But this will ALWAYS frustrate you and rob you of hope because you are called to live by faith, not by sight9.
We say we live by faith until we actually have to do it. Then we’re tempted to run around like chicken little screaming “the sky is falling”. It’s not always easy to believe the truth because your circumstances are screaming in your face “this is hopeless”. But with God, nothing is ever hopeless. As a child of God, you should never feel hopeless! If you do, then you are believing a lie and not the truth.
Applying God’s Word To Your Life By Faith
The Bible teaches that our hope lies in the promises of God10. Do you know the promises of God? Have you taken the time to learn them and memorize them? Do you have specific promises that apply to your current situation? If you don’t, then that is a good place to start! God has given you promises that act as an anchor for your soul11. They stabilize your thoughts and emotions in the uncertainties of life!
Charles Spurgeon once said that the promises of God are the currency of heaven. They are intended to be spent! The point he was making is this: the promises of God will do you no good if you do not use them. Like money in the bank is of no use for meeting your needs until you withdraw it and spend it, so it is with the promises of God! They must be withdrawn and put to use or they won’t benefit you.
The way you do this is through faith. By choosing to know and believe the promises of God, you put them to use!
Knowing vs. Believing: A Critical Distinction For Having Strong Faith
Knowing God’s promises is a good place to start, but it is not enough. You must believe them. You know them in your head, but you believe them with your heart. Knowing them is good, but it doesn’t involve commitment. Believing them is where the rubber meets the road because now you are choosing to act upon them. You are committed, basing your decisions on the promises you believe in and not just on the circumstances you see because Truth is always greater than facts. Facts can change in an instant, the truth never changes because His name is JESUS, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!!
Believing the promises of God and making decisions based upon them is how you activate them in your life.
When you choose not to believe the promises of God, they remain unused and ineffective.
Which are you choosing to believe and act upon, the facts or the truth?
Only believing the facts leads to hopelessness if the facts are not favorable. This is not the way to live an abundant life! An abundant life involves having hope at all times, no matter how difficult things look!
Begin Choosing Faith Over Facts Today
This abundant life, a life filled with hope, is available to you today. If you are facing seemingly impossible facts, then choose to overcome them by faith. Begin learning the promises of God. Meditate on them, memorize them. Get them down into your heart and begin living according to them.
Regardless of your circumstances, choosing to believe God’s promises by faith rather than only focusing on the facts, is the fastest way to change your perspective and give you new hope. That’s living an abundant life!
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- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3 ESV ↩
- “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
- “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope” – Psalm 119:49 ESV ↩
- “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6 ESV ↩
- “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9 ESV ↩
- “…When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” – John 8:44b ESV ↩
- “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 1023 ESV
“in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” – Titus 1:2 ESV
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” – Psalm 42:11 ESV ↩
- “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 ESV ↩
- “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19 ↩
- “for we walk by faith, not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:17 ESV ↩
- “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope” – Psalm 119:49 ESV
“Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” – Psalm 119:116 ESV ↩
- “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,” – Hebrews 6:19 ESV ↩