Get Your Hopes Up

Calendar pages fill the trash can. We glance over our shoulders at the shadows clinging to our feet. As we squint ahead into the hazy unknown, the temptation to fold our arms swells from our gut. We balk at risking high expectations, the fear of disappointment clamping our ankles to the mud. Avoidance of hope seems like the best strategy for self-protection, when despair instead sentences us to our demise.
Joyce Meyer urges readers to set high expectations for joy. In Get Your Hopes Up, she lists specific benefits for a strategy of optimism. The first chapter instructs readers to believe, ask, and look to establish a faith-centered perspective. Meyer insists the rewards will be worth the challenge of shifting away from habitual negativity. Hopeful individuals experience a higher quality of life and overcome challenges using their faith. “Your life will only go as high as the level of your expectations.”
Initial chapters seem to present a Pollyanna approach, and might tempt a reader to dismiss the concept as  prosperity-preaching. Meyer later clarifies the importance of aligning hope with God’s will. “Even if God doesn’t do exactly the thing you’re asking for, try to broaden your view.”
Get Your Hopes Up does not promise a life free from suffering. Instead, the book encourages readers to persevere with hope through difficult times. “Every day is not a perfect day, and every storm is not in the forecast . . . It may last a day or it may last longer . . . Even though the storm may be great, it’s not greater than God.” Meyer encourages us to cling to faith with joyful expectation regardless of circumstances.
She also indicates a positive attitude increases our chances of survival and success in life. Chapter three focuses upon eliminating barriers we set in our minds. “Miracles come in cans,” Meyer writes, emphasizing the need to banish “can’t” from our self-talk. “With God’s help, we can do what seems impossible if we will not be afraid to try.”
Meyer underscores the significance of hope as our responsibility to convey blessings upon those suffering around us. Chapter twelve notes the impact of each person upon the community and world. With faith and joy, we can lift the downtrodden and create a ripple effect of lights to illuminate the darkness. In the following chapter, she notes, “Nobody in the world is exactly like you–you are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.” With our unique gifts, the world needs each of us to persevere in hope.
If you’re struggling with negativity at the start of this new year, check out Joyce Meyer’s Get Your Hopes Up. Consider jotting down the verses listed at the back of the book and posting them in spots where discouragement attacks (mirror, computer, dashboard). Let us know how your hope journey is going this month. I look forward to reading your comments.
Be Encouraged,

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