Jason Clark posts an email on leadership by Steve Bagi, ‘Hope … where can I get some?’ Bagi lists ten ways to build hope, and they’re good.
I’d like to see him reflect more on the problem ministers have of being surrounded by people with little hope – not necessarily the naysayers in the congregation but also those facing various pastoral crises and difficulties. I’d also like him to take personality traits and perhaps medical predispositions to depressive tendencies into account. (And while writing this post, WordPress suggested Trait Theory as a tag: I’ve not looked into that.)
Nevertheless, I like the thought of surrounding yourself with people of hope (#3). It reminds me of the effect of having fellowship with Christians of strong faith.
I have hope in the face of a problem when it is in an area of my competence. I may not know the solution immediately, but I feel sure we shall discover it.
Prayer needs conversion to the mode of hope, too, at times. When we do not know what to do and we pray, an important component is the attitude we bring to prayer. Do we have hope that in coming before God in prayer, we shall eventually be led to the right decisions or actions?
What nurtures hope for you?
What nurtures hope for me?
A certain gentleness, despite mistakes.
I like #7 because so often we put our hope into unrealistic goals,i.e. goals we’re not prepared to work towards achieving. Too often a person with ‘no hope’ is relying solely on other people to get them into or out of a situation without themselves having to make any effort at all. I would say that my ‘natural’ disposition errs toward one of melancholy, and yes, sometimes even depression, but I have learned to choose not to let my feelings dictate my actions, based on what God has done for me in the past. True hope, I believe lies firmly in my relationship with God, learning what He wants from me and what He wants for me and even during the times when everything goes pear shaped, there’s still the unshakeable knowledge that He always wants the best for me.
@Mary. I like your answer, especially “the unshakeable knowledge that He always wants the best for me”. But in your reference to depression you say you’ve learnt to “choose not to let my feelings dictate my actions”. For a sufferer of depression (not feeling a little down, or “the blues”) it’s been my experience that this is not always achievable. I think God “finds” us in these sorts of situations not the reverse.