By BRENNA WEAVER
How do I remain hopeful in 2021?
Answer: That is a great question! The first thought that came to mind was, “Our only hope is in Jesus.” While true, it seemed a bit trite and lacked practical application. So let us flesh it out a bit.
For many, 2020 was a taxing year. There were (and still remain) many uncertainties and life-altering situations to navigate. As I ponder the year behind us, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
One way to remain hopeful in 2021 is to read God’s Word and reflect on His truth. Find a verse or two that inspires you to hope and meditate on it daily. Maybe use a journal to expand your thoughts on how and/or why the verses help you. We are hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, but we are not without hope.
Another verse that came to mind as I considered your question was Hebrews 12:2. It says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When there are moments when you do not feel particularly hopeful, look to Christ.
If reading the Word proves difficult, create a hymn or worship music playlist with songs that point to Jesus. Music is a good way to express the goodness of God and maintain hope. A favorite song of mine is “In Christ Alone,” written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. The very first lines state, “In Christ alone my hope is found / He is my light, my strength, my song.” It cannot be any clearer than those words.
Also, you can pray that the Lord would increase your hope. Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Prayer allows direct communication with our Heavenly Father. Go before Him and share your desire for hope in the new year. He hears (1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”), and He cares (1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”).
Use a prayer notebook to write down your prayers. Pray about them with a friend or family member. Ask others to pray for you. Like Philippians 4:6 encourages, “make your requests known to God.”
In 2021, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). Happy New Year!
Brenna Weaver is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Ridgeland working with clients 18 years and older. She has experience as a secondary education teacher and children’s therapist. When not working, she enjoys reading, eating good food, and traveling.