9 Reasons to Keep Hope Alive No Matter What – Lessons from 2019

When Hope Doesn’t Come Naturally

I hate being disappointed.

So it can feel scary to get my hopes up or keep hope alive. For example, I’m afraid who I want to win the 2020 election will lose, and I’ll be crushed. So I lower my expectations. I give up too easily on hope.

But who can live happily without hope?

So this year I determined to practice hope when it doesn’t come naturally. I chose Hope as my One Word for 2019.

And God taught me the following lessons. Because ultimately, God is hope personified. With him, hope is possible.

Hope is here to bless us now, not only in the future.

Hope works. Even for scaredy-cats like me.

9 Reasons to Keep Hope Alive

9 Reasons to Keep Hope Alive

Here are 9 reasons you can keep hoping, too, even when it doesn’t come naturally.

1. Keep hoping because . . . God can show up in anybody you meet.

Cowboy has a book in him. But will he have time to get it out? My own story is enriched by his. You see a different side of God in each life.

book inside you

Finish Your Book

2. Keep hoping because . . . you have a safety net.

No guard rails? I was too scared to walk to this lighthouse. Take more risks when there’s a safety net. Christ is your safety net.

You have a safety net-2

Take More Risks – You Have a Safety Net

3. Keep hoping because . . . somebody needs to hear what you know.

Live too far away from your grandchildren? I’m a rookie. But these tips help bridge the distance between our hearts, wherever they are.

How to be a long-distance grandparent

When You Can’t Be There in Person

4. Keep hoping because . . . God brings dead things back to life.

When a favorite author quits writing, mourn the silence. But keep listening for God’s voice in new places.

Rachel Held Evans-Ask the Questions-Lisanotes

When We Lose Another Voice

5. Keep hoping because . . . you only have to show up.

I don’t feel qualified to teach them. Should I not show up? But God promises this: If you’ll just show up, he’ll do the rest.

Just show up

When You Don’t Want to Show Up

6. Keep hoping because . . . God is in the books.

Let books stretch you. Expose you to new views. Find the beauty and goodness of God in words.

3 Reasons You Don't Read Nonfiction_rect

3 Reasons to Read More Nonfiction Books

7. Keep hoping because . . . differences don’t have to separate us.

I’d never tried Vietnamese food. Then again, I’d never had a Vietnamese friend. God was ready to change that. Welcome the outsider. God weaves himself between us all.

Welcome the Outsider_fb

Welcome the Outsider

8. Keep hoping because . . . you’re still needed.

Here’s to the caregivers. We need the healers. Keep doing what you do with your hands. And with your hearts.

Here's to the healers-2

Here’s to the Healers

9. Keep hoping because . . . love is the whole point.

She can’t say my name. But no matter. Her love is direct. Cut to the chase. Give and receive love.

Love is the point-2

Get to the Point

* * *

How’s your hope level?

Did you choose One Word for 2019? For 2020?

Please share in the comments.

31 thoughts on “9 Reasons to Keep Hope Alive No Matter What – Lessons from 2019

  1. Alice V Walters

    Dear Lisa, what an encouragement! My word for this year (2019) has been “nevertheless”. Over and over in the lives of the scriptures and those around us, we can see the Lord showing up, nevertheless. When the world tells us to give up hope, nevertheless, the Lord comes through. For 2020, I’m continuing to focus on His faithfulness to us…still! And when it gets hard, I praise God even more for the encouragement of Sisters in Christ like you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve loved your word choice of “nevertheless.” Such an apt word that really fits well with my word of “hope.” I’ve already been thinking about my 2020 word too. So far, I feel the Lord has been telling me I need to work more on “linger” instead of rushing. I look forward to what he’ll show each of us next year, Alice.

  2. Laurie

    What a powerful post. The one on Rachel Held Evans brought tears to my eyes. I DO need tips on being a long-distance grandma. It’s tough when grandchildren live 2000 miles away!

    My hope level is usually pretty high but I can always use a boost!

    My word for 2019 was balance. I did find myself thinking about it often, but I’m not sure I made progress in that direction. I believe I am called to think about “humility” in 2020.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You remind me that I do NOT need to complain ever about being 3 hours away from my grandkids. I can’t imagine 2000 miles. πŸ™ It’s good that you’re not afraid to fly. ha.

      Balance is a life-long word that we all can use. Humility is also one of those linchpin concepts so I’ll look forward to reading what you share about it in 2020 if you do choose it.

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Hope is just a rumour
    lost in all the hurt,
    and I can see a tumour
    printing through my hurt.
    Don’t know if my prayers are heeded,
    or if God even cares,
    don’t know my heart is needed
    by anybody, anywhere.
    I will, however, fight this through,
    ’cause I’m too dumb to quit,
    one more hill, it’s nothin’ new,
    and I don’t give a s***.
    Hope ain’t something to partake;
    it’s what you are, and what you make.

  4. Stacey Pardoe

    Beautiful, Lisa. I’m remembering the morning last winter when I read your words and discovered we had both selected Hope as our word for the year. You’ve inspired me to reflect on all that Hope has taught me this year as well . . . Thank you for these inspiring truths today!

  5. Anita Ojeda

    Nine beautiful reasons to keep hope alive :). My hope levels are pretty high. And when they flag, well, a good book usually solves that ;). Spending time each day listing what I’m grateful for helps, too!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re wise to have practices in place if your hope does lag, Anita. It’s been an interesting year for me to be more intentional about hoping. I’m not a pessimist in general, but hope isn’t always my first option either. I don’t know if I’ve seen a lot of progress, but *hopefully* I’m moving in the right direction anyway. πŸ™‚

  6. Patsy Burnette

    This is an awesome way to do a roundup, Lisa! I especially love #3 “Keep hoping because somebody needs to hear what you know.” It’s sort of like the circle of life or paying it forward, but we are all here to help those who come behind us. So, if you’ve been through a tragedy in your life, lost a loved one, had a financial setback or health challenge, look for someone coming behind you and help them along that path.


    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Patsy. I like when God gives us opportunities to share our hard things as encouragement to others going through them. He is the master at redeeming our pain! I still wish I didn’t have to endure hard things but it helps to know they can be used later.

  7. Lesley

    I loved this recap of some of your posts and how you tied them in with the word hope. If I had one word for my whole life I think it would be hope. It makes such a difference!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Hope would definitely be a great word for a whole lifetime, Lesley. I love that Jesus is hope personified. When I don’t “feel” hope, I can still look to Jesus and know all will be well.

  8. Betty Jo

    What an awesome post, Lisa. I’m still working my way through the list of posts you’ve shared. I’m truly enjoying reading each one. Thanks so much for the visit to my blog. β™₯

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Betty Jo. I’ve enjoyed getting to “meet” you through our blogs. It’s amazing how much we can learn about each other that way. I’m grateful for technology (most of the time, ha).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Praying hope for your loved one, Lauren. πŸ™ This season is an especially trying time to be going through hard things, when the expectations are you’re *supposed* to be happy and jolly.

  9. Bethany McIlrath

    What a great list! I remember several of these posts too, especially the one about trying Vietnamese food ( I’m a good wimp but I tried sushi this year and it was good!)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Um, you don’t make my wimp list if you tried sushi this year, Bethany! πŸ™‚ You’ve got me there. I still haven’t tried it, and likely won’t. ha. We were at a dinner this week catered by a restaurant that I knew had a relatively low rating; I only picked at my food. lol.

      1. Bethany McIlrath

        Haha, thanks! Full disclosure: I got McDonalds right after to fill me up because I was scared to eat much of it on my first try!! Oh goodness, I hear you about picking at food sometimes, too.

  10. Bev @ Walking Well With God

    It IS scary to hope because, like you, I don’t want to be let down or disappointed. On the other hand, if we have no hope…if we don’t look forward to the mercies that are new each and every day, what is the point in living? Yes, we’ll get disappointed, let down and dreams may not happen, but if we’re hoping it means we are alive. Even if we’re simply persevering, it’s the perseverance that produces character, and character hope, and hope doesn’t disappoint. Certainly my hope in Christ never disappoints. May this be a “hope-filled” year for you!!
    Bev xx

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, this, Bev: “if we don’t look forward to the mercies that are new each and every day, what is the point in living?” I so agree with you. I know having hope as my default is so important to my spiritual and emotional well-being. You’re also right here: hope in Christ never disappoints. That’s one place for sure that we don’t have to hold back hope on. Thank you, friend.

  11. Jean Wise

    Love this journey through and to hope, Lisa. I was just thinking the other night when it comes to some emotions I am so black and white, either or. disappointment is one for me when it appears I crash. You asked how is your hope level? what a great question to remind my heart and there are varying levels of hope and hope is always there.

    My word for 2019 is light and I have been amazed at the amount I read this year about darkness. 2020? I am thinking it will be Sacred Space. Yes I will be blogging about both probably early Jan.

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve enjoyed your posts about light this year, Jean. I look forward to Sacred Space if that’s what you choose! I’m always enlightened by you, friend (no pun intended). πŸ™‚

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