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by Leigh Ann Napier, iBloom Associate

It’s not as easy as it should be to spot a Christian. Many Christians today are choosing to wear camo.

They are blending in with the rest of the world. Why?
• Some fear being different.
• Some aren’t confident of their inheritance
• and some are just too darn focused on themselves. They simply don’t think about what anyone
else sees in them or how the way they react to life reflects on their faith.

One way to spot a Christian is to look for someone with hope. In the sea of sullen faces you see each day, you can spot a Hopeful Christian from a mile away. Hopeful Christians have:
• A quiet confidence
• A smile
• An assured but not arrogant posture
• Patience in situations
• A respect and caring attitude toward others
• Something good to say even in the worst circumstances
• A steadiness about them even when everything around them seems to be falling apart.

Psalm 33:20

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Hope is defined “as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.[1] “

Scripture promises us a positive outcome and that we will receive the desires of our heart when we seek God with all our heart, soul, and mind. God is all-knowing. He sees our life from its beginning to its completion, all its strengths and weaknesses, and we are no surprise to God. In fact, I think it would be good if you would repeat after me, “I ____________ (state your name), am no surprise to God.” He knows it all. He still loves you. He still forgives you. And, yes, He will feel the same about you tomorrow as He does today. He knows your beginning and He knows your ending and He is telling us right now that it is good.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

John 14:1-3
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Do we believe this? Do we REALLY believe this? Because if we do, we cannot just simply muddle through life surviving our circumstances but we can be an amazing witness during our hard circumstances, through tragedy even.

Have you:
Lost your job? Believe God’s plan is greater than anything we can imagine. That He is not shocked by this! He will bring the plan for your life to pass even still.

Lost a loved one? We believe that if they trusted in Jesus as their Savior, they are now in a better place and are experiencing no pain or suffering. We are sad because we miss them for a time but we do not mourn as those who have no hope.

Miscarriage? God’s timing is perfect and He is still in control. He will carry you through your hurt. Will you allow Him to use your story to bring comfort to someone else or to draw you closer to Him?

Still searching for Mr. Right? Believe that God has a plan. He is working out every detail. Are you using this time to prepare yourself to be the wife God is calling you to be? Are you asking for His will above all else, even if that looks different than you’ve planned or the timing seems slow?

Physically tired? God can give you everything you need and He will never give you more than you can bear. Are you trying to do things He hasn’t called you to do? Ask Him for wisdom in choosing the things you give your time to.

Are you heartbroken? Allow God to work in your heartache and to draw you closer to Him. He is your Comforter. Believe that He can use your experience to help someone else later on. Use this as an opportunity to snuggle up with Him for comfort and healing. He will never turn you away

When you live each day with hope, you are a witness for Christ. When you live with the same attitude, outlook, and pessimism as a non-believer, you are making an impact on others…but not a positive one! A depressed, broken, beaten-down Christian isn’t doing much to advertise for Christianity. I don’t want to seem uncaring or cold. I’ve experienced times in my life when I was so broken I thought I would never feel normal again. Some of those times I decided to rebel and take a break from God. I was angry and hurt and thought I could just figure it all out on my own. Then, after I wised up, Jesus was still waiting. He was there all along, just waiting for me to call His name. Now, when life throws something hard at me, I take it straight to Him. I pour out my heart and all my hurt to Jesus in prayer.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. “

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

He listens, He understands, He holds me, He lets me whine, He lets me throw my tantrum, have my pity party, and He even lets me tell Him how angry, hurt, and confused I am. Then, after I get all of the “yuck” out, he helps me to regain the proper perspective. He restores my hope. He reminds me of all He has done for me so that I won’t have to spend eternity dealing with all of the pain that is being constantly handed out in this life. He reminds me that I will suffer in this life, but He has overcome the world. There is light at the end of the tunnel. He can make that promise because He Himself IS that promise. He is the Light.

I can hear Him asking me to not forget that. He reminds me that He has sent His Spirit to live in me and to minister to me until He returns. He doesn’t want me to hide the light that lives in me. He wants the world to recognize Him in me by that light. That light is our hope and our hope is that light. We are to stand out. We are to look different. When we as Christians are walking around defeated, acting as those who have no hope, we are doing more harm for God’s kingdom than good. We are hiding our lamp in this dark world.

We have been given the ultimate promise of a happy ending. We know who wins. We know who holds our future. Our reservations are made. We know where we are headed. The only thing we have left to do is prepare for the trip and invite others to go with us. In preparing for the trip, we are becoming sanctified, that is, we are being made more and more like Christ through our relationship with Him. When we express our hope, we are inviting others to have what we have. If you are being grouchy in the checkout line at the grocery, complaining about the weather, and going on and on to your friends and co-workers about how tough life is, you are not expressing hope. Instead you are allowing the enemy to use you as a diversionary tactic.

Will you allow your life to be a sign to others pointing them to the one true Hope, Jesus Christ? Or will you allow the enemy to distract you from the truth and cause you to feel defeated by your circumstances? You can’t give away what you don’t have. Are you feeling low on hope? I’ve found that there are three areas that act as hope builders in my life: Reading & meditating on God’s Word, spending time in prayer, and enjoying Christian fellowship for encouragement and accountability.
Some practical application for building your hope:

1. Spend time reading God’s Word. You have to know His promises before you can believe them.

Job 22:21-23 21 "Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.

Deuteronomy 11:18 "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads."

Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

2. Pray and cast your cares, each morning and throughout the day as you think of something that causes anxiety or worry.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. “

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

3. Seek Christian fellowship: In your Church, through Women’s or couple’s Bible Study, be intentional in developing close Christian girlfriends, find a woman a step ahead of you and ask her to mentor you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."


About iBloom:
iBloom is the go-to place for Christian life coaching for women. iBloom exists to inspire, equip, and empower every woman on the planet to live a life of passion, balance, purpose and fulfillment. iBloom is dedicated to helping women live intentionally and ultimately have a significant impact with their lives. To learn more, check out www.ibloom.us.

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