The Hopeful Heart

Do you get to spend much time with a hopeful person? Someone who lives wisely, listens intently, and continuously pours life, courage, perspective, encouragement and confident expectancy into your soul? Contrast that with the person who seems to be constantly burdened by life, and regularly appears pessimistic, deflated, cynical, and ultimately quite hopeless. Most likely you prefer spending time with a hopeful heart…and long for that attitude yourself.

As we peruse the Scriptures for insights into the hopeful heart we soon discover that the majority of biblical references focus on pinning our hope on the God of hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.

God is the primary source of our hope. When we put our hope in God, we see Him at work with growing clarity and conviction no matter the circumstances of our lives, “though he slay me, yet will I hope” (Job 13:15). “Put your hope in God” cries the psalmist (Psalm 42:5), for “my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5). When we put our trust completely in God’s hands His plan is to “give us a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Hope is an anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19) and our foundation of hope is found in God’s Word, for “in his word I put my hope” (Psalm 119: 74; 130: 5).

So what happens when hope is stolen from us? When rocks, weeds and thorns infiltrate the soil of our faith, and hope is robbed and replaced with counterfeit gods that seek to satisfy but always leave us hollow? “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12), so when hope is held at a distance the heart grows cold, hard, crushed, and devastated. Hope is easily swept away when hardship or disappointment disheartens and discourages the heart. Such hope “deferrals” come upon us suddenly while others creep in over time, and often unaware.

Hope isn’t unbridled buoyancy or glassy-eyed optimism. Christian hope comes from the deep-seated conviction that God reigns supreme in every aspect of our lives. Despite the suffering and adversity of this world, we have every reason to cling to hope. The life, death, and resurrection of Christ is what fills our hearts with hope, both for the present and the future. With eternity in our hearts, we are filled to overflowing with hope.

Having witnessed God at work in your own heart, and observing Him at work in the hearts of others, what are the reasons for your hope today? Count the many blessings that have come your way and notice how God is alive and at work in, through, and around you. By attending to God you are fixing your eyes on Him. That’s how hope is birthed and kept alive within your heart. Choose today to show your world the transformation that emerges from the hopeful heart of God.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.