About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

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  1. Thank you for this, Annie! In the midst of praying to feel comfortable and without anxiety while living abroad, this post was just what I needed to hear and read. It’s exciting to think about how life could change if I choose to live in the hope that blessings and beauty are just around the corner.

  2. Annie,
    Sometimes I have feared hoping because I was afraid I would be disappointed. As you pointed out, Romans 12:12 says that hope does not disappoint us. I pray that I would maintain the perspective that the blessing that I hope for is right around the corner and this time – right now- is the countdown time. I love the song “Our God is Able” because it reminds me that whatever my hope is (mine is that my son would return to Christ), our God is more than able. Thanks for thoughts to chew on today!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,
      I prayed for your son today and you and he will continually be in my prayers. I have abundant faith that he will find his way back. I was lost for a few years and I’m not sure if anyone prayed for me but I do know God never gave up on me and He led me back so I know He’ll do the same for your son.

      God Bless you and your family,

      Louanne

    • Praying for your son today. May God work a heart change for him soon and have him come back to God!

      Blessings 🙂

  3. I love this idea!
    I was going to have “a talk” with someone in my life today, because I’m full of fret that things aren’t working out the way they’re “supposed to.”. Now I am going to change my approach when we meet today and enter the meeting with the idea that tomorrow the relationship will be exactly what I need it to be. It will, because I will believe with Hope that God’s got this one. Thanks for this!

  4. Thank you for posting this.
    I lived a long time not expecting; Or expecting the wrong thing, if you prefer. But I did start to live out of the place where I thought my goals were possible. Where God did have good plans for me. I started acting in agreement with that mindset.
    I’m now seeing the fruit that comes from it. So I can firm that a mindset change is sometimes necessary for hope to come back. What a wonderful thing when it does!

  5. I am challenged by this. I, too, admit to fearing hope because I might be let down, although I try to cling onto the hope God gives. Each morning when I get up, I have to give myself a pep talk to live in hope and trust God.

    I am challenged to spend the next 30 days living as if my answer is right around the corner…but my question is, what happens when in 30 days, the answer doesn’t come, and then 30 days after that, it doesn’t come, etc? I’ve challenged myself to hope before and then felt hurt. How do we hold on even when its not around the corner? Just a thought. I want to live like the answer is coming, but eventually, if it doesn’t come, you still feel hurt.

    Like, you, I am just asking questions…

    • I can so identify with you Katy. Good questions. I wonder, how do we have hope in that “hope doesn’t disappoint”? What does that mean? How does that look to God? Hoping with you…

      • My Pastor once told me: “God will be God, and His love for you will never change even if the answers don’t come”.
        That is, after the 30 days, and the next 30 days and the 30 days after that…and the answers still don’t arrive. God is still God, He still loves me and still wants the best for me. I try to remember that when I feel a prayer is taking too long to answer and I continue to pray for a growth in my hope, trust and faith in Him.

  6. I love this and I want to think about this every day because it makes so much sense. Thank you!!

  7. Zowza! Absolutely love your article! So well written. I feel like I’ve just completed participating in a cheer leading clinic. Thank you so much for offering your perspective.

  8. Living with hope is my problem. I am 48 and not one dream for my life nor earnest prayer has been met with a yes. Friends and family try to encourage me by telling me that it’s because God has a bigger plan for my life. I fear I have allowed hope to die because I am too familiar with the hurt that comes from the continued no. I sit here wondering how I would change things if I knew a answer was coming and realize I wouldn’t because I don’t think I could allow my heart to believe that the yes will finally arrive. Now I wonder if the yes is not coming because of my disbelief and how do I change that? How do I allow hope to once again reign in my fear?

    • Hi Stella –

      Let me preface this note by saying that I don’t have answers to your questions. I suppose that’s not very encouraging, right? :/

      Basically I just want to tell you that you are not alone. That I hear your pain and wish there were some way I could reach out and touch your hand right now, sip a cup of coffee (tea?) with you and help carry your burden for today.

      May I share one of my favorite Scriptures here? “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Cor. 1:4

      Love in Christ,
      Stephanie

  9. I thought about this for just a minute and I thought “wow, my faith is almost dead” because if I knew Jesus was going to answer a prayer request in the next 30 days, I would be telling everyone and praising His name for it, yet I secretly ask in His name that He answer and then wait, HOPING, it will happen this time. Get that? HOPING? Hoping is doubt, if I ask faith believing, He will answer. Thank you for this.

  10. I am smiling because I am living that way. Your post is one of the many confirmations today that my son will be just fine. That he has been infused with the Holy Spirit and wonderful changes are happening! God is doing it, not me. I can let go. I can stop trying to decide how, who, what. I can simply rejoice and watch the miracle unfold! Praise you Jesus!

  11. How does one cope when I let myself have hope that God wants for me these “deep down in my heart” hopes and dreams that my heart longs/ aches/ keens for and He says ” not now, not yet, or no”? Just recently i honestly thought one of these dreams was coming to pass. that God decided to bless us with a yes. My how i heard God say ” this is it, this is the time! I watched as all the pieces fell into to place with no effort on my part! Alas, it was not to be and I sit here so afraid to believe so boldy again. I feel like I went out on a limb and God left me hanging. I know this isn’t true. God has been so faithful in my life in more ways than I can count and I feel ashamed even saying I feel abandoned- but I do feel so. How do I weigh the risks hoping and trusting God only gives good to things when He decides to? How do you manage the grief when God says no or wait? Thank you for reading and for any insight.

  12. This is awesome! I am so thankful I read this today! I love your insights.

    “I just have to wonder if living like God’s promises are just around the corner is the essence of hope.”

    So exciting! Thank you for sharing.

  13. That is the most beautiful question. I am seeing so much change happening yet it is still so hard most of the time to keep hoping for that one thing I wait for. The thing He promised. Because its been so. long. Yet reading this gave me that butterfly feeling in my stomach. It made that hope bubble surface….again. Thank you for your words.

  14. Yeah, it’s hard to get your hopes up though and be let down. It’s just easier (not right, but easier) to live without expecting good things because then we aren’t disappointed. Experience makes us jaded and we question if He is even there or listening. So how do we live with hope when we have been left empty and hurting so many times?

  15. Annie,
    Thank-you……you really got me thinking …. the answer has been there all along and you helped me to find it.

    Penny

  16. I have lived with expectant HOPE since 2003. Still waiting. But, KNOWING, that all the promises of God are yes and amen, in HIM! Great post.

  17. I would like to believe I would act in the manner God would want me to so the prayer would be answered….but then again I always question weather I have actually heard God voice and therefore over analyze everything….maybe this is why God hasn’t answered my prayers exactly..but then again maybe this is what HE wants…UGH…

  18. Wow, in 30 days…what if….If I can only believe again, hope again, dream again. What if….tomorrow my promises are fullfilled. What if…my dreams come true. What if…hope isn’t deffered this time. 🙂

  19. Eeek….there’s conviction for ya! Ouch! Thank you, Annie! I am going to take this to heart and change that today! I have been tired and thinking….oh, I’ll do that tomorrow…I’ll get to that later. But really God is asking me to live ready for that HOPE…that answered prayer today! Living in the hope that He IS answering and preparing and working….I may not always see it but I need to hope and believe…and know that He is doing that. Live in that Hope, that place of expectancy. Instead of whining and moaning in my own ick…I need to refocus and live that hope! Thank you, Annie!

  20. This is so timely for me – because 30 days from today, EVERYTHING literally changes and instead of being filled with hope at what the new chapter will bring, I’ve been weighted down with all sorts of questions and worries and fears. It’s another 1,700 mile move, this time from the deep south to the Rocky Mountains, to our 7th sight unseen “home”. But what if this is it, HOME, as we’ve been praying for and longing for and hoping for… I might just get to drop my anchor and grow my roots.

    Thanks, Annie, for helping to shift my heart from all the what-ifs to all the hope-fors this next chapter will bring…

  21. Annie, you are killing it lately.

    I will say I feel like I’m living this way right now, and for me it looks like saying yes to a lot more – diving into this season of life and pouring out hard into others.

    HOWEVER, I’m only able to do that because I have such clear, clear signs of what’s next (engagement). If I didn’t have clear signs? Or if that was taken away? That is the true test, and I’m convicted by how I can see that going poorly.

  22. Wow. Looking back over my life I did get the job I dreamed of, the husband eventually appeared on the scene, and after ten years of marriage we adopted and got pregnant a couple of years later. The houses have sold, the kids have grown up to be wonderful people, and in retirement I’m happier than I’ve ever been. It took a while to recognize and appreciate some blessings but they have been bountiful. I can only look toward tomorrow with joy and hope. Annie dear, you are nailing it here!

  23. Annie, wow, you are just beautiful–your heart is stunning. I needed this. I needed to be challenged, to breathe a bit deeper, look with clear eyes into His. You know what’s crazy? I have trouble having the dream I could imagine coming true. I fear to come up with the thing that might be my greatest heart’s desire. . . I have to start there first. And I wouldn’t have ever thought I didn’t have the dream until you asked if I could imagine it coming true. You bless me. I have some things to lay down before Him now–and listen. Thank you.

  24. Oh Annie… you always make me think. I, like so many others have expressed, have a hard time with this one. I wrestle with this. Hope in Christ has not disappointed me, but hope in the deep desires of my heart being fulfilled has often left me disappointed. I’m living without expectations, because my heart is afraid of being disappointed again. Allowing my heart to hope is scary. I’m afraid to pray the deepest prayers because I don’t know that I can handle yet another year of hearing “no” or “not yet”. So I just don’t let my heart go there.
    I’d love to read a follow up from you on this. It’s apparent I’m not alone in this struggle as many other comments have been similar to mine.

  25. This post is exactly what I am feeling and going through at the moment!! Thank you! I am not alone! YEAH!!! Hope is so crazy, wild, and beautiful! I love it!

  26. Thank you, Annie! …shared on my facebook page!

    There is such LIFE in living a life full of expectant hope. Life is bigger and lived more abundantly when His hopes are what fill us and overflow. Hope not for wishing, but for expectantly expecting Him to do great things through us! That is hope!

  27. Thank you Annie. This is really fantastic. So often we live as though we serve a God who does NOT long to be near to us and give us good gifts as a Father does instead of living with the knowledge that HE DOES!

  28. So timely for me. This morning, I woke up feeling a bit discouraged. My husband is working 60+ hours a week right now (working two jobs) and we have a beautiful little girl who I stay home with. It has been exhausting for both of us, and I really miss spending time with my husband! I have been praying so hard for him to be able to go back to working one job, and God has been placing on my heart that in June, something will change. When I felt discouraged this morning, I specifically asked God to speak to me through one of the blogs that I read because I so needed it! And here I landed. WOW. 30 days. I don’t know how God is going to answer my prayer, but I am believing He is going to. My husband and I are taking some practical steps of faith today while we wait. Thank you.

  29. “You’d get a book deal.
    “You’d feel accepted and comfortable where you are.
    Your family member would accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior.”

    These are two of my constant desires/prayers, so reading this post really hit me. Left to myself, I’m quite the pessimist. Honestly, I try to expect disappointment so it doesn’t hurt so bad if/when it comes. I know that this isn’t how we’re meant to live, and yet I come back to the dark place time and time again.

    How would I live differently? I think that the question for me is, “How should I live differently?” There’s always hope in Christ. He has good plans for me. I think I’ll put that up on the wall and frame it.

  30. This post has me excited. It has given me greater hope that what I have entrusted to God my Father will actually happen. I would continue to look forward to each day that God has given me with great anticipation and expectation (just as I’m doing right now) I would continue to worship him, still draw close to Him daily for He says when we draw close to Him He will draw close to us. I would be so encouraged knowing that my God intend to grant me the desires of my heart and it is around the corner…30 days. This is huge! I am so excited with the hope that this can happen. Almighty God I just want to thank you that NOTHING is impossible for you nor is ANYTHING too HARD for you LORD. No matter how bleak it may seem. Let all that have breathe praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Amen.
    Faith sees the invisible believes the unbelievable and receives the impossible.

  31. I think that this is a great read even if you aren’t a Christian because it really puts life into perspective. Even if you don’t believe would you do things differently if you knew tomorrow would be gone or different or…. ? It’s a good thing to meditate and act on. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  32. this leaves me with mixed feelings it all depends on what it is you are hoping for, hope is an amazing thing, but sometimes what we are hoping for is not the best and i firmly believe he always wants the best for his children, and it is in that belief that i find my hope, not hope that he will give me some specific thing i am praying for but that in no matter what comes my way or what i wish and pray for to come my why, no matter the circumstances i face in this moment, i know he has my back. he knows my hearts desire before i even ask him, but he also know what i truly need. My hope lies in the fact that he knows those 2 things, he love me with all of his heart as do i love him with all my heart so i trust and have faith that he is constantly ceaselessly working to produce the best possible outcome for me in all circumstance no matter how joyful and wonderful or heart breaking and dire my situation in this moment may be. thus I can walk through fire with great hope, faith and trust. my hope is not in what lies around the corner, my hope is in what is already here.

  33. I have continued to think and reflect on this post today and Rebecca…I think you said it beautifully!! Jesus is our ultimate hope, always, whether our circumstances show it or not.. If our hope is in circumstances, we will lose heart.. Because our circumstances are always, always changing. But Hope in Him will never disappoint, because He is constant.

    I love how in the verse where it talks about how if we delight in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. The key is delighting in Him first, and as we do that, His desires become our desires.

  34. I love the perspective stated by Rebecca & Mic. The hope they describe seems to line up with that from God & His word. If I really trust Him with my heart & life, trust His sovereignty, I always have hope and can believe His promises are being fulfilled moment by moment no matter the circumstances…despite my limited perspective.

  35. Thank you so much for this! Hope has been my word for this year, and I totally needed the reminder of it. I thought we were going to get a big answer to prayer by now, but it seems to not be that way 🙁 #1 & #2 are right where I am at and needing to hope for. It really does only take 30 days for an answer to #1!! But the truth and reality is that my hope is Jesus, and eternity with Him. That He will never leave or forsake me. He is always with me. Thanks Rebecca and Mic too!

  36. Annie, this was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Living with hope. Expectancy in the waiting of God’s great love for me. I have to visit an oncologist on Monday to find out what type of treatment I need for an aggressive pre-cancer that’s at grade 1-2 and at 3 turns to cancer. I’m praying for no surgery as this could lead to a colostomy bag. But God! I know He’s with me in the midst. Guiding me to have more faith, hope and strength in Him. Because truthfully without Him…this would all be too much to take. So today I wait expectantly knowing my God has a plan. A good and perfect plan.

    • Lisa

      Prayers for a good report at the doctor’s visit tomorrow! May God complete heal you of any cancers!! May God shower you with His love & hugs. I pray for peace and contentment no matter the outcome. Our God is a miracle worker!

  37. Lamentations 3:19-25
    I remember my affliction and the wandering
    The bitterness and the gall.
    I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
    Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fail.
    They are new every morning:
    great is your faithfulness.
    I say to my self, “the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on Him.”
    The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
    Be encouraged.

  38. I’d worry less, exercise faith more and get a mani-pedi plus a blow-out at the salon. LOL seriously! Gotta be ready on ALL fronts! 😉

    Honestly, Annie, this is a delightful idea! When do you start your 30 days? What if God doesn’t answer your prayer after 30 days? 🙁 Sorry, but I had to ask. In case he doesn’t know that He still loves you and He has PERFECT TIMING so He may choose to answer your prayers on day 31 or 32 or 80. Only God knows! Just a thought, not saying I’m right or wrong.

  39. Zachariah 9: 12
    Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

  40. If I KNEW God was going to answer a prayer or fulfill a hope in 30 days, I would cast off anxiety. I would see how fruitless it was just knowing peace or joy or fulfillment was just 30 days away. But in reality, I have the Source of peace, joy and fulfillment with me right now 24/7. Why is it so hard to turn away from anxious thoughts and flee from a stressed-out spirit? Giving my stress and anxiety over to Jesus again right now…

  41. Wow! I have several different things I have been praying for. I would live with hope and praise God more for what is to happen! My grumpy, icky attitude would suddenly disappear!

    I have seen God perform 1 miracle recently! Praying with expectant hope that God would heal a friend of lung cancer. Most people though she would not pull through, but I just kept on praying and believing. A few weeks ago she came back to church feeling much better.

    Praise God! 🙂

  42. Beth
    All thanks and praise to Almighty God! What an awesome Healer Healer You are Lord. Amen

  43. Annie! We read this today and my husband said something like “this is us!” We’ve been given thirty days and we have a big dream we’ve been working on. We are partnering to build redemptive joy by ramping up our bike accessory product to get it to a place where our friends in India can make it with the young ladies they minister to (women rescued from trafficing). God is good, dreams are big and we are excited. Thank you X 1000

  44. This is a very good way of looking at things, and it is funny how we always tend to say live each day like it is your last, which gives a sad tone. Instead thinking live each day full of hope puts a bigger smile on someones face and strengthens the relationship with God, thanks for this post

  45. Annie, what a great post!  The what if’s 
    Is hope!  When I got to the place of my nose against the glass, it was hope I saw! 
    Now I call it Grace!  I write. Journal, make lists that speak to what is important to me.
    Clarity!! Not an easy do! It is however working.

  46. What a challenge. I am going to start doing
    This 30 days challenge At the end of the month. I might add another 30 days to it.

  47. Reading this put that fluttery feeling in my stomach, Annie. THANK you! This God of ours, He IS the God of Hope, isn’t He? I needed to remember.

  48. Nice to have hope…………………..today, yesterday, and for many years I live with no hope.
    So happy for you …who..have it…