It’s been a hard season, and we’re looking for some hope. Aren’t you? We’re ready to look at how God offers us hope — real, certain, unshakable hope — because we’re pretty sure that looking at where that hope comes from and what it looks like in our lives will help us understand what hope is and the difference it makes. It will allow God to create in us a heart of hope.
That’s why we’re full of HOPE and joy today to tell you that our newest (in)courage Bible study, Create in Me a Heart of Hope, is now available! Cue the confetti! This Bible study features the real-life, going-first kind of stories you know and love from our (in)courage writers and some in-depth Scripture study — like the excerpt we’re sharing below, written by Mary Carver. Read on for a taste of Create in Me a Heart of Hope:
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:35-39 (NLT)
The story of Jesus calming the storm is told in three of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Each account describes a trip across the lake after a long day of teaching. Jesus — who was fully God yet also fully human — was understandably tired and took a nap. While He was sleeping, a great storm blew in. Just as the waves threatened to overwhelm the boat, fear threatened to overwhelm the disciples.
We often react the same way, don’t we? We can become overwhelmed by external circumstances (relationship troubles, job loss, debt, too many demands on our time, parenting, caring for elderly parents) or by internal conditions (fear, anxiety, depression, anger, resentment). And when it feels like the winds of those overwhelming storms might knock us down for good, we frequently find ourselves looking around frantically. Can anyone help me? Does anyone notice what’s going on here? Who’s in charge? Where is God in all this?
We can become so overwhelmed with fear or pain that we lash out, looking for anything to stop the storm. We might begin to seek solutions or solace from anyone or anything that offers a substitute for real hope or help. We turn to Google or Facebook, a punishing workout, or a numbing drink. All the while, God is holding us in His hand. He isn’t asleep, and He hasn’t forgotten about us — even when in our panic we’ve forgotten about Him.
Like the disciples in the boat with Jesus, we desperately need hope when life is overwhelming and we’re tempted to panic and forget what’s true. But while we’re all going to falter in our faith at times, it’s what we do next that counts. Will we spiral deeper into panic and doubt? Or will we acknowledge God’s presence and power and turn our focus back to Him?
In Mark 4:39, to stop a raging storm, Jesus utters just three words: “Silence! Be still!” These words echo Psalm 46, which begins with a familiar declaration of hope: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (v. 1 NLT). Toward the end of that psalm, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (v. 10 NLT). We see a similar command even earlier, in the book of Exodus. As Moses attempts to calm and reassure the Israelites during their escape from Egypt, he says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet” (Exodus 14:14). Other translations of that verse say you must “remain calm” or “keep still.”
When we read these passages together, a clear picture is formed of a God who can win wars and calm storms with a single word. So even though our life may feel like pure chaos as we juggle (and drop) balls in our attempt to manage everything on our own, He is not just offering us a lifeline. He is our lifeline. He is our rope of hope when we are overwhelmed, showing us again and again that He is our best and only hope.
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life? How have you seen God remain the same through changing seasons or circumstances?
Isn’t a taste of hope just what we all need right now? The Create in Me a Heart of Hope Bible Study is the first in our upcoming series of four studies, and it’s available wherever books are sold, including:
- Baker Book House
- Barnes & Noble
And what would a launch day celebration be without a giveaway?!
To celebrate the release of Create in Me a Heart of Hope, we’re giving away FIVE gift bundles!* Just leave a comment on this post answering one of the reflection questions above, and you’ll be entered to win a bundle that includes:
- A copy of the Create in Me a Heart of Hope Bible Study
- A CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible
- Prayers to Share for Hope – 100 Pass-Along Notes
We’re thrilled that this Bible study is finally able to be in your hands. Get your copy and let’s learn what God says about hope. Can’t wait to start? Sign up below and we’ll send you the first week of the Create in Me a Heart of Hope Bible Study for FREE so you can start right away!
Hope makes all the difference. Hope lifts me up every day, and reminds me that I get to try again. Hope ushers me into the presence of God, which leads to life, joy and peace! (Psalm 16:11)
Thank God for hope!!!
And Thank God who remains the same, no matter what we face! Through all the smiles and tears, one thing remains constant – God is always with us. Thank you God for your presence in our lives!!!
Hope ushers me into God’s presence.
God’s presence gives me HOPE.
Even now, as I reflect on this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God!!
Thank you God for hope!
Thank you God for joy!
Thank you God for peace!
This kind of heart-strengthening hope encourages and reminds me that GOD is with me through my weakness. I can count on him but I often need reassurance.
This is exactly what I needed to read today. I am in God’s hand and he will never forget me. That gives me comfort and hope!
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life? – God knows us so well, that we humans have a hard time being calm and still, we want to be strong and handle it all ourselves… I know at least I do! But things don’t always work out the way I think they should have. I know (and need to remember that I know that) God will always have my back, and that if I just ‘be still’ he will handle it all for me. What a blessing He is!
Nancy, nicely said. I feel the same way. In my life, I am alone and in my thoughts of failures and struggles, the only thing I have is hope. Hope for a better solution to my mess. Hope is what motivates me to move, hope is what keeps me going. Hope is what I look for each day in every situation I face.
Many years ago, I was told that I would overcome and rise above all that my life has become. I can’t do anything on my own to change the situations, so I turn to God, and the hope I have, is overwhelming. My kids don’t understand why I can be calm when the storm around me rages on.
Hope! I may not have much in the natural, but hope keeps me aware that I am not on my own or have to do it all alone. Hope is what says to me, keep doing your best and the best will come. Hope calms me when I should otherwise be in shambles. Hope says, Joanie, you got this not by your strength but mine. Hope is truly the thing in my life that allows me to move past my failures and shortcomings; to know that tomorrow will be bright and I will come out stronger than I have ever been. Hope is what my email is named after… I used my initials to represent me. It means in this life there may be struggles and shortcomings, but that is only for a time. Tomorrow is full of hope and wonder.
I face many situations today, but that earth shaking kind of hope I have that says keep calm and know that I Am with you and making a way to a better future, that’s what keeps me going. Thank you Jesus!
2021 was a difficult year for me. So many painful changes in life that I didn’t understand at the time. But when we hold onto Hope, we hold onto the knowledge that God is walking beside us. He will make all of our crooked paths straight. And He will work all things together for good.
Teresa Redd says
This is so true! We just walked through our son, who is 31, being diagnosed with cancer. Two major surgeries from complications from the cancer and then chemo. It is in these moments that you have to cling to God in a way you might possibly never have before. I had moments where I asked God where are you in this! But those are the moments God reminded me to sit quietly at His feet and trust Him. That is was there calming the storm we were living through. As we have walked this journey God has been nothing but faithful.
My husband of 47 years died unexpectantly after a heart attack and open heart surgery. My heart is broken and I know that my only hope is in Jesus. I know that He can fill my emptiness, and give me peace as I struggle with this loss. This bundle that includes the Bible Study of “Create in Me a Heart of Hope” seems like it was meant for me. I was so encouraged when I read the question about how to have “heart-strengthening” hope, which is exactly what I need in this season of my life. I was reminded that Jesus in not just offering me a lifeline in the middle of my storm, but that Jesus IS my lifeline.
Ruth Mills says
CREATE in me a heart of hope! It’s not something I can do. It who HE is! Praise & worship Him! Thank you for sharing, Mary!
Cathy B says
God has remained the same in so many different seasons and circumstances in my life. For 25 years I’ve been battling different kinds of diagnoses, each a little worse, none have a cure, and each involve a new Dr and a new set of meds. But when I needed a Dr when my endometriosis came back, God led a specific woman to pick up the phone when my Mom called a hotline to find me a Dr, this woman led me to the Dr to see who has been dubbed the “Endo Guru,” my very 1st visit he diagnosed my bladder disease. Through all of these diagnoses and different Drs, God has been my strength, it took me awhile to come around and see it, but God never changed, I did but God has always been there! He’s been working behind the scenes leading me to the right Drs and giving me the strength to endure all of it! God is my strength, my hope and the love of my life! So through all of the constant changes in my circumstances and seasons God has been the 1 thing that remains constant, He has kept His promises, He has gone to battle with me and for me. He goes ahead of me and prepares the way! Today I go to find out a lot of information on blood draws they took, including 1 to find out if a pituitary tumor has returned. But I’m not afraid, God has been with me through everything so far, He even shrunk this tumor once, so I know without a shadow of a doubt that if it has returned, God will be there. He will comfort me and strengthen me, guide me and be my constant! He NEVER changes! In a world where we have changes everyday God is the one who NEVER changes. He not only remains constant, but He gives me hope in the valleys and in the times when things are good! God is the same, yesterday, today and always!
Christine Jackson says
Hope is the perfect direction and this new bible study is being launched at the perfect time. I look forward to the coming weeks and my daily study with (in)courage.
I could definitely use more focus on the heart-strengthening hope that God provides right now. I have been feeling stuck and defeated in so many areas of my daily life and this post alone has been a great encouragement. I am looking forward to this study and to changing my perspective to be more hopeful and trust more fully in God’s faithfulness
When I think about what a difference hope can make in my life I am struck with the thought that although hope will bring me great peace and joy, it’s greatest benefit might be to those around me. I love being around someone full of hope and desire to be one of those people! I need to concentrate more on this and pray that this Bible study will “Create In Me a Heart of Hope” to share with the students that I teach each day. Thank you for this timely study!
Carol Foose says
Sad to say, while He never forgets us, we tend to forget Him as our one source of hope.
this is beautiful picture of the hope we have in Jesus… oh that a mess we have made of the world and our lives… searching for hope in all the wrong places and being apart of the crafty schemes of the devil. Forgive us Lord. Calm our hearts, minds and lives… help us to reach for, lean on and trust in YOU!
Carol Foose says
What do people do without the Lord? So thankful to be part of His family.
Karen Watkins says
This kind of heart strengthening hope would allow me to move forward courageously as I seek to serve in the ways God calls me to knowing he will be there to calm the storm of my fear.
Krystal Killy says
The last 2 years have weighed so heavy on so many of us. Everyday we need the reassurance that God is with us no matter what is going on in the world around us. We are overwhelmed with more anxiety than ever. But God is still God. He is never changing, although we are changing. This is a great book to center us back to Who is the center of our lives. Jesus. ❤️
I never tire of any and all nudges to remind myself where my true hope comes from. Jesus alone.
Beth K Vogt says
Thank you for this anchor verse of hope: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (v. 1 NLT).
In this season of Spring, evidence of God’s love for us is all around if we just look for it. Thank you for this opportunity to immerse ourselves deeper in the hope of God’s word.
Shelby Swing says
I think having this kind of hope on a daily basis would give me a joy I’m currently lacking. It would shift my perspective to Christ and His eternal things. I’ve seen God be present with me over the last few years through a difficult breakup — and through what I thought would destroy me, He’s brought spiritual maturity, grace, and peace. Praise God!!
Ashley Fields says
With regard to how I have seen God remain the same no matter the circumstances, He is forever steadfast, an anchor for our souls both collectively as believers and each soul individually. The waves have been rolling strongly, trying to take those I love and myself out since a bit before the pandemic began. And they don’t appear to slowing down however, God is my refuge, an ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46). I can’t handle all of this in my own strength. I would have broken long ago and if I am being perfectly honest, sometimes I feel like I still might. In the midst of it all, I know that He is holding me close but also fighting on my behalf and on behalf of others in my life who are going through fiery trials currently.
I am so looking forward to this study. Today’s excerpt was excellent! These last two years have been hard. Caring for my mother in assisted living memory care, then being locked out when Covid hit. I had to release her to God’s care and trust Him to take care of her, and He has. I learned that it’s not all on me.
Three years ago, my sister-in-law’s cancer returned and we almost lost her from the aggressive treatment early on, but God was gracious and allowed us a few more years with her before we lost her this year. In that time, I watched her grow closer to Him, trusting His love. Now I’m praying for comfort for my brother, who dedicated his life to caring for her the last years, as he learns to lean on the Lord and live without her.
We’ve lost several loved ones and being isolated and restricted due to Covid fear has been discouraging, especially since I just retired before it hit and had different hopes for my retirement. I was hospitalized with it for 5 days and had to recover from pneumonia, a collapsed lung and some heart issues. But through it all I have had a sense of peace that I am so thankful for, in the midst of all the chaos around us, God is faithful, and I am so happy to be able to hope and trust in Him.
Brenda M. Russell says
Hello Everyone, I woke up feeling rested and quite peaceful. I recognize it’s because of my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Being a mother of three girls brings me joy. I am certainly blessed to know the love of Christ. Then I can love my girls with purpose and intention. I grew up with my Grandmother and Mother watching me closely to ensure that I was respectful to adults and obedient to what I was asked to accomplish at home, at school, at Sunday School and in the neighborhood. I didn’t know other children may not be doing the same things. I found out later in life that they were setting safe boundaries for me in order to teach me valuable life lessons.
At the top of my Grandmother’s list was being kind, help others, forgive others, share with others (even your favorite things), don’t tell lies and don’t call anyone a “fool”. These are just some matters of concern on her list. On Sundays, we acknowledged the Sabbath by being quiet and thankful for our blessings. All these boundaries told me that I needed help to stay in line. I find even now that my only source of Hope, Strength, and Faith is my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Don’t try to live without your source of Hope, you will not succeed.
I need the reminder seems like more than ever. Over the past few weeks, life has continued to throw challenges my way…more than usual! I need to cling to Jesus and the hope that only comes through Him. I would love to win the bundle. I look forward to such an encouraging study.
Louise Galego says
Heart strengthening hope is exactly what we all need during this season of uncertainty both globally and closer to home. Thank you for reminding us that Jesus is the hope that we are seeking.
I look forward to this study.
Mary Ann Borden says
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life? Although I know in my head that the Lord is my hope, I am battling depression right now. I read my daily email from you out loud everyday to preach to my spirit. Nothing is better than preaching hope to my soul. Thank you for giving us hope through this study. ❤️❤️
Jamie Mendoza says
As a mom of adult children, my heart seems to draw to the anxiety of parenting an adult child who has strayed from the Lord, and another who struggles with anxiety and fear. I will be getting this book for both my girls! Thank you for sharing this tool!
Janet Debinski says
My one word for 2022 is Hope!
Cheri Gearhart says
I could desperately use this kind of hope. After my husband passed away last year I have been experiencing panic like attacks and eventually I remember to talk to God but usually I have spiraled down the rabbit hole first. Once I bring my troubled thoughts to God, I begin to calm down and breathe again.
This is exactly the kind of book I need. I realized recently that most of my inner chaos comes from a lack of hope. I need to dial in and find my hope once again. A deep-down hope that can sustain me through all the difficulties of life.
What struck me about your take on the events of this story is the response of Jesus. He had 2 commands. The first in colloquialism basically is “Shut up” Silence yourselves” Was to his friends. The second command was to the storm. This time he said to the wind and water “peace be still.” It was soon all calm. But the humans in the boat were all filled with fear. The wind and sea reacted to the power of their creator. The humans did not. They basically said “who is this person”? There’s hope that all believers will SEE their creator and respond to who he is.
Mary Hake says
Wow, great insights.
Hope is a gift we all seek and need right now. Each of us has need and problems and hope in God is the only answer.
Mary Miecz says
So often throughout the past several years, earthly circumstances seemed hopeless. But God’s hope never goes away! He is faithful.
God being my lifeline of hope, brings me a peace beyond any understanding! He is always and forever faithful!
Mary Hake says
This sounds like a helpful and encouraging book.
Reminders of hope and of God’s presence could swing my days around to being more joyful. Sometimes I feel a bit lost and I search for something or someone to fill the emptiness. Quite often I search on social media, when I should be searching Scripture! This study might help me stay grounded in The Word.
Donna Burttschell says
Thank you all for your very encouraging words! I would love to win this bundle for my neighbor who recently lost her husband of many years and for myself. I have suffered with depression and anxiety off and on for 10 years and am now in the longest season of it that I’ve ever had. I’m 75 years old. But I cling to the Lord and His promises. I pray many times during the day and night a verse found in 3 places in the bible…..”The Lord is my strength, the Lord is my song, and the Lord has become my salvation.” Also, Isaiah 35:10 and 51:11. He has always brought me thru and I know He will again in His perfect way and timing. God bless you all abundantly….. pressed down, shaken together and running over. May our Lord and savior Jesus fill your hearts with His peace and restore joy and comfort each and everyone and bring healing to you!
Gail Fortriede says
God has always remained who He is regardless of where I’ve been in my life. He’s always placed me where He needs me to be to bring His best for my life. When my job was eliminated, God moved me to Florida where I met my husband. When my husband passed away, God moved me to South Carolina where I’ve become involved in a wonderful church & have been able to help my niece & her family as she has battled breast cancer. God always provides His best for our lives through every situation!
God’s remained the same in every challenging season because He’s come through for me each time, right on time when I thought time was just about gone.
Donna Burttschell says
Also, Psalm 139:9,10. “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Mary Ruth mcNatt says
Remembering that Jesus is our rope of hope anchors my heart to Him and holds me to Him whatever storms I’m going through. This truth gives me strength and security. I thank God for the blessed hope He casts around us when we believe!
Christina Vingerud says
This heart strengthening hope can ease the weight off my shoulders! What would that weight look like, if instead of trying to distract myself from the weight with things, turn to the one who can take some of it off my shoulders? What if I just went to God instead? I hope to be better at that, and give God an opportunity to help me with the storms, instead of just stressing about them, feeling anxious, or running to other things.
Diane Lodge says
How have you seen God remain the same through changing seasons or circumstances?
In spite of the pandemic, my husband battling colon cancer and the lose of several friends, God has remained with us providing peace and comfort. We trust Him.
God has remained the same through my period of grief and losing the love of my life. The Lord is teaching me to rely totally upon him and to know that whatever stage of grief I’m in, he has walked before me. He has taught me that no matter how I feel He remains the same.
I am currently in the midst of several life “storms”. Sometimes I feel as though they will never end. It can all be very unnerving. This is a beautiful reminder to be quiet and still and to place my hope in the only One who has the power to calm storms.
Thank you for your message. I am excited to receive my book!
I am a high school teacher and my job is extremely stressful. I have hope that God will give me peace for everyday as well as patience and wisdom for my students. I like the reminder how Jesus said to have peace and know that he is in control.
I welcome this study and am eager to learn more about hope. I am rooted in faith, trust and belief but struggle with hope. What is it, really? I pray that I have it but call it by another name.
Needless to say, I’m hungry to learn more.
Jessica Pottorff says
This is an amazing resource!!
Thank God that He is a constant! I recently was going through a troubling time at work, and trying to decide if I should retire early or if I would need to find another job due to finances, feeling like I was losing who I was by losing my job, etc. God was there through it all and through the help He gave through some readings from (in)courage and my Bible study and music I’m at a much better place now.
Thank you for another beautiful reminder that God can calm all the storms in our lives. My heart aches for those who do not know God, who have not been taught about Him or have not been exposed to Him. May we who believe, be God’s hand and feet on earth to help share God’s passionate love for us.
Oh the steadfastness of a very faithful God! Even in times when my own life was in peril, he saved me, even from myself. He has showed up as the full on amazing miracle working God the last three days of my mother’s life. He continued with the miracles the next day and then the next month on the day of her memorial. How does one bloom flowers out of season and on plants that had never bloomed in 11 years? He gave me reminders of his love not only for me but for my mom. He manifested while I was on death’s door with Covid in the hospital. The moment I cried out to Jesus that he needed to do something because I was going to die, he did. He used a situation and a University running a trial drug to call at that precise moment–the moment my own spirit was about to give up. He used a medical team to get me hooked up to a trial monoclonal antibody drug. I knew it was Jesus, I recognized the peace, the lifting off of fear. I knew hope had been restored.
I need some hope in a seemingly hopeless relationship and in a ministry situation.
Robyn Williams says
This kind of heart-strengthening hope would make a difference in my everyday life by giving me the foundation of strength I need on a daily basis. I have never been officially diagnosed with anxiety, but I am awakened almost nightly with panic attacks and having something like this to read/absorb and immerse myself in, would undoubtedly help my nightly anxiety.
Every day starts fresh and green – with hope…
Heidi Johnston says
Hope is exactly what I need right now after tragically losing a brother to suicide. I know that he is now in heaven and that brings me comfort and I am also hopeful that I will see him again some day. Thank you so much for this arcticle and all of the encouragement.
Kristen Lawler says
One of my closest friends committed suicide in 2007. Today she would be 34. My heart ached for you when I read this even though I don’t know you. Hold onto hope and never lose sight of the amazing good God can bring from unimaginable heartbreak. He will always hold you fast.
Stacey E. says
A taste of hope is definitely something I could use right now. I call on God continually to calm my fears.
Kristen Lawler says
My non verbal autistic son was diagnosed with epilepsy and periventricular leukomalacia both in this last year. I home school now so we can juggle his myriad of appointments and energy levels. This has been one of the hardest years of my life in a lot of way, but I know God is still good. I am SO very thankful for the hope I have in him. I am thankful for His perfect provision of everything we could ever need. I have no idea what the future has in store for us, but I know God is faithful, and I know I can always hold onto hope because He is still in control and always, always with me. I love incourage studies, and I know I would love this one too!! I definitely need to keep Him always close in every single moment.
Deryl Robson says
I have seen this kind of hope give new courage recently in my life. The Lord had many things come together for an aha moment for me. While in the full throws of this, dare I say, new hope, I felt an almost giddy lightness. Head knowledge became heart knowledge recognizing that I cannot control most things (exception being my own attitudes and behaviors), so yes, things are out of control, my control. But the Creator of the universe can control everything! And He knows infinitely more than I. I’m learning that He loves ME, and I can stop my worrying and cast my cares on Him.
Heart stengthening Hope in my life would enable me to go into each day knowing that God is with me and that I can do what he calls me to do.
Juliana Gouveia says
I’ve seen God remain faithful in every season. He reminds me I am not alone. This book would be an encouragement to me. I will check it out!
Joy Moore says
This kind of hope, what difference would it make? A big sized difference if I could only remember to be present but calm. Those are two things I’m working on. I tell my mental health clients to do that all the time but while I’m calm in appearance, I’m freaking out internally about my own fears.
Lisa M says
Putting on my amazing wish list! ❤️
Andrea C says
Hope it my WOTY! I already did the free one-week study and WOW it’s really helped shape my perception of hope and how Jesus IS hope, our rock and our fortress. Many of us grew up with the Bible story about the wise man vs. the foolish man story about building your house on the rock. What a sweet connection and reminder that hope is something on which to build your life. This kind of heart-strengthening hope can really change your perspective and establish your foundation.
Gail Siuba says
I’ve been striving to be a better friend, Mom, and Grammy this Lent. I want to be an example to my family, and since my family lives with me, I’m trying to be an example.
This new series sounds like just what I need. I’ll put this on my wish list.
Lent Blessings to all.
Margaret Berardinelli says
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life?
I believe the difference this kind of heart-strengthening hope would make in my everyday life would be amazing and enormous. I believe it would actually save my life. I wake up each morning with a feeling of such despair not knowing what “shoe” will drop next in my life, that I can barely move and function. I feel like have been living on the edge of disaster since I was a child in a very unstable, dysfunctional home, losing a parent at age 16 to cancer.
How have you seen God remain the same through changing seasons or circumstances?
Yet even as I write this I HAVE seen God remain the same through my life always rescuing me and holding me in His hands. He’s rescued me from nearly drowning in a riptide current as a teenager. I was trying to swim back to shore on a deserted beach. I could not reach the bottom. I cried out to Him “I am tired Lord…” because I couldn’t go on swimming or treading water. Immediately a small wave came out of nowhere and pushed me towards the shore, as I tried to kick my feet to reach the bottom I was amazed to see I was standing in knee-deep water. I knew it was the hand of God who saved me. Nearly fifty years later He walked me through many a multitude of tests, scans, and doctor’s visits followed by surgeries, chemo, and radiation over an 18-month journey to address three separate and unrelated cancer issues that I faced. Yet nearly four years later I still despair of a recurrence.
So I am very happy to begin a new journey of HOPE with your series. Thank you.
Only Jesus can offer us true hope. What a wonderful study topic!
Hope is everything. We need hope to do the things we care about. Jesus shows us with hope we can believe and do anything.
Hope is having courage to be present and see the world though Jesus.
Thankful for another opportunity to win! You all are so generous with your giveaways! I have seen the Lord’s faithfulness through my divorce and everything before and after. It has not been the easiest road but the Lord has been faithful through it all if I take time to look.
Mary Tullila says
If it had not been for our Lord to be in the very center of my multiple suicide losses….I would have turned hopeless, suicidal myself and bitter .
Yet shall I praise Him …in the depth of it all .
Jan Perry says
“What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life?”
In the past 18 months, my life has had some big, life altering changes. They are changes that are good, but still not an easy road to travel. We all have bumps, hills, and valleys that are hard won. I think this bible study would be a daily reminder to not get caught up in the moment- remember there is always hope- and know that no matter the outcome, God always carries me in the palm of his hand.
I have Thanked you all for
Such Wonderful thoughts
& words before but wanted to
Say it again…
This kind of hope is so important in our everyday – I mean it changes everything! For me, I’ve been in a series of tough and discouraging circumstances. Relationships aren’t going quite as I hoped, and I’ve got a lot of questions for the future. I’ve been like the disciples – looking at the waves and freaking out a bit. When my hope is rooted in Jesus though, I’m able to be joyful and walk in a godly way, showing patience and grace to others and having faith in Him for what’s ahead. Really excited to see this study! Thanks for making this content and even doing the giveaway :).
Beth Williams says
This world is in desperate need of hope. Ever since Covid hit people have been more anxious & depressed. Jesus is the answer to our prayers. He alone can give us a peace & hope that surpasses all human understanding. He was there for me when I sat crying in hospital lobby due to dad being in gero psych ward (two times). Gowas my only hope & stay during those dark days. Can’t wait to do Bible study.
Kelly Sullivan says
I’m learning to be more constant in hope. So many things in life tend to try to steal that hope from my heart. I’m looking forward to this study. I’ve done a couple others and I’m always so encouraged. Thank you for what you are doing to support women.
Kara O'Bryant says
God has constantly been by my side even when I don’t feel Him. I look back and see His hand in keeping me safe in His arms. I see Him speaking to me in Scripture when I haven’t even gone to Him yet. He knows, cares and loves me.
My human tendency is to always try to rush ahead and control my circumstances. My phone screensaver for the last 1.5 years is simply the words “Be Still.” I try to frequently remind myself of how God has miraculously “parted the Red Sea” when the way seems impossible from a human standpoint. Everything from acceptance to nursing school years ago in an incredibly competitive application process. Redeeming classes I had taken for my first undergraduate degree (non nursing) which qualified for nursing school mere months before they would be considered expired and I would have had to retake them. Providing 100% funds and free housing during nursing school. Perfect-for-me job opportunities which included a position that enabled me to work directly with a Nurse Practitioner for 1 year just before needing my own life altering surgery which happened to be the nurse practitioner’s area of expertise. Even most recently the purchase of my 1st home (for asking price) in a very challenging seller’s market where people are getting overbid by tens of thousands of dollars. All doors opened seamlessly by God with me just being required to take the act of faith and step through the door. I see God working, I really do but one situation in life has left me still struggling to remain hopeful regarding that specific request. Sometimes I feel God is remaining silent on that request to keep me tethered to Him. These days the fight to remain hopeful is in the forefront of my mind. A constant companion.
O boy, this devotional looks like it’s just what my husband and I need. We have been tossed back in a season that we thought the Lord had brought us through fully; however apparently He is not done yet. I’m a ‘fixer’; as women you all know what I mean! It’s what we do….even with things that we were never meant to carry. Well in this season we cannot do anything; except pray the Lord exposes lies, brings about truth, justice and redemption. We have been Christians our entire lives, and neither of us want to live in our emotions and turn to fear, anxiety or panic…but fully rely on our our Savior and Redeemer. Sheesh, that all sounds solid on paper LOL but as human we fall back into fear so easily.
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life? We need the HOPE of Christ to walk through this world. Our church is reading Isaiah right now and I’ve been holding onto this as my hope: “…you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” We don’t want to turn to lesser things, lesser loves, or idols but hold fast to the one true God alone.
AND How have you seen God remain the same through changing seasons or circumstances? His Word promises he will never leave us nor forsake us. His word never returns void, he is not one who revokes a promise. He is true and just, and he is our Shepherd. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this giveaway.
So thankful God is the one constant in this crazy life filled with disappointment. He is ALWAYS faithful to His promises and loves me and is with me no matter what. I cling to that!
Diana Marmelo says
Sometimes it’s hard to ‘Be still’ because we feel like we should do something.. but having this Hope that God is in control helps us release some of the pressure we so often hold ourselves responsible for, when in fact it’s God who takes care of us. Wow!!
Rose N says
In Isaiah 40:31: Those who hope in the Lord, can also be said Those who wait for the Lord. I need to remember how to hope also involves waiting. By waiting, we can gain strength. In this fast-paced world, we don’t want to wait or hope. I need this series!
That kind of hope would help me to know that each day I am getting closer to Him and the healing I need in my life.
Kim Church says
I am going through a hard time! I know God is right beside me helping and guiding me to get through my difficulties! I know in my heart and faith that he will be with me no matter what obstacles i go through life!
JJ Miles says
How have I seen Him remain the same… Oh what a beautifully loaded question. So many ways in just the past year and a half!! After moving across the country, away from everything and everyone we have ever known, He showed up in the random stranger who helped us back our cargo trailer out of a tight spot. When our son had a terrible first day at his new school, God was there comforting him. When we found our new home He was present to be praised. Each time I woke up intent on being content with where I was, I could feel His strength pushing me to find the joy in my circumstances. When our son started high school the next school year, we were worried that it would be extremely difficult for him, but thanks be to our unchanging God he absolutely loves high school. Most trying of all, my brother just died recently after battling brain cancer for five years. In my deepest sorrow and grief, God used women from my Bible study group at church to help me know that He sees me. His love has remained constant throughout every moment; good, bad, and everything in between. What a blessing to be able to share His unchanging greatness! Thank you for this prompt!
I’ve been experiencing dark circumstances for the past three years, death of family members and not knowing where my grandchildren live. Are they safe? Do they remember us? I might not be able to see God working at this moment but I know in my heart He is right here with me, pulling me through each day. He is my constant that I can depend on. Without Him, I’d have no hope.
This study couldn’t come at a better time for me. I’m a widow of four years struggling to find hope and purpose but also believing God has a plan I’ve got to stay strong and wait for it.
Sarah Withey says
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life? A deeper relationship with God. A strength so deep we give our worries and anxiety up to Him. To know God is guiding us, holding us, and filling us with his love, HOPE and the Holy Spirit. I’m loving the study so far, I printed the download and would love to win the series. We must anchor ourselves in his promise! Thank you Mary Carver!
Terri Van Auken says
God is our greatest Hope and Peace in the storms of this life. We can have peace in the mist of the storms of life. I know this with my whole heart it makes me tear up to know Gods great love and Mercy to and for us!. Praise God forever and forever!
What difference could this kind of heart-strengthening hope make in your everyday life?
what a reminder of the power of God. To calm not only our storms but our worries, our anxieties. What an encouragement in troubling times and unclear diagnoses.
Peggy Adderley says
What’s hope without Jesus? I recently decided to start my own business after much prayer & seeking God. I will be taking care of the elderly in there or there families home. I call my business Peggys heart of hope. Then while asking God for a name he gave me this. And then I find out there’s a Bible study coming out with the same name. What a confirmation from God. I’m looking forward to getting this Bible study and working through it.
I appreciate and look very forward to these emails that I get from incourage. I truly believe that I did not just happen upon this website. God has always blessed me and continues to bless me especially through this website. I look forward to your emails daily. Thank you for all you do.
I spend a lot of time fretting over thoughts and feelings. I stuff a lot away. It never ends well.
Hope— I woke up this morning reciting Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd He leads me beside still waters. That is my hope no matter how difficult or easy things might be no matter the season my Lord is with me. Hope is what keeps me going because I can’t imagine my life without hope. Hope, Faith and love The Lord’s gift to us.
Gloria von Gesslein says
Hope is a promise for the future, a light in the dark to help me see through.
Beth Stahl says
God is faithful and never changing and always present. Moving 4 times in the past 4 years (age rime span 65-69) impacted my life greatly, with overwhelming worry and fatigue and many questions to God -‘Why? What are you trying to teach me/us?’ He has continually and quietly spoken the word ‘TRUST ME’. And He has been trustworthy through it all, renewing our strength and our hope in His perfect plan for our lives.
Thank you, Mary, for the timeliness of your words — only God knew how much they would mean for me in this season.
Yes, like so many others, it’s been quite a “season” filled with challenges and difficulties beyond my imagination. The past two years feel as though they’ve never come to a close. While few “projects” were handled and wrapped up, there remains a bucket load of what seems to have no end. And I’m exhausted.
God has heard my cries and I am certain He will continue to listen and bottle all my tears.
There have been moments where I literally felt like the breath had been sucked out of me. And then Jesus … He reminded me (and continues to) He is near and doesn’t expect me to carry my burdens. So I just keep trusting.
God is faithful and trustworthy. While my flesh may feel like screaming and having a fit, He is here to calm the storm and keep me safe.
Brandi S says
This has been a hard year and I’ve been trying to hold tight to God’s word and how he always stays true to it. Even in sickness and death. Thanks for sharing about the new devotional. Somehow I missed it and know it’s what i need right now.
Sharon Jacobs says
When we know and believe that Jesus is our hope, we can make it through tough, sad, sickness frustrating, not our plans, grief & loss because we know that God is in control and as Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
MAry butterfield says
I heard this through a link from you daily podcast. I’d love to win This prize to give my aubt
Connie Alder says
I am so thankful to have Hope in my life.
Kim G. says
I have seen God’s faithfulness in always providing for our needs.
Leena J says
Romans 5:5 comes to my mind. Just the assurance he is a God who knows & see’s every trial, burden, and storm we walk through. Not only does he come alongside us but as long as we are standing by his grace and mercy we have made it through. Sure I pray for the matter and petition before the miracle worker & way maker but we have to believe he will act and have faith if not he has a purpose and something better in store for us.
Suzanne M says
These past four years have been the most difficult years of my life. Finding glimmers of hope whenever, however I can. Realizing that I have been suffering from depression is giving me hope that I can feel better, life can get better and that I’m not fully alone in my struggles (though it may feel that way sometimes). Finding inspiration in my daily interactions with strangers, and discussions with friends involving spiritual teachings has been getting me through my days. Hoping that a combination of a deeper study of God, emotional support from loved ones, medication & therapy will fully reveal His faithfulness and steadfastness as I navigate my way through longstanding trials to reach a satisfactory resolution. Praise be to God.
Jo Ellen F says
God has been steady for me in very bad times and in stable times. In the very bad times, I experienced he most incredible peace. I know God had been with me. He gave me Hope that he was there and had me in His hand.
cynthia dixon says
Thank you so much for the encouraging words, I almost forgot that God is bigger than any situation.
This was so nourishing! I struggle with giving things over to God – as a mom and an entrepreneur I’m used to “doing it all” and need reminders to be still.
This study could bring me closer to God, where I need to be. I’m struggling with doubts of faith. I’ve lost a lot of hope.
I have depression and have not been following my plan to meet with God every morning. I think this study might be
exactly the prescription the great physician wants me to take. This small sample spoke loudly to me. God bless you!
Karen Pozzi says
this has become part of my morning devotional
it speaks to the truth of living and how God is there for us
no matter what!
Sabrina Templin says
i don’t really have a close relationshp with God. I see him as a punishing father, as my earthly father. I try to get a relationship with Him i admit im lazy or forget.
I’d like to hqve that faith and hope. I guess it will just take time with me
Thank you for this lovely blog post I needed some of this today. 🙂
God’s unchanging faithful presence in my life is sometimes the only hope I have to cling to. Sounds like a great study!
Shannon Ellis says
Beautiful and timely encouragement. Thank you!