Have a Plan for Hope

Social distancing log, day 417 er, uh, 12. How are you doing Friend? Have you burned through your Netflix watchlist and decided to pull out old home movies in order to avoid cleaning out the fridge? More importantly, are you joyful with hope and keeping a positive outlook? I know it’s hard, but while it’s smart to have a plan for the worst-case scenario I think it’s more important to have a plan for hope. THAT’s planning for the BEST! Sound good? Then let’s be positive together!

An overload of negative thoughts can create a general sense of impending doom. Right now, worry, stress, and uncertainty are definitely on overload and it’s easy to get into a hopeless attitude. 

Let’s Not Plan for Bleak

I recently read this caption on Instagram that made me see that some might be struggling to stay hopeful in the midst of our world medical crisis: “It’s hard to know what to post or how much to talk about clothes, beauty, etc. These things make me happy, but I don’t want to be insensitive as the Coronavirus situation gets more bleak.”

I immediately wanted to fire off a response that I fully intended to be uplifting and hopeful but would have started out, “Now, let’s not plan for bleak…”  followed by a scripture. But I saw how that could have come off as nasty and as much as I try to stay positive, I realize there are those of us who are downright, “skeert”. 

While I’m not usually one to freak about this stuff, I do believe we have to take this seriously and take the necessary precautions for our safety and the safety of our families. But if you’re one of the peeps heading toward “bleak” here are a few tidbits of encouragement to help you plan for hope in all circumstances. 

How to Have a Plan for Hope

Acknowledge Where True Hope is Found

Acknowledge that God IS hope. Apart from Him, we’re pretty puny on our own but with His strength, we can face all things.  

For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Psalm 71:5

The Foundation IS Hope

Build your days on a foundation of hope. That’s God. He is our hope and strength. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Don’t Run Ahead of Hope 

Remember that God is already there on the other side of this. But, He’s also right beside us every single second. Allowing our mind to move ahead into the “worse case scenarios”, we’re getting ahead God. That’s never been His plan. 

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Extinguish Fear with Living Water

Third, surrender that fear and negativity to God. God gave us 365 scriptures telling us to not be afraid; one for every single day. It’s like He knows we’re scaredy-cats or something. 

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Incarcerate Negativity 

Panic is human nature. “A person is smart; people are dumb, panicky animals…” K, Men in Black.

When we allow ourselves to be drawn into the fearful thinking of “ the crowd” we easily slip into the “throng” mentality and start to hoard food and toilet paper. But Scripture says to take our thoughts “captive” and make them obedient to God, not let them run wild and join a rebellious gang. 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Make Hope Your Stronghold

Continually thinking and stressing about the COVID-19 give too much power to fear. We make fear the stronghold (or defense) instead of God and the hope He provides. I love that this next verse says, “casting down imaginations”. Isn’t that the thing we fight more than anything, the things our mind conjures?

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Think Only the Good Words

It’s okay to think and talk (and post if you’re a blogger) about normal things. Yes, we know this is serious, but dwelling on it doesn’t change anything except how quickly we’ll end up in the pit of despair. 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Get Out Of Your Head and House. 

Keep hoping and praying and get out of your own head and out of your house. We’re not on house arrest. If you live in an area with space or have a yard, get outside and breathe.

Turn the News Off

Be informed but no more! Staying positive can be hard when everything we hear and see revolves around the source of our panic. You might even have to get off of social media. Gasp! (Of course, subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss anything here.) But seriously, it’s hard to be hopeful when that’s all we think about.

Have a Plan for Hope and Add a Song

Fill the day and your mind with normal things and worship. For me that means music. Did I ever tell you that I wish life was a musical? Wouldn’t it be great to burst into song whenever?!?! 

I enter into worship the best when I have a playlist. Here are a few of my favorites to add to your playlist so you can create a soundtrack for HOPE! So hang in there and be FULL OF HOPE

For more songs getting me through right now see My March Favorites List and Are You Living in the Overflow.

Reach Out but Don’t Touch Someone

But if you’re struggling, reach out to someone. We live in one of the best times to be going through this. With FaceTime, Skype, Marco Polo, What’s App, and Zoom, we can be face to face and never even touch! 

I would be happy to pray for you. Just drop me an email, or if you’d like even more prayer partners, drop a comment below. And if you’re a prayer warrior, look through the comments and pick someone to pray for. 

There’s no need to go it alone and no shame in reaching out. We’re all in this together. 


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15 Comments

  1. Kristine
    /

    Paula, thank you!
    Your words are very encouraging, for such a time as this! You posted some of my favorite verses. I actually speak out 2Cor 10:4-5 every night as I put my head to my pillow. As well as Psalms 46:1-3
    Today I had a great day with virtual RLC church praise & worship, and sermon. Then after that I was so pumped up I YouTube searched several worship songs. (you’ll find them on my FB)
    But this evening, after hearing the news of the extendtion… well I’m struggling a bit. Isn’t that just like the enemy?!
    Then I read this post of yours. After reading these God inspired words, and several long deep breaths, I’m giving my anxieties over to Christ, at the foot of The cross!. Because He knows how to handle them, I don’t.
    I thank God that you posted this this evening. And I thank God, He knew just what I needed!
    Blessings friend!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Ah, Kristine,
      You know, I “accidentally” hit “publish immediately” tonight instead of setting a time. There are no accidents in Gods timing though as you’ve pointed out. I can see your biggest challenge will be the “Be informed and no more” advice. God’s got this and everything will be okay.

      Hugs,
      Paula

  2. Renee
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    Thank you, Paula! One of the blessings of this time (and believe me, I’m looking for them!) is the chance to meet new friends. Yes, even in the midst of trials and “distance”, it’s possible to find hope. Your words are a real encouragement and I plan to meditate on them this week during my quiet times. I will pray for you as you continue to use this platform to encourage others. May the gospel go forth! I’m also praying for Kristine (below) to be encouraged and strengthened.) If you would please pray for me to obey the Lord and to know how to serve those He has placed in my path, both in my church and my neighborhood.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Will do Renee. This morning I’ve been thinking back to when my mom first found out she had cancer (13 years ago). She was impressed with the thought that she wanted to pray as Jesus would and for the things that breaks His heart. Of course, we want our land healed, but what really breaks Gods heart is those dying without Him. “Break our hearts for what breaks yours Lord.”

      Hug and prayers
      Paula.

  3. Gina D from Texas
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    You nailed it! Any time we are going through anything – whether it’s COVID-19 or any other calamity (national or personal) – God is our only hope! We need to cling to that – and turn off the TV and step outside! 😉

  4. Anne
    /

    Thank you so much! Tomorrow I’m listening to all these songs! How do you set up a playlist? What type of device do you listen on? My prayer request may sound trivial, but I am really struggling with grocery shopping and staying healthy. I’ve been once but need to go soon and I just don’t know how to do it safely.

  5. Sherry
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    Hi Paula,
    I’m so proud of you for pointing your readers to our Living Hope, Jesus!
    Love, hugs, and blessings!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thank you Sherry. It’s the only real HOPE I know. 😘

      Stay well & be blessed!
      Paula

  6. Diane
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    I’m appreciating your humor and your message of hope in these trying times.

  7. J'Laine Bradley
    /

    Wonderful post today.

  8. Deborah from Sydney (Aust)
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    Thanks Paula for your encouragement and honesty, things are difficult for alot of us at the moment and sometimes it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the negativity and negative possibilities of whats ahead.

    Well, as you have already mentioned, God going ahead of us and is right beside us, we just need to keep our eyes on Jesus and do our best to follow where he is going. Thanks for the great scriptures and reminders that he can be trusted no matter how bad thing look, he is stronger than the enemy.

    much love
    Deborah

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      “He is stronger than the enemy”… Most definitely! Keeping Gods word and positivity in front of us is key. The other thing to remember is that MOST people survive the virus if they get it. Be strong and courageous!

      🤗 Hugs,
      Paula

  9. Donna Mallard
    /

    You are definitely a light in this pandemic darkness, Paula! And I thank God He “brought you” to me!

    Thank you for the scriptures, thank you for the encouraging words, thank you for reminding us to have hope. This to shall pass- my favorite quote right now! Because with God, all things are possible.

    Blessings- and health- to you and your family, Paula! 🙏🏻❤️
    Donna

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Thank you sweet Donna!

      Be careful out there.

      Hugs,
      Paula

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You’re so right Donna…it will indeed pass. We’re staying well so far and pray you do too. 😘

      Hugs from afar

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