Can You Explain Your Hope Despite Your Illness?

explain-hopeWhen did someone last ask you to explain the source of your hope? Lisa takes a look at one of her favorite scriptures.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Do others ask about your hope? Here are my insights on one of my favorite scriptures.

Always be prepared . . .

We will not always feel like encouraging someone or sharing about our hope, but we are never exempt being prepared to share about eternal life. When we are weary is when God does His best work in us.

. . . to give an answer. . .

When did you last share with a nonbeliever why you believe what you do? Practice with a friend so you feel prepared.

. . . to everyone who asks you to give the reason . . .

There is an expectation that people will ask us about our hope. Is your hope visible? Our light shouldn’t be hidden under a bushel, our saltiness should be noticeable. Are people really seeing the Holy Spirit in you? Or just frustration?

. . . for the hope that you have.

Do people should wonder why you have hope? If people only witness the successes in your life, never seeing your struggles, they will know why you have hope–because you have an easy life!

However, when we are authentic and share about our challenges, they will wonder how we still have hope when anyone else would be hopeless! Are you authentic, giving God the glory for your hope? Or are you letting people think your hope is because of your own doing in creating an easy life?

People should desire the same hope you have–so much so that they ask you about it–because they want to know how they can have this same unexplainable hope! Does your hope seem easily attainable from worldly answers, such as self-help books and mindfulness and meditation? Or is the source of your hope hard to find at your local store and people inquire you about it?

Our illness can be one of our greatest assets for God to use in sharing about our hope!

Prayer: Lord, help my hope be apparent to those around me, and yet have an appeal about it that encourages people to inquire about it because it is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Teach me to be prepared to share about it, and for me to be vulnerable when called to be for Your glory. Amen.

About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is currently working on a prayer book for those who are chronically ill and balancing motherhood while recovering from the foot surgery she had in March. Be encouraged by one of her books today! 100% proceeds go to Rest Ministries. Check out Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.

When was the last time someone asked you about where you get your hope or joy? When you consider your true hope in Jesus and the eternal life you have to look forward to, how often does this truly influence how you respond each day to the challenges you face?

When we are ill and searching for how God is going to use our suffering, it is easy to want to think big. Perhaps you are grieving because you thought you were going to write a book but publishers aren’t interested. Maybe you had plans to teach a Sunday School class but they have found someone else. Take heart! God wants us to dream big, but He is always calling us to humbly accept the simplest of tasks as well.

This is Matthew West singing “Do Something” and I love the message in this song. Know that suffering with grace–to the point that other people ask you about how on earth you still have hope–is one if Jesus’ greatest callings in our life. Are people wanting what you have? Are they asking you how you face another day when your illness seems to just get worse? Being prepared to give an answer and share your faith is one if the greatest things you can “do” for your Lord. -Lisa

Matthew shares the story behind his song, “Do Something” here.