How's your hope?
That's not something we ask very often. It's something that we should ask daily.
Hope is a good indicator of something super important.
Hope is like the fuel gauge in your car. The fuel gauge just tells you how much or how little gas is in the tank. It's not the actual tank. The hope in your life is a gauge.
What can our hope tell us we are full or empty of? Check out what Paul says in Romans 5.
"We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
The end result is hope; a hope beyond our circumstances. Where does it begin? Rejoicing.
Your hope gauge will tell you how much you're actually rejoicing in the good things and the bad things. Your hope gauge will indicate whether or not you're choosing joy in every circumstance.
It's a cycle. No rejoicing; no perseverance; no character; no hope. Rejoicing leads to perseverance, because true rejoicing comes regardless of circumstance. When we continually find joy in Christ regardless of the storms of life, our character is made strong. Not because it's built on a good day or a good attitude, but because it's built on a good God. That kind of character leads to a hope that looks forward to what God can do; even in the worst of what life brings.
So, again, how's your hope? So, what happens when we find ourselves looking at life with little hope? Trace it back to the beginning.
Maybe, just maybe, you need to fill your tank with joy before your hope gauge is on full.