In today’s world, it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden. Frightening headlines blast the worst possible scenarios into our homes. The stress of daily responsibilities and providing for our families weighs heavy on our hearts. If that were not enough, our lives can quickly be devastated by unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted and unbelievably harsh floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!
While writing my newest book (co-authored with Bible teacher Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher), Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience, Jean, in passing said, “I think Psalm 71:14 could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up Psalm 71:14:
[tweetthis]The word hope is a verb, so it is an action we choose, to wait expectantly for God to move[/tweetthis].
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)
I like to say, “trust while you tarry,” or “wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God to show up and show off for your GOOD and HIS GLORY!” After doing a word study, I discovered this hoping is to be exercised surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!
My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep
HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE, I have pages in my bullet journal where I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams. I then wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.
The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!
So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, I use pages to accumulate praises in my bullet journal.
One looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. (Use your imagination: a Christmas tree with gift underneath; a set of balloons, a garden with a series of daisies, a set of ocean waves– anything with a series can be used to capture your praises)
I have created a free PRAYER AND PRAISE handout for you for you to download. One side are the circles to record prayer requests, the other side is a vase of flowers to keep track of praises as they come. Use in your prayer journal, your bullet journal, in your Discovering Hope in the Psalms Bible study, as a family devotional or date night– or hang it on your refrigerator as a prayer prompt.
To help you accumulate praise in your life, I will be hosting a once a week online Facebook Bible Study on Discovering Hope in the Psalms (dates for 2019 to be announced. Join the Living Love-Wise Community to hear about all Pam and/or Bill’s studies and events. To order your autographed copy of Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience (or to get it quicker) and to register for the Bible study, click here. (An email will be sent to you with link to the online private facebook group) Praying you accumulate bundles and bushels of praises so you can HOPE continually!
Pam Farrel is co- director of Love-Wise (with her husband, Bill) , international speaker, author of 45 books and budding Bible Art journaler. When she isn’t speaking around the globe, or teaching Discovering Hope in the Psalms, you will likely find her paddlebaording or kayaking near her home, a live aboard boat in Southern California. (This blog contains a few affiliate links to products referenced)