When you have hope, eleven things are unleashed in your life
- You’re more successful
- You feel more satisfied
- You’re less affected by stress
- You have more satisfying relationships
- You’re physically healthier
- You’re more productive
- You’re more compassionate
- You’re more willing to help people in need
- You hold yourself to higher standards
- You’re more likely to assume leadership
- You’re more likely to see God as loving, caring and forgiving!
When spouses lose hope, they give up on their marriage. Parents give up on their teens. Leaders give up on their people. Healthy emotions like contentment and peace are replaced with the toxic emotions of confusion, shame, worry, and disappointment. In short, it’s impossible to be spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, or relationally healthy when we’re gripped by discouragement.
Howard Hendricks gave a gripping definition of discouragement: “Discouragement is the anesthetic the devil uses on a person just before he reaches in and carves out his heart.” He’s right. When people lose hope, they lose their ability to dream for the future. Despair replaces joy. Fear replaces faith. Anxiety replaces prayer. Insecurity replaces confidence. Tomorrow’s dreams are replaced by nightmares. It’s a lousy way to live.