Hope comes in different forms throughout life. Students hope for good grades. Young adults hope to find love that will last a lifetime. Parents hope their children will be healthy and happy. Our hope springs from our purpose in life, what we see ourselves achieving and doing. Our “why I’m here” inspires and motivates us.
As we grow older, finding our purpose can be more difficult, especially when chronic health conditions require adjustments to how we live. Many of life’s big milestones may be in the past with children raised and the career ladder put away. Our hope needs to take on a different perspective to give meaning and purpose to each day.
Lean Into Faith
Faith can be an ongoing source for inner strength and joy, especially under difficult circumstances. In a culture that exalts youth, vitality and beauty above all else, it’s good to remember the bigger picture — that this world is not the end of the story. By faith we know the best is yet to come.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17, NIV
Everybody gets older, but not everyone gets wiser. Solomon asked God for wisdom above all else — and he received it. Take stock of what you’ve learned and experienced through your life and apply it to whatever you face today. Wisdom can bring peace, reconciliation and comfort as we understand what really matters most.
Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalms 90:12, NIV
Focus on Gratitude
You may have heard the provocative question, “What if you wake up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today?” Research shows that gratitude and a positive outlook can actually change the activity in your brain. It’s a powerful tool that’s within us. Consider taking time to thank someone for caring for you or being a friend. Be intentionally grateful and don’t take anything for granted.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
Know Your Value
If you have to depend on others for help, it can be a hard adjustment. You may feel frustrated, discouraged or worthless. But remember that your life has value, and you’re responsible to make the most of what you have. Focus on what you are able to do. Can you follow your doctor’s advice more closely to feel better? Can you brighten someone else’s day with a smile or kind word? Each day is a gift, and you’re never alone.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7, NIV