Producing Hope Overflow

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

“The world needs less heat and more light. It needs less of the heat of anger, revenge, retaliation, and more of the light of ideas, faith, courage, aspiration, joy, love, and hope.”

– Wilfred Peterson

The world needs more hope ecosystems. That is the conclusion I came to as I read the above quote by Wilfred Peterson. The world needs more people who live in such a way that, “the light of ideas, courage, aspiration, joy, love, and hope” as Wilfred wrote, grow and thrive when they are present. What does that look like? That is the topic of today’s article.

Over the past two articles, I have discussed the concept of a hope ecosystem and how to create one. In the last article, I said growing hope in others starts with growing hope in you. In other words, creating a hope ecosystem means being clear on your own identity and source of hope. Understanding that you were created on purpose and for a purpose by a God who loves you provides the foundation you need to help others discover the same.

Time to expand your hope ecosystem!

When ecosystems are working well, they produce more life. The different parts of the ecosystem work together to help each other thrive. This is a beautiful picture of how hope can work. When you are hope-filled, the hope you have tends to overflow. When you are intentional about giving it away, more people become hope-filled, generating more hope overflow. So how can you, specifically give away hope?

I have found examining your experiences, interests, gifts, and resources a great way to start answering this question. We often think making a difference in someone’s life has to look a certain way. We have a mental picture of someone serving others and believe we have to do it that way. While it can be helpful to have a frame of reference for what it looks like to serve, it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. The truth is you are uniquely equipped to make a unique difference in this world. We need you to bring your unique experiences, interests, gifts, and resources to the table. In fact, there might be a specific person who needs exactly what you have to offer to discover the hope that will change their life.

This was a part of my journey. When I began going to Nicaragua, I was part of a mission team that was primarily focused on serving at an orphanage. I enjoyed these trips and found many ways to engage, but I wondered if there was a way I could use my gifts and experiences in business to make a difference in the community. As I had the chance to talk to more people and spend more time in Nicaragua, I discovered that what I had to bring to the table could fill a particular need in the community. This realization freed up me up to make a greater impact because I was able to bring what I uniquely had to give.

As you determine what you have to bring to the table, think about how you might be able to use them to bring hope to others. Is it something that can bring practical hope, or a real opportunity to someone else? This could be training, a job, education, starting a business, and so much more. It could also be something that brings spiritual hope. Would what you have to offer help someone discover a reframed identity around the truth that they were created on purpose and for a purpose by a God who loves them? This could happen through mentoring, counseling, or just investing time in someone’s life. You could even find that you could bring both elements of hope.

Now that you have an idea of what you have to offer and how it could be used, the key is to actually do something. Many times we have great intentions, but never go beyond that. Remember, a hope ecosystem is formed when hope is overflowing to others, providing what they need to grow and thrive. So who needs what you have to offer? Is there someone in your family, community, or sphere of influence who could discover hope because you were willing to share what you bring to the table?

What’s next? Take a step! I find that connecting with someone who is already engaged in bringing hope to the people you want to serve is a great step forward. You will benefit from their relationships and experience, and they will benefit from you can uniquely bring. In many ways, it is another picture of a hope ecosystem.

Now, engaged in bringing hope to others, flowing from a foundation of real hope, you are well on your way to creating a hope ecosystem! This won’t just bring hope to others, it will produce more hope in you. That’s what is great about a hope ecosystem! Can you imagine a world full of hope ecosystems? It would be a world full of more “light” as Peterson wrote.

As we prepare to celebrate Easter, I am reminded that Jesus kicked off the greatest hope ecosystem ever created. You see, there is no greater proof that you were created on purpose and for a purpose by a God who loves you than Jesus’ sacrifice for you on the Cross. How valuable must you be to God to go to those lengths to bring you hope and light?

Jesus is the ultimate and real source of hope. He also said the hope produced in us through him can become a river of hope and life for others. That is a hope ecosystem if I have ever seen one. As Easter approaches, I hope you are able to take a moment to reflect on this reality: you can be filled with life-producing hope through Jesus and become a catalyst for hope to live and grow in others.

I hope that is true of you this Easter!

James Belt

Click here for more resources to help you bring hope to others!


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