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    Are You Listening to the Voice of Hope or Fear?

    You’re familiar with the voice of your fear. It’s been loud; it’s been constant; it’s been overwhelming. It’s time to start cultivating and listening to a softer voice; the voice of hope. The voice of fear appears to be the voice of power, but that is a sham. Over time, fear does not produce power; it only drains it. Hope is the true voice of power. Hope enables you to see beyond your perceptions to the horizon of a new dawn. Fear says everything will end; hope says life will go on.

    I firmly believe in the power of optimism, hope, and joy. Optimism is the default setting that looks for the good. Hope is the firm belief that good does exist. And joy celebrates that existence. There is great good all around you, and it’s time you started looking for it.

    Begin the process by listing 5 answers to the following:

    • The good about me and who I am
    • The good in my life right now
    • The good in my life in the past
    • The good in my life in the future
    • Why I choose hope over fear
    • Why I choose to live in the moment today

    The world is quite effective at recording the negative sound track for your life. There is a seemingly endless supply of problems, troubles, fears, worries, concerns, and anxieties. If that is all you listen to, it will be difficult for you to switch to a good channel. I can think of no better source for material for your good channel than something called the Good Book. I’m speaking, of course, about the Bible.

    In Luke 18:19, Jesus says that God is good, and I believe it. I have experienced it in my own life and in the lives of so many others, whether believers in God or not. God is good and wants good for you. He plans for good while knowing that your life will not always be smooth and that, sometimes, you’ll simply be overwhelmed.

    When I am overwhelmed by life, I take heart in the story of Jeremiah.

    The theme verse for the Center comes from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Here is another passage that reminds me, even in the pits I find myself in, I am not alone: “The waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to be cut off. I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life” (Lam. 3:54-58).

    When you feel like you’re in over y0ur head and you’re about to be cut off, God says, “Do not fear.” Concentrate on the good; listen to God. Allow his words to fill your soul and give you hope.

    Dear Father, may your voice of hope be stronger than the voices of despair. Give me the strength to wait and listen for you to speak and not give the world the last word on my life. Teach me your words and your ways; make my thoughts your thoughts. Help me to have faith. Give me stamina to practice these things and your voice is all I hear.

    SOURCE: Chapter 8 in Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Fear: Practical Ways to Find Peace

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