Today I want to share with you some of my daily routines for maintaining hope.
When we're in difficult times and there's stress all around us, we have to know how to nurture our spiritual hope. We have to be the ones that go to the Word of God and encourage ourselves in the Lord and then encourage others.
I want to begin with Psalm 42:11 (NKJV): "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted [sad] within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."
There are many attacks on our hope for the future today, and some of them are very subtle. But hope is the anchor of our souls. If Satan can destroy our hope and confidence that we will get through our current situations, we will not be able to retain our stance of faith and see fear driven out of our lives.
So how do we pray when we feel hopeless or when we feel anxious? Let's begin personally.
- Hold onto the confessions of the Word. We must determine that we will hold on to the confessions that we have from the Word.
Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." But we have a question: How do we hold fast, or how do we grab hold of hope? Hope can be elusive. We might have it and be doing good in our day, and then all of a sudden, we just start feeling hopeless.
Well, one way is to listen to what comes out of your mouth. Are your words mainly critical? Are they negative? You must change your confession of fear to confessions of hope, which will generate positive feelings as opposed to negative. Emotions can go all over the place, but the Word of God is the anchor for our souls. Saying the Word of God out loud is supernatural. When we speak Scripture, those Bible verses are not just words written on a page. Hebrews 4:12 says they're living and they're alive and they're powerful. And while this might seem so simple, it will help to correct our attitude from one of negativity to optimism.
- Monitor your thought life. Be aware of how many negative thoughts you are thinking. When a fearful, negative thought arises, cast it down. How do you cast it down? You cast it down through the Word of God. A familiar passage for many of you, 2 Corinthians 10:5, says, "Casting down arguments [or imaginations] and every high thing that exalts against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
What are you thinking? You know, it's very interesting. As we go through the day, there are many things that run through our minds. But in a moment of crisis, we have to steel our minds: s-t-e-e-l, as in make them like steel, the metal. When those negative thoughts come, like, I'm not going to get through this. My finances are going down. My family might get this disease. Every time one of those comes into your thinking, you must put a promise of God in its place. The promises of God are powerful.
Let God's Word be the plumb line. Do you know what a plumb line is? It's a building tool, a heavy object on the end of a string, used to see if the building is straight. Is your thinking lining up with the Word of God, or is your thinking being carried away by the news? God's Word, God's news, is that He loves you, that He's going to prosper you, that He's going to bless you.
Through a season of depression one time, I learned that I had to take authority over my thoughts. I had to find out those deep-rooted things in me that were making me afraid or negative. And I promise you, if you will do this daily, it will make a difference. Cast down imaginations. The second that thought comes against your mind, don't let it rule over you. Let God's plan be the plumb line.
What I've also found is many people are not very adept (I understand this because I wasn't either) at finding out what's wrong with themselves. The other night I had been out shopping at the grocery store, and when I came home, for some reason, I began to feel some anxiety. I thought, Now wait a moment. Anxiety is not part of my life. I'm not going to feel anxious. Why am I anxious? And so I began to ask the Holy Spirit, "Holy Spirit, just show me."
I had been to a store that day where we had to wear masks, and in the store, you also stand in a certain place. You can move your basket up, but there's a screen, and you're not supposed to really touch anything between you and the checker, and there are all these things. So I came home, and the Lord said to me, "You felt today like you were living in a soup of germs." In other words: You actually went into what felt like an enemy territory where, in the invisible realm, there were all these things that could make you sick. So I cast that feeling of anxiety down, and I began to feel peace.
The next time I went to the store, I began to decree, "I am armored with the armor of God. Any germ that touches my body dies. When I touch something, the blessing of God is there. I'm not receiving sickness and disease. The world is receiving health and healing through me." It was really interesting ... I don't know how other people feel when they're praying for the sick, but I can often feel what the Bible calls "virtue" coming out of my hands or even out of my physical body. Jesus said that He could feel virtue that went out of Him when the woman with the issue of blood was healed. I began to feel the same way that I do when I'm in a healing meeting—the same way when I'm starting to pray for the sick. I felt that coming out of my body, bringing healing to the land.
Can we believe for that? What if hundreds of thousands of believers around the world began to consider, "Okay, I'm walking my neighborhood, and healing is coming to my neighborhood. I'm prayer-walking my city. I'm prayer-driving my city. Healing is coming to this city. Disease cannot come within the borders of this city. We thank You for the Blood of the Lamb over this city."
Begin to make declarations. Let God use you for significance in this season for yourself, for your family and for those far beyond your family. The Word of God is alive and powerful. And so, we need to be able to pinpoint what is wrong with us. In other words, take your daily spiritual temperature.
- Where are your thoughts coming from? Determine whether or not the thoughts or emotions are actually your own, or if you're under spiritual attack. Satan is a roaring lion, and he wants to throw you into depression and anxiety. Remember this Bible verse in 2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4, MEV).
You know, intercessors are burden-bearers (if you're an intercessor, you know what I'm saying is true). In other words, when we go into society, just like Jesus is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, we become touched by the feelings of the infirmities of the society. What does that mean—"touched"? It just means, emotionally, we can take it on. And if we're not careful, we're going to take on too much. We're going to start feeling the hopelessness that others feel, the depression or the anxiety. As I said earlier, we are the ones to be the light in the dark place, but if you're not careful, you can become defiled. You can become defiled by what you are feeling, so all of a sudden, the hopelessness that could be demonic oppression begins to oppress you also.
This is where a prayer partner is so important. I pray that God gives you one if you don't have one, because sometimes we reach a point where that hopelessness that is beating against us from others begins to oppress our emotions. We don't feel joy anymore; we are feeling that anxiety. We pick up so much of it in society that it begins to rule over us, and we need someone to pray for us to break it and break the curses.
I want to do that for you right now. In the name of Jesus, I break the curse of sin against you. I break the oppression, the defilement, off of you in the name of Jesus. I speak peace to your household; I speak health to your body in the mighty name of Jesus.
- Time for a spiritual house cleaning. You might need a spiritual housecleaning around your apartment buildings, your flats, your property or wherever you live. You might need to anoint your property or your house once again. You need to put the Blood of the Lamb over your doorpost. Now, that sounds weird, but it literally just means that as we pray, the power of the cleansing Blood of Jesus protects us. We're not actually putting blood on our doors. This will help you, and God can use it.
Ask forgiveness for any sin that was done in your household or upon your land and break the curses on it. And lastly, fill your house with worship. Declare: "I declare over my house, 'My house is full of joy; my house is full of worship.'" Your soul responds to worship; your soul responds to music. We are divinely wired by God to respond to music. Hope will flood your soul.
I want to say to you once more, don't be downcast. Let hope be the anchor for your soul. Break the defilement off of you in Jesus' name. Be healed in Jesus' name. You are an overcomer. You are the head and not the tail, above and not below, and God wants to use you to bring hope to a hopeless world. God bless you.
Cindy Jacobs is an author, speaker, and teacher with a heart for discipling nations in the areas of prayer and prophetic gifts. She and Mike—her husband of 41 years—co-founded Generals International in 1985. She is a respected prophet who travels the world, ministering not only to crowds of people but to heads of nations. Her first calling is and always will be prophetic intercession. Each year she travels, and she has spoken on nearly every inhabited continent to tens of thousands. Cindy has authored books, loves to travel and speak, but one of her favorite pastimes is spending time with her husband, Mike, and their children, Daniel and Mary Madison, along with her grandchildren.
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