Hello everyone! In my recent podcast episode titled Growing Faith Through Hope, I explore what I believe is an important connection between our willingness to embrace hope and our faith being able to grow! Here are a few excerpts from the podcast where I share how I believe our hearts can grow faith through hope, “… when we choose to hold onto hope and keep our hearts open especially as it pertains to the hope of God-given dreams or vision, we allow God to work as a gardener, tilling the often hardened ground of our hearts until they become more pliable to God’s will and purpose for our lives! I also believe that as we allow ourselves to hope, our spiritual receptivity can increase resulting in a more fertile climate for our faith to grow.” “… when our hearts have been crushed, in particular by disappointment or what we perceive as unanswered prayers or unmet expectations, we can lose our hope and become plagued by fear and uncertainty that I believe can start a cycle of despair for us, a cycle that can not only impact our ability to stay in faith but also adversely affect our overall emotional well-being. However, I believe the good news for us is that, when Steven Furtick described his perception of the connection between hope and faith and specifically when he said, ‘… hope is the soil where our faith can grow, a place where the seed falls to the ground and breaks apart…’ that this illustrates the idea of hope acting as a kind of soil that when applied to our hearts, can provide a fertile place for God to plant the seeds of those unique dreams, desires, and promises that He wants to be fulfilled in our lives! I find this to be an exciting concept because I believe that if we do make the choice to nurture the seeds of our God-given dreams and desires with hope and as we trust that these God-given dreams are being held not only in our hearts, but in God’s hands as the gardener as well, that hope really can become the fertile soil of the heart where our faith can grow!” “… even though I believe this process is an exciting and miraculous occurrence in our hearts, I recognize that it can be a scary and brave thing for us to say yes to because it can hurt to make the choice to allow ourselves to hope and carry God’s desires for us in our hearts, especially if we cannot easily see how those God-given dreams and desires might be fulfilled and come to pass. I am also soberly reminded that when a seed falls to the ground it does have to break apart in order for growth to happen, a process that when applied to the human heart can be painful as we allow the soil of our hearts to be similarly broken apart as we obediently carry the hope of one day seeing the fulfillment of a God-given dream or vision. I don’t say any of this lightly though because I recognize that our hearts can fear that what we hope for will not come to pass, but I believe that as we dare to continue to hope, and dare to willingly embrace not just the joy of hoping but the pain as well, God will be faithful to us and our faith will continue to grow, even out of the ashes of any dashed hopes and dreams. Even though I recognize that it is often human nature for us to run from pain, it helps me to remember that pain and the willingness to dare to hope seem to be an important part of the process that God has put into place for us to prepare the soil of our hearts so that we can continue to grow in faith.” Thank you as always for joining me, I look forward to being back with you again soon with more excerpts from my next podcast episode, until then God Bless you and keep you!