An experiment was done several years ago to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope! Those animals somehow hoped that, if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives? Hope gives us the power to change our thinking. God’s plan for our life is to be hope-filled and he is the source of that hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Maybe you’ve been in a situation where you’ve felt trapped the same as the rats, not so much physically as mentally. We all have experienced numerous forms of emotional bondage that leave us feeling stressed-out. HOPE gives us the ability to be open to change and to know that God is willing and able to help us. We have to believe that things can get better. As children of God, we strive to take captive our thoughts by focusing on spiritual and positive things.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5
When we feel our minds start to drift, we need to flip a mental switch that will not allow the negative to take control. We should look for opportunities to switch the channel of our thinking such as exercising, reading, praying for others, or serving at the church in one of its various ministries. When our minds become transformed, God will renew our hope.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2