My husband and I just returned from a much-needed vacation. When you have five kids and jobs that require high levels of responsibility, time for just the two of us can get placed on the back burner. And yet, in order to stay connected, in tune, and serving together in our calling as husband and wife, father and mother, stepdad and stepmom, and servants of God, we must nurture our relationship. We have to focus on each other, live out our vows to each other – one of which for us is having fun together. It is important to know and trust what we have and what we give to each other.
In a similar way, understanding what we can expect in our relationship with God, and that He is our source of hope in this world, is of utmost importance. We need to know we can depend on Him to deliver on His promises and from His character. How can we know this and develop this in our lives? Spending time together. The connection and understanding we are looking for in our relationship with God come from an investment in knowing Him.
There are three ways I nurture my relationship with God, which leads to a habit of hope in my life:
- Talk to Him. I pray. It doesn’t have to be formal or it can be. I recognize He is both my Heavenly Father, so I show Him reverence and offer Him praise, and I have learned that He is my friend who laid down His life for me, Jesus. So, sometimes I just let my thoughts or words fly like I would if I was having coffee with a friend here in town. In talking to God, I sense my connection to Him, and I experience His love and hope in my life.
- Listen to Him. I read the Bible, and I listen to sermons online or faith-based podcasts. Reading God’s Word is one of the key ways I fill up my tank with hope. My thoughts and feelings can get me off track pretty quickly if I don’t check them against the truth.
- Walk with Him. I spend time living out my faith and the hope found in Christ alone. It is one thing to know intellectually about God, and it is a whole other thing to actually live it out in our lives. James 1:22 (NKJV) says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving yourselves.” This is not easy. And it has been especially hard with the challenges we all faced and may still be facing in the wake of a worldwide pandemic. This is why it is important to make this a daily practice. Commit to it and live it out.
I invite you to nurture your relationship with God. Invest in knowing Him more today.
If you want to build a habit of hope for the next 30 days through devotional reading, God’s Word, prayer, reflection, and commitment to living out hope – pick up my new book, LIVE IT OUT – Hope, A Devotional Journal.
Connect with me at CodieWinslow.com or on social media on Facebook (Codie Winslow) and @codiewinslow on Instagram.