Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

Sara Torbett - Stronger

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

When I first read the verse above, I wondered if my Bible had a typo. Wasn’t hope supposed to be at the beginning of the list? That’s certainly where I wanted it to be.

I didn’t like the idea of going through suffering, perseverance, and character to get to hope.

My thoughts reflect our culture today. We view hope as an emotion rather than an outcome of choices we make. We also think hope should be automatic. Then when we don’t find it right away, we despair. But this passage makes it clear that hope is a process.

The first step in that process is suffering. Loss is a part of life. We’ll all endure hardship and heartache on this side of heaven. When we suffer, we have two choices: press on or give up. Jim Rohn once said, “We all must suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

If we choose discipline and perseverance, then this pattern gradually becomes part of who we are—our character. Character doesn’t change based on circumstances or who is watching at the moment. As Dwight L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.”

Character also becomes a light in the dark because it eventually results in hope. This kind of hope is not a vague feeling or wish. Instead it’s a deep knowledge that you and God can get through anything together. That’s the heart of hope: choosing to walk with God through the valleys of life and finding that He will never leave you–and that you will never leave Him either.

We all wonder how our faith will fare when challenges come our way. If you’re still reading this, my guess is you’re choosing perseverance and character. You’ve faced what you never wanted, and your faith is surviving, perhaps even thriving. Even if you have doubts, fears, and many difficult moments, you’re pressing on and moving forward. And I’m cheering you on with every step…no matter how small or slow.

Take heart, friend, you are doing better than you know. Jesus is with you. Your sisters are for you. And hope is on its way.


Holley Gerth

photo and quote design by Sara Torbett {download free on flickr!}

p.s. Hope often finds us when in the most unlikely of places. Claire Diaz-Ortiz experienced this firsthand and shares her story in Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption. I’m giving away a copy of Claire’s book today and if you comment or link up by midnight CST on Friday you’ll be entered to win.

Hope Runs****

Welcome to Coffee for Your Heart! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 9am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here with us.

If you’d like a writing prompt to get you going, here’s a list I created just for you: 30 Writing Prompts.

Pretty please use this button in your post so others can easily join in with us {link the image back to}…

Coffee for Your Heart 150

And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

It’s the Little Things You Do that Matter Most

Frame Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

I’m thinking of you wherever you are today and I imagine you’ve done at least one of these things…

Gotten out of bed when you could have pulled the covers over your head.

Shared a smile.

Spoken a kind word.

Offered a little love to someone who needed it.

Whispered a prayer.

So keep doing what you’re doing.

And don’t worry about what’s not done.

Little things have big impact.

And you’re already making a difference.


Holley Gerth


p.s. And extra thanks for the little thing you did when you filled out a one-minute survey on Wednesday. 1150 of you did so and you made a BIG difference! The winner of the $100 gift card to {chosen through} is Diana G. Hunt (Diana, please email me at And as a thank you to all of you, you can use my friends and family code Holley20 for 20% off anything and everything your heart desires on–including the Heart to Heart with Holley Collection. Just in time for Christmas shopping! :)

You Are Not What You’re Going Through

Purple Heart photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Whatever you’re facing today, it’s not your identity. Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise.

You may be in a place of depression. But that is not who you are. You are a beloved daughter.

You may be in a place of weariness. But that is not who you are. You are a mighty warrior.

You may be in a place of loneliness. But that is not who you are. You are a woman who belongs.

How do you need to fill in that blank today?

I may be in a place of ______________. But that is not who I am. I am ______________.

Take a moment to take hold of the truth your heart needs.

Our problems refine us but they don’t define us.


Holley Gerth