What is crushing hope in your life? In considering how to unleash the power of hope in your life, have you ever thought about how powerful hope is? When you are hopeful, you are energized, you are motivated, you are in positive mode, and you are productive. As Christ-followers, we have been given hope in Jesus Christ which is steadfast and sure—the anchor for our souls. But too many of us don’t understand that hope must be nurtured and built into our lives.

I’ve given you two things that drain your hope: Unhealthy people and unkind critics. Here are three more.

A schedule totally out of balance drains your hope. If you have allowed your life to become so totally out of balance that you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think you are!

Unnecessary or false guilt is another major hope-killer. I’ve written a book on guilt—Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?—because I recognized that I was living under a load of false guilt and so are lots of other people. One of the most unhealthy things you can do is allow a cloud of guilt to hang over your head. If it’s true guilt, confess it and forsake it, whatever “it” is. If it’s false guilt, recognize that the enemy of your soul is using it to defeat you. Resist him and get rid of the false guilt. Enthusiasm and guilt cannot coexist.

One final thing that will kill your hope is to allow your mind to be exposed to wrong input—wrong movies, wrong thoughts, wrong conversations, wrong reading material, and wrong internet sites. As Ray says, “What enters your mind repeatedly will be revealed in your character and life.” He calls it the law of exposure, and it is as predictable as the law of gravity. What you expose your mind to shapes you and, ultimately, shapes your actions, character, and destiny.

So, to unleash hope in your life, you must get rid of hope killers like these. Then, of course, you need to take positive steps to build and maintain hope. Remember that when you are feeling hopeless, it’s because you’ve allowed some hope killers to remain or you haven’t been intentionally doing the things that keep hope alive and well.