What might happen if I hope big?


I sometimes don’t hope big enough.

I read scriptures and the power of what is said goes right over my head.

I pray and if you were to ask me if I believed, the answer would be yes. But do I really believe? For if I did, my prayers would change completely.

What might happen inside of me if I were to hope big?


In our study passage (Luke 5:1-11) Simon hears what Jesus says.

He even obeys.

But when the fish start filling the boat, it takes him by surprise.

It doesn’t say whether Simon let down all his nets. But he had fished all night without a catch, and it’s evident he’s not expecting any fish.

He went out into deeper waters with little hope.

Suddenly his boat is sinking under the squirming abundance of fish. He shouts out to his partners, James and John.

They didn’t bring enough nets either.

Now two boats are sinking.

Perhaps you’ve sensed God speaking these past three weeks. You’ve said “But if you say so” and you mean it.

That’s huge. God is doing something spectacular in your heart.

What’s next?

Bring enough nets. 

How do you do that? You allow hope to take root in your heart.

Big hope. Big nets. Big God. 

hope; a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

 What does hope look like?

Hope anticipates  

Hope isn’t just a desire for something to happen. It’s combined with a feeling of expectation.

Are you anticipating the lessons He desires to teach you?

Are you anticipating the comfort He will give?

Are you anticipating the growth that will take place spiritually?

Are you anticipating a new direction He is taking you?

Are you anticipating the joy He desires to pour over you?

Hope moves. 

A hope-filled heart doesn’t always mean a leap to the finish line. In fact, it rarely works that way.

It’s not impulsive. It always agrees with scripture. It’s partnering with God in a series of smaller choices as you listen and respond.

He’s speaking. You’re listening. You’re walking together.

Hope brings a big ‘ole net. 

This is where our study hit home with me.

In fact, it changed my heart in an area where I didn’t even realize change was needed.

I write words for a living. It’s the deeper waters where He’s calls me to throw out my nets and, to be honest there are times that I’m not sure they’re landing anywhere near fish.

So, over time it’s easy to start to think small. I’m simply thankful to catch a few fish.

There’s nothing wrong with being thankful for the small things, but after seeing Simon’s surprise I brought a bigger net with me when I prayed.

I asked God for every word to reach as many fish as are on God’s heart. As many fish as He cares to cast in my nets.

It’s not about numbers. The eternal has always been Jesus’ heartbeat. I just want to partner in with Him with big hope.

I don’t know where God is leading you, or what He’s asking of you as He pushes you out in deeper waters. . . but are you bringing your nets with an expectant heart?


Q: Why is expectancy and desire key ingredients in hope?

Q: What might it look like to bring your nets as Jesus speaks? Describe how that might change the way you respond.

Q: Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” What might it mean to rejoice in hope?

The Mended HeartHave you read my latest book, The Mended Heart?

It shares how to rejoice in hope and how to heal when you’ve felt broken.






  1. I just got to read your message today. It definitely hit home with me! Thanks for the words of encouragement!

  2. I love the way you’re looking at so many aspects of this same passage. For me right now, HOPE is choosing to trust that God will be sufficient for our needs as we depart for a busy two weeks in El Salvador: family, lots of speaking commitments for my husband. I’m choosing to be at rest and ANTICIPATE God’s grace.

    Hope is one of God’s truths that most resonates with me. My favorite scriptures is Romans 15:13. “May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…” Blessings to you this week.

  3. Love the discussion on hope today. I spoke on hope recently, sharing the importance of being sure what I hope for lines up with Whom I hope in. Awesome question to ponder: Are we bringing our nets with an expectant heart? I’m sure my hope at times underestimates the Glory of God. I’m trading my net in for a larger one!

  4. I sadly must say, my first thought to the question, “what happens when you hope big?” is you hurt big. I know the promise is that Hope doesn’t disappoint. But I had prayed fervently for something, fasted, believed, trusted and hoped – hoped BIG . . .and the answer was not what I had prayed for. and it hurts. the “be patient in tribulation” isn’t my favorite part of this verse! I don’t know what God has planned. My faith tells me to trust Him, that He sees what I can’t see and so I remain constant in prayer – that my heart aligns with God’s will. I love Him, and I believe that although I don’t understand now, someday I will…

    • As we’ve studied these past three weeks, we’ve discovered that the miracle we often think is important sometimes isn’t the true miracle. It is disappointing when you pray and fast for something and it doesn’t happen. I’ve been there, Susan.
      The miracle that Simon found (in our past three week’s study) wasn’t even the miracle we talk about most. He left a income changing amount of fish behind for suffering, for growth, for intimacy with Jesus. In the end when asked to deny Jesus (a very different Peter from the one who began) he embraced martyrdom, as if to say “my life is so impacted and rich and changed by my relationship with Jesus that my faith is sufficient.”
      That was a series of miracles that changed Peter forever.
      Sometimes the miracle is exactly what we ask for, but often there are layers of miracles to be discovered as we hope big.
      Thank you for such an honest comment. I’ve been in that hard place and I love that we can encourage one another through it. I hear your heart and it’s beautiful and honest. Thank you, Susan.

  5. Suzie, thank you for this message today. That is where I struggle mightily! I pray, I trust, I even have patience, but my expectations are often small even though I worship a big God whose power is great. Then I have guilt over my weakness.
    Kim, you are so right, rejoicing is key. If I take the time to praise God in gratitude for all that He has already done in my life, I see His almighty power. That alone should show me that my expectations need to be great. And that leads to an expectant hope.

    • Kim W…praying your hope will grow so far beyond what you can dare to dream, think, or imagine that you will be able to always see things from God’s perspective!

  6. Oh, this is good, Suzie. This is so GOOD! I’m not sure I’ve really let hope take root in my heart and that’s the only starting point to seeing hope fulfilled, isn’t it? Thank you for these words today. All of these words. Graciously, Meredith

  7. Thanks you . I really deeply needed that really bad today. I have a lot of storms going on in my life these last several weeks.

    • Lord, thank you for Tara. You never waste a storm. She may not see it right now, but you redeem the hard places. You show us how to trust. Even when the skies have been dark for days and days you are with us. You and your plan for Tara do not change in the hard places. May she sense you close as a whisper. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  8. Oh Suzie, this is a needed word. Our ministry is planning our first women’s conference and registration has been open for about 3 weeks. I have had repeated confirmation from God that we are right on, but as of yet we have not had one registration sent in. I am still confident that big things are coming, but with each passing day I begin to question. I am trying to live in expectation of a huge catch…but there are days that I wonder. It is a bit early (the conference not being till mid October) so I suppose patience for His timing is in order. It is just that we have a lot of money in on many levels and I’m getting a bit nervous. This definitely has brought back His confirmation in my mind that a big “catch” is on its way! Thank you sister!

    • How exciting! And yes, as someone who speaks at conferences I have huge respect for those who put them on. So many details and responsibilities (and sometimes complaints and different opinions) but in the end so many women impacted. What you do matters! I pray that God gives you peace and joy in the midst of planning. That He gives you so many creative ideas and creative people, and surrounds you with those who will pray for you and for the women who will be attending.
      Lord, call them in. The women who are on your heart. The women who are in need of the words that will be spoken that day. The women who need friendship, community, and fun. We ask this together in Jesus’ name.

  9. The key to rejoicing in hope can be found in Philippians 4:4-9.
    Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, (in the good times and the bad and ugly times, even when the day of evil comes) and again I say; Rejoice. (it is a command, not a feeling.) The LORD IS at hand. (A promise.) Rejoice! Let your gentleness (your quiet and gentle, spirit of faith that does not panic in adversity, that trusts and hopes and keeps on trusting IN HIM, which in HIs eyes gives you a beautiful spirit and is of great worth to Him) be made known to all. The Lord is near. (He promises!) Do NOT be anxious, but in Everything, by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, (as though He has already done what you are asking!!!) let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding (and is beyond human reasoning!), WILL ( a promise!) keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (You will have perfect peace if you keep your heart and mind stayed on Him. Trust you in the Lord, forever, for in the Lord Jehovah, is everlasting strength!) Finally… to top it all off!… whatever is noble, and right, and pure, lovely, admirably worthy of praise… these are the things to think about… what is true, excellent, praiseworthy, honest… think about these things… keep your eyes and heart and mind steadfastly fixed on the awesome traits found in who HE is… and in how He is revealed in those wonderful ways in and through others who are led by Him, who are true followers of Him… Put those things into practice in your OWN life… and God, once again, promises His peace WILL be with you! Circumstances have nothing to do with it. Faith, hope, and love… these are the key… and the greatest.. His love for us which wildly beyond our ability to grasp, beyond what we can dare to dream, hope, or imagine.. His thoughts for us are more than the sands of the sea. Now, THAT truth, will fill us with hope. It is not something we must up… but a fruit of His spirit… the result of walking by faith, not sight. Isn’t He awesome… behold what manner of love the father has given unto us… that we should be called the daughters of God. 🙂

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