Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Encouragement Archive

Monday

16

October 2017

Encouragement | Colossians 3:2

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Set your affection on things above. Colossians 3:2 | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

In the midst of life, where our focus so often is set on the day-to-day grind of life, our careers, our families, our friends, and our own dreams and goals, it can be hard to retrain our thoughts to the heavens and to the One who created us.

We’re told in Colossians 3:2 to set our affection on things above, not on things on earth. Our affection — that feeling of fondness or love — is to be set on things above. So what does that really mean? Does it mean that we’re wrong for pursuing success here on earth? I don’t think so, but I do believe that it means we are to live with eternity in mind.

How often are each one of us guilty of concentrating on the here and now, and what’s best for us in this lifetime? It’s like when Jesus said to Peter, “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)  I don’t know about you, but quite often in the hustle of the everyday, I’m guilty of not having the things of God in my mind.

While there’s nothing wrong with doing well for ourselves here on earth, ultimately we need to remember that we brought nothing into this world, and we’re not taking anything with us when we leave! As Christians, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The empire you build for yourself here on earth won’t matter in light of eternity.

Matthew 6:19-21 puts it like this: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures is, there your heart will be also.”

We tend to focus where we spend the most time. That’s why it’s so important to get into God’s Word, to memorize scripture, to spend time in prayer everyday. Multiple times a day if we’re able. Ask God to centre your focus on Him. Purposefully recite your favourite verses from the Bible. Actively praise the Lord for His goodness to us — after all, His mercies are new every morning so there’s always something for which to worship Him!

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Monday

2

October 2017

Great is thy faithfulness

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Great is thy faithfulness quote. | See more at hopereflected.com

This past Sunday at church, we sang one of my favourite hymns, Great is thy faithfulness. Written in 1923 by Thomas O. Chisholm, Great is thy faithfulness is based off the portion of Scripture found in Lamentations 3:22-23:

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

If you’re in need of encouragement today, just remember, there is no shadow of turning with God! He does not change, and His compassions fail not. He is always the same, and He cares for each one of us!

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas O. Chisholm

Tuesday

26

September 2017

Encouragement | Isaiah 33:2

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"Be our arm every morning." Isaiah 33:2 | See more at hopereflected.com

“O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” Isaiah 33:2

Ever notice how the Bible refers to our Lord so many times as being “gracious”? Grace. It’s one of the most highlighted virtues of God, and serves as a great reminder that in our daily lives we ought to exercise grace towards others. It sure can be hard!

In Isaiah 33:2, Isaiah calls out to God to be our arm every morning and our salvation in the time of trouble. What exactly does it mean to be our arm every morning? Some versions of the Bible replace “arm” with “strength”. I think that puts it in perspective; each morning, we’d be wise to call on God as our strength. Start the day in prayer; spend time in the morning in the Bible; commit each day to the Lord.

Rather than rushing out the door in the morning, when you make time for prayer and devotions, it can make a huge difference in your day!

“O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” Isaiah 33:2

 

 

Monday

11

September 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Zechariah 10:1

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"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain." Zechariah 10:1 | See more at hopereflected.com

“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zechariah 10:1

Here’s what Matthew Henry has to say about this beautiful passage of scripture, Zechariah 10:1.

“Spiritual blessings had been promised under figurative allusions to earthly plenty. Seasonable rain is a great mercy, which we may ask of God when there is most need of it, and we may look for it to come. We must in our prayers ask for mercies in their proper time. The Lord would make bright clouds, and give showers of rain. This may be an exhortation to seek the influences of the Holy Spirit, in faith and by prayer, through which the blessings held forth in the promises are obtained and enjoyed.”

How often do we not receive from the Lord because we don’t take the time in prayer to humbly approach the Lord and ask?

Ask ye of the Lord.

As you head into this week, remember that God is with you. Whenever you’re ready to start a conversation with Him, He’s ready to hear you.

“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zechariah 10:1

Thursday

7

September 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Greater is He

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Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 | See more at hopereflected.com

1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This verse is talking about how as Christians, as those who have accepted Jesus as our personal saviour, we have someone greater in us than anyone in this world. At times it can be hard to fathom, especially when we look around and see political unrest, hurricanes, and hurting hearts. It is true, however. Our God is greater than all of that. He is greater than any circumstance. His attributes are so many we can’t even begin to number them.

Who is the Lord? The Bible tells us so much about our Lord (these verses don’t even begin to cover it). Here are 20 attributes of God that encourage me, and verses to go along with them. These are just 20 of God’s attributes; the Bible is filled with many more!

  • God is our ROCK.
  • God is our STRENGTH.
  • God is our FORTRESS.
  • God is our DELIVERER.
  • God is our GOD.
  • God is TRUSTWORTHY.
  • God is our SHIELD.
  • God is the HORN OF OUR SALVATION.
  • God is our STRONGHOLD.
    • “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
  • God is WORTHY TO BE PRAISED.
    • “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:3)
  • God is NEAR YOU.
    • “The LORD is near all who call out to Him.” (Psalm 145:18)
  • God is our KING.
    • “You are my King.” (Psalm 44:4)
  • God is our RESTORATION.
    • “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3)
  • God is our SHEPHERD.
    • “The LORD is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1)
  • God is our HIDING PLACE.
    • “You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble.” (Psalm 32:7)
  • God is our HEALER.
    • “LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
  • God is our REST.
    • “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
  • God is our PEACE.
    • “For He Himself is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:14)
  • God is our HOPE.
    • “For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; you are my trust from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5)
  • God is our COUNSELOR.
    • “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel.” (Psalm 16:7)

The next time you feel like you’re barely hanging on, call on God and His incredible attributes. The above are just 20 of God’s attributes. Take the time to get into God’s Word; His attributes and His promises will encourage and reassure you, wherever you are!

 “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Tuesday

5

September 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Romans 15:13

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. (Romans 15:13) | See more at hopereflected.com

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Romans 15:13)

If you’ve ever read through the book of Romans, you’re well aware that throughout it, the apostle Paul delivers a powerful presentation of the Gospel. Through Christ alone can we find eternal salvation; it is His righteousness alone.

The book of Romans also provides encouragement for Christians, as evidenced in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

  • Only God can fill us with all joy and peace in believing (the key is we must believe in Him)
  • As Christians, God will fill us with ALL joy, not just some joy or a little joy, ALL joy
  • We have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives
  • We can abound in hope because we believe in Christ
  • Only God can fill us with peace, and that peace comes when we believe

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Romans 15:13)

Monday

28

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | 1 Corinthians 15:10

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Yet not I, but the grace of God. | See more at hopereflected.com

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

We often take it for granted, but we should be so thankful for God’s grace and how He lovingly and continuously extends His hand to us and offers us His forgiveness even when we fail over and over again. I don’t think we’ll ever fully realize the gift of God’s grace. Grace… extending kindness to the unworthy. How many times in our own lives do we fail to demonstrate the very gift of grace that we’ve been given?

The apostle Paul recognized God’s grace at work in his own life, and how his work was only possible through God’s grace. God’s grace is sufficient for each one of us, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

Tuesday

22

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Hebrews 13:5

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Be content with what you have. Hebrews 13:9 | See more at hopereflected.com

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5

It is so easy to lose sight of what we already have by looking across the grass to what we think are greener pastures. The truth is though, that the grass isn’t greener on the other side; the grass is greenest where we choose to water it.

When I find myself feeling discouraged or discontent, nothing puts me in check quite like taking an inventory of all that God has blessed me with. We can’t experience true joy until we learn to be content with what we have, and the biggest part of that is giving thanks to God.

The things of this earth will pass away, but we are promised from God that He will never leave us for forsake us. Even when you feel like the whole world is against you, God is with you. No matter what happens or what you do, He will never leave you, and He will never forsake you.

That alone is reason to rest content!

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5

Tuesday

15

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Psalm 139

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the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." (Psalm 139:23) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Sometimes, you have a bad day. Sometimes, you have a series of bad days. Sometimes, it seems like your bad days just won’t end!

When you’re feeling like the whole world is against you, or you feel like you just can’t do anything right, remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 139.

God knows when you sit down, and He knows when you rise. He understands all of your thoughts, even if you don’t say them aloud or share them with anyone. God is your compass, and He knows all your ways. He knows every word on your tongue before you even think them. There is no where — no height and no depth — we can ever go that God is not already there. God cares for each one us, and He cared for us even before we were born!

We serve a God Who is bigger than a bad day (or a bad week)! We will all face days that are less than desirable, and in the end, as long as our hearts are right with the One Who matters, that is what matters. So the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Wednesday

9

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

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Encouragement from 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 | See more at hopereflected.com

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

If you’re looking for encouragement today, read through 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. There are so many great gifts of God packed in to these verses that we often take for granted how incredible our God is.

Think about it:

  • We have direct access to Jesus Christ
  • He is our God and our Father
  • He loves us!
  • He gives us everlasting — never-ending — consolation
  • He gives us good hope
  • He gives us grace
  • He comforts our hearts
  • He establishes us in every good word
  • He establishes us in every good work

If you’re feeling discouraged, or distant, take heart. We serve a God who loves us and whose compassions are new every morning. Meditate on His marvellous promises; He won’t let you down!

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17