Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Encouragement Archive

Wednesday

15

April 2020

Counsellors of Peace

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"Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy." (Proverbs 12:20) | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

Proverbs 12:20

The Bible is filled with verses about peace. We are all familiar with Psalm 34:14, John 16:33, Hebrews 12:14, Colossians 3:15, and more. Perhaps one of the lesser referenced verses on the topic is Proverbs 12:20. Proverbs 12:20 refers to “counsellors of peace”, and that one of the benefits to such people is joy.

Are we counsellors of peace? Are we sowing peace in our relationships, and cultivating the characteristic? It can be hard, especially when there is uncertainty all around. Counsellors of peace are those who promote peace not just in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. In Gill’s Exposition, he describes counsellors of peace like this:

“…such who consult the good of others, who advise to peace, concord, and unity; who seek to cultivate it in their families and neighbourhoods, and in the church of God…”

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

How can we become counsellors of peace, as described in Proverbs 12:20?

  • Rather than fretting about our circumstances, may we find our confidence in God. (Proverbs 14:26)
  • Instead of complaining, may we practice an attitude of gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Remember that though we may not understand the timing, we can rest in the fact that God is in control. (Luke 12:22-26)
  • When we are going through challenging and uncertain times, may we remember that nothing is a surprise to God. (Revelation 1:17)

We have peace when we have a relationship with God. In this life, we will never find peace in and of ourselves, but only when we look to Him and His Word.

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

James 3:18
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Tuesday

31

March 2020

3 Bible verses to help anxiety

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God’s Word is filled with encouragement for the weary soul, and it is filled with wisdom to help us deal with anxiety, insecurity, and worry.

We could all use more calm for our souls, and the best place to find peace and calm is the Bible.

While there are many more than just three Bible verses to help people with anxiety, these are three I recall to mind when I’m anxious, worried, and need reassurance. They’re easy verses to memorize, and they are an amazing encouragement and reminder that God cares for us and He wants His best for us!

1. Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Anxiety often brings with it feelings of restlessness, an inability to calm down, and an overwhelming number of thoughts. This is precisely the time that we need to remember to “be still”. “Be still, and know that I am God,” we read in Psalm 46:10. He is God. He is in control. We need only to be still. When I’m experiencing feelings of anxiousness, nervousness, or even having trouble sleeping, this is one of the verses of which I remind myself.

"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com

2. Psalm 40:5

“Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalm 40:5)

God’s thoughts toward us are more than we can number. What an encouragement to calm anxiety. God’s thoughts toward us are thoughts of love and of peace. He does not wish for us to be harmed. Psalm 40:5 reminds me of Psalm 139:17-18, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Or what about Matthew 10:29-30, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalm 40:5) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com

3. Isaiah 26:3

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

When you’re looking for Bible verses to help anxiety, Isaiah 26:3 is a great source of strength. Perfect peace is found only in one place, and that’s with our Heavenly Father. How can we keep our mind stayed on Him? By getting into God’s Word and memorizing Scripture! Another way to alleviate feelings of anxiety or stress is to recite Scripture. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Memorize it, claim it, believe it, repeat it. Peace is possible with God.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com
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Wednesday

18

March 2020

10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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During times of uncertainty, and when we focus on what’s happening all around us, it can be easy to lose our focus on God. We need God now more than ever! In the midst of all the staying home and social-distancing, we should be clinging to Him now more than ever. When we need reassurance and reminders of God’s goodness — and we all do, don’t we — God’s Word is the best place we can go. I hope these 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind are an encouragement to your spirit. Read them, write them down, print them out, and commit them to memory so you can calm your anxious mind no matter where you are. Even when we don’t understand the plan or the purpose, we can trust the Great Planner. Remember, nothing is a surprise to God!

1. Joshua 1:9

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

2. Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

3. Psalm 86:7

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” (Psalm 86:7)

"In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me." (Psalm 86:7) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

4. Psalm 91:4

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)

"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (Psalm 91:4) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

5. Isaiah 35:4

“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:4)

"Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:4) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

6. Isaiah 41:10

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

7. Matthew 10:29-31

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

8. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

9. Philippians 4:6

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

10. 2 Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

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Friday

17

January 2020

Victory in Jesus

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement, Published Work

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Enough with the fatalistic attitude!

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57) | Victory in Jesus | read more at hoperflected.com

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

We aren’t called to be wimps. We are not called to get caught up in doom and gloom or bad news and bothered outlooks; enough with the fatalistic attitude! We are called to step up, get out there, and be game changers. Christians, remember and rejoice: We have the Holy Spirit living inside us!

Taking courage in the promise of Victory.

Take courage in the promise of victory in Jesus that David shared in Psalm 110. Consider the victory we have in Jesus through His resurrection from Acts 2:31-33: “He [God] seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” Contemplate the awesomeness of the victory we have in Jesus Christ’s triumphant return from Revelation 19:11,13: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True…and his name is called The Word of God.” There is victory in Jesus.

The theme of Victory.

We see it throughout Scripture. During Paul’s ministry, though he faced persecution and trials, his communications all have this overarching theme of victory. Look at Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth. One of the central themes is the joy of the Christian’s life in Christ! Read through his letter to the church at Ephesus where he clearly talks about the church’s position in Christ. Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse considers Christ’s preeminence and our life as Christians in Him. Or what about Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi where he encourages believers about our confidence in Christ! Despite his circumstances, Paul’s attitude was still that of victory in Jesus. What an awesome example for us to follow and be encouraged by.

We have proof of Christ’s deity, we have our own detailed Biblical history, and we have the promise of Christ’s triumphant return. What are we doing in the meantime? Take a cue from Scripture and take action. Obey Christ.

Have faith in Christ!

Jesus Christ Himself encourages us to have faith, even if it starts as a grain of mustard seed (Matt. 17:20). He also encourages us to let our light shine: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid…Let your light so shine before men…” (Matthew 5:14,16) We are not called to shrink back – we are called to step up. Don’t like what you’re seeing in the world? We aren’t supposed to sit around just waiting for Christ to come save us, we are to let our light shine and share the Good News.

Originally published as “Victory in Jesus.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. September 19, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Tuesday

1

January 2019

Happy New Year

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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Set Your Heart to Seek the Lord

Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord. 1 Chronicles 22:19 | See more at hopereflected.com

“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 22:19

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reset and regroup, and to reconsider our priorities. The best way to do this is to set your heart to seek the Lord, and to purpose in your heart to keep your eyes on Him.

How do we set our hearts to seek the Lord? Make Him a priority! Choose a time each day that’s set apart for Him. Communicate with Him throughout your day. Join a church with solid, Biblical teaching. Pray. Keep a prayer journal.

Happy New Year! May each of us set our hearts to seek the LORD first.

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Thursday

22

November 2018

The Thankful Heart

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart. | See more at hopereflected.com

Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto to Him and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4)

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Thursday

6

September 2018

Encouragement | God is always with you | Psalm 16:8

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"I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8 | Read more at hopereflected.com

“I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8

Many people have life verses, or verses that they memorize and carry with them their whole lives through. While Wes and I often say that Ephesians 3:20 is “our” verse, another verse that we’ve found ourselves claiming this year is Psalm 16:8, “I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

The beauty of this truth is that God is not only before us, He’s beside us, and He is all around us. When everything else seems unsure, you can rest assured that God is always with you. Not sometimes, not just when things are going well, no, God is always with you.

That’s why it’s so important to set Him always before you. To set, or to place, this requires action on our part. Setting God before you requires faith (and I’ve written before about how faith is an action word). When you purpose—in your heart, in your mind, in your work, in your home,—in every part of your life to set God before you, He will keep you and as Psalm 16:8 says, you “shall not be moved.”

Do you have a life verse, or a Bible verse that you’re claiming for your life? Share in the comments!

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Sunday

1

April 2018

He is Risen | Easter | Resurrection Sunday

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"He is risen, as He said." Matthew 28:6 | See more at hopereflected.com

He is risen! Wishing you a blessed Easter. Happy Resurrection Sunday!

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Matthew 28:1-7

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Friday

23

March 2018

Encouragement | Easter Meditation on Isaiah 53:6

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"All we like sheep have gone astray." (Isaiah 53:6) | See more at hopereflected.com

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

Sheep need a Shepherd. For Christians, that Shepherd is Jesus Christ.

The role of the Shepherd is to protect the flock. The Shepherd guards the flock with his life. In Jesus’s case, rather than let us suffer the consequences of our sins, He went to the cross for us. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Because Jesus went to the cross and rose the third day, we have the peace and promise of eternal salvation, when we have a relationship with Him.

Consider Christ as our Shepherd. He is our protector. He is our salvation. He is our buckler. He is our high tower. Christ is our Saviour.

This idea of Christ carrying our sins to the cross also translates into Christ carrying us. As the shepherd carries the sheep, so Christ carries us always. “Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28:9)

As humans, it can be hard to keep our eyes on the Lord. And it can be easy to stray, even when we have a relationship with Christ. “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:176)

And while we all have a habit of turning to our own ways, thankfully the Lord, as our Shepherd, has a habit of keeping His hand on us. “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered: so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

Click here to read more from this series on Isaiah 53.

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Thursday

22

March 2018

Encouragement | Easter meditation on Isaiah 53:5

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"The chastisement of our peace was upon him." Isaiah 53:5 | See more at hopereflected.com

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

The first part of Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;”. Jesus carried the weight of our sin to the cross. Every sin, every transgression, and all of our iniquity — even the things that happened last week, and this week, or that will happen in the future — Christ bore it all on the cross. It’s hard to fathom, isn’t it?

Romans 4:25-5:1 puts it like this: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”.

Jesus went to the cross for all of our sins. But He didn’t stay there!

Isaiah 53:5 continues on to say, “the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

What is the chastisement of our peace? In his exposition of the Bible, John Gill explains the chastisement of our peace like this:

“the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
that is, the punishment of our sins was inflicted on him, whereby our peace and reconciliation with God was made by him; for chastisement here does not design the chastisement of a father, and in love, such as the Lord chastises his people with; but an act of vindictive justice, and in wrath, taking vengeance on our sins, of our surety, whereby divine wrath is appeased, justice is satisfied, and peace is made.”

Christ didn’t just go to the cross to die. He went there, carrying all of our sins, so that we might live and have eternal life and peace. I love how it’s described in 1 Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Christ went to the cross so that we should live unto righteousness!

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Click here to read more from this series on Isaiah 53.

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