Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

Ecclesiastes Archive



January 2024

Don’t be weary in well-doing

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

You can’t reap if you don’t sow

He that observeth the wind shall now sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4) | Read more about not growing weary in well-doing on hopereflected.com

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: If you wait until the time is perfect to do something, you’ll never do anything. As Solomon—considered to be the wisest king in history—wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” (11:4). It doesn’t require any experience with farming to understand that if you don’t sow then you can’t reap. The same is true in all areas of life; not just in agriculture.

“Be not deceived”

Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. …let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:7, 9).

Eventually, we will harvest the seeds that we spend our time in life planting.

The question is, will the harvest be good?

Farmers know that the harvest season is hard; there’s a lot of labour that goes into reaping and gathering everything that was planted earlier in the year. The timing’s got to be just right for successful sowing and to reap the rewards of, well, reaping.

Now just imagine if a farmer allowed him or herself to be distracted by the winds or the clouds and as a result didn’t sow any seeds or gather the harvest?

They’d be at great risk of losing everything.

The same is true with how we spend our lives.

Paul wrote “Be not deceived” because many people are deceived. They think they have time to waste, that they can “have fun” now and get serious later; that “finding God” means never having any “freedom” again; that they are entitled to collect benefits without working at all; that they should live for today without thought for tomorrow.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today

The trouble is for many that tomorrow will come more quickly than they realize. Every person, regardless of what they believe, Christian or non-Christian – we will all reap what we sow.

Just like the farmer in Ecclesiastes 11:4, when we put off doing the right thing because we’re waiting for our own convenience or for the right time, then we won’t ever do the right thing, and we won’t ever receive the rewards thereof.

Paul encouraged Christians to “not be weary in well doing:” (Gal. 6:9).


Because well-doing can be wearying!

When we look around us and see the world rewarding bad behavior, coddling criminal activity, and celebrating sin, it’s hard to watch. It can be wearying to continue to in well-doing when the world is telling us that we are wrong.

“You reap what you sow, later than you sow, and more than you sow.”

Dr. Charles Stanley

The late Dr. Charles Stanley famously said, “You reap what you sow, later than you sow, and more than you sow.”

This principle applies to every life.

When we’re feeling weary, this is important to remember.

Tomorrow is coming, The “due season” is dawning. Until then, our job is not to be observing the wind or regarding the clouds, but pressing on and not being weary in well-doing.  

Originally published as “Don’t be weary in well-doing.” Independent Plus. September 8, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



May 2017

Hope Reflected | Timeliness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

timeliness God's timing


If you garden, you know that during the early days of Spring, it can prove a challenge to know the right timing for tasks that need to be completed. This year, I questioned the right time to trim back the rose bushes. Wes wondered about the ideal time to re-seed the lawn. Together, we’re still debating where several annuals should be planted throughout the garden. Timing is everything.

The timing you’re struggling with may not be related to gardening; maybe you’re waiting to hear back about that job application, or perhaps you’re waiting and wondering why you’re single when it seems as though all your friends are getting married and starting a family, or maybe you’re questioning the inconvenience of a recent health challenge.

Timing is everything.

  1. There is a time for everything. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Chances are that even if you haven’t read the book of Ecclesiastes, you’ve likely heard the famous song by The Byrds called, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” where we hear that, “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn),” and it’s true. There is a season and a time for everything. Happiness. Sadness. Love. Heartache. Health. Sickness. Life. Death. The important thing to remember is that God is in control, and it’s God Who has a perfect timing for everything.
  2. Sometimes (OK most of the time), our timing is not the best. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Have you ever been held up in a traffic jam, feeling frustrated that you’re going to be late? Or have you ever hesitated to make a decision, only to make your choice and find out that the house is off the market/tickets are sold out/position has been filled? We think we’ve got it all together, and we’ve got everything planned out perfectly (according to us) in our minds, however the reality often is that God’s timing is not our timing (and written from experience, God’s timing is ALWAYS the best).
  3. Ultimately, our timing is in God’s hands. “My times are in your hand.” (Psalm 31:15a) Whether or not you’re a Christian, God is in control. God is omniscient (read: He knows everything), and He makes no mistakes. That can be a hard truth to accept, especially when things aren’t going the way I want them to. Frequently, I have to catch myself when things aren’t going my way, and remind myself that God’s timing is greater than anything I could ever imagine. Jesus Himself said in John 13:7, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
  4. We can trust in God’s timing. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Trust can be difficult, especially if you’ve been hurt before, however when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, He will never let you down. “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:25-26)

God’s timing is perfect. You may think you know the right time for everything, but remember what Elisabeth Elliot said: “God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.” If you’re questioning the timing of something in your life, keep in mind that God frequently answers our prayers in one of three ways: With a “yes”, with a “not yet”, or with “I have something better in mind.”


Originally published as “Timeliness.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. April 27, 2017: 7. Print. Web.



January 2017

Hope Reflected | The Importance of Being Prepared

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

the importance of being prepared

The Importance of Being Prepared

An old adage says, “A Saturday well spent brings a week of content.” There is so much truth packed into this little saying, as what you do over your weekend has a lot to do with how your week rolls out. Taking time before the week begins – to prepare meals, study work notes, finish home work, and get ready for any meetings – to prepare for each day can make a huge difference in both your confidence level and also achieving the goals you set!

Benjamin Franklin was famously quoted, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you don’t spend time getting yourself ready for the week ahead, or preparing yourself for tomorrow, you’re essentially missing the most crucial step towards success.

The Bible talks a lot about the importance of being prepared. While it’s not always easy, here are just a few things that the Bible says about being prepared:

  1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. “Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Proverbs 3:28 Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination can quickly become a bad habit; choose to practice diligence and make preparedness a good habit. Being prepared is something that we practice daily to bring it into effect.
  2. Trust God, and do your best. “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 In Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, he says, “Unforseen events come from God; and the man who is always gazing on the uncertain future will neither begin nor complete any useful work: but do thou bear in mind that times and circumstances, the powers of nature and the results to which they minister, are in the hand of God; and be both diligent and trustful.” Just because you don’t know what’s around the corner is no excuse for not being prepared and doing your best. The key is trusting God, Who is in complete control of our future.
  3. Learn from the wisdom of others. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8 Take a cue from successful people. Most successful men and women aren’t ‘fly by night’; they’re prepared, they’re thoughtful, they set goals and they achieve them. Even ants are prepared! Learn from the wisdom of others.

To be prepared, don’t procrastinate! Give thought to what you need to do, write down and set goals for yourself, and then create a plan to achieve and succeed. Don’t postpone things, do your best, and learn from the experience of others. Remember, sometimes the best way to get things done is simply to begin. Being prepared pays off in the long run!

Originally published as “It pays to be prepared: What the Bible says about being prepared.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 19, 2017: 7. Print.



September 2016

Encouragement: Ecclesiastes 3:11

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

ecclesiastes 3:11 God's perfect timing

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

There are so many truths throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, and Ecclesiastes 3:11 is a great reminder of God’s perfect timing. So often in life, we put a plan in motion for exactly how we want and envision things to work out. We think we’ve got things figured out, like we know what’s best for our future.

It’s very easy to forget that God’s perfect timing for our lives can turn out to be completely different from what we imagine as being right. In Isaiah 55:8-9, we’re told, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Our thoughts and ways are usually very different from our Lord’s, aren’t they? I also really like how Ecclesiastes 11:5 talks about the wonders of God: “Just as you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

How many times have you been in a situation, and anticipated how circumstances would work out, as though you were in control? How many times do you think that you’re the one who’s in control, that you can climb that mountain with your own strength, that you can change someone’s heart through your own actions? The reality is, God is in control, and it’s only through Him that we accomplish anything at all!

In Matthew Henry’s commentary, he says the following about Ecclesiastes 3:11: “Every thing is as God made it; not as it appears to us. We have the world so much in our hearts, are so taken up with thoughts and cares of worldly things, that we have neither time nor spirit to see God’s hand in them. The world has not only gained possession of the heart, but has formed thoughts against the beauty of God’s works.”

When I find myself getting impatient or experiencing disappointment, or when things don’t work out as I think they should, it’s a great reminder to look at verses such as Ecclesiastes 3:11 about God’s perfect timing. It may not make sense right now, but God’s got a reason. Our task, like Job, is to continue praising Him even when things don’t make sense, and to continue trusting Him and growing our Faith. “Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number.” [Job 5:9] Job experienced more testing circumstances and situations throughout his life, and yet he never once questioned what God was doing. He knew that God had a plan and would work every thing out in His timing.

Wherever you are today, whether waiting, wondering, or worrying, take heart. God’s perfect timing is worth the wait! God is in control, and He hath made every thing beautiful in His time.

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11




August 2016

Hope Reflected: The Importance of Being Original

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work



Wes and I love jazz. Diana Krall, Duke Ellington, Tony Bennett, Wes Montgomery; you name the artist, and chances are, we’ve got them in our playlist. Listening to a Diana Krall album last week, we were both struck by her ability to take a standard that’s been sung so many times before and make it her own. Krall has her own distinct delivery that gives her the ability to sing the same songs as other jazz artists, but to make them unique. She takes the influences that speak to her and infuses them into her music. Krall is an original.

We all collect and draw influences from our surroundings – people, music, movies, books, ideologies – and we live these influences out in our daily lives. Even what you eat can affect your mind! That’s why it’s so important to be conscious of what you allow into your heart and mind.

In a world of copycats, it’s not easy to be original. And let’s be real, is there anything that’s truly original anymore? King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” God is the original Creator of every single thing, and He created each of us uniquely in His image.

Why else is it important to be original?

  1. God created you to be you. Not your neighbour, not your best friend. God created you with a distinct purpose in mind, and you can’t achieve His purpose for your life if you spend all your time trying to be like other people. Luke 12:7 reminds us that “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” If God knows the exact amount of how many (or how few) hairs are on your head, you can rest assured that He created you for a purpose that only you can accomplish and fulfill.
  2. You have a responsibility to draw from the Original Source. While there are many influences in the world, remember to draw your best influences from the Creator of everything: God. God is loving, and He is the Great Comforter. God provides peace, and only He can provide true joy in our lives. Philippians 4:8 says that “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” When we draw on God as the Original Source of all creation, we keep our focus on the right things in life.
  3. Others look to you as an Influencer. As much as you draw from the influences of other people, there are also other people who look to you as an influence in their lives. That’s another reason it’s so important to be conscious of the sources from where we draw our influences. 1 Corinthians 15:33 is a great reminder, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”” Who we allow to influence us and how we live our lives matters! Matthew 5:16 tells us “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven.” Being yourself is a big deal; you never know who is watching.

God created all the snowflakes unique, He is the Creator of every single thing, and all of His creations are original. Often overlooked, being original is very important. Be a voice, not an echo!


Originally published as “The Importance of Being Original.” Minto Express. July 13, 2016: 5. Print.