Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

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March 2016

Hope Reflected: 3 Facts About Trust

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Proverbs 3:5-6

You may not know this, but the world’s tallest man-made structure is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Looking at it as a whole, you see this giant, sleek, 2,722 foot building – a mass of concrete, glass, and steel. Seldom would someone look at the building and wonder how it was constructed or what intricate equations and planning had to go into its creation.

That’s how it is with trust: Usually we look at trust from a whole perspective, and we don’t recognize that trust is actually built action by action, bit by bit. Over time, we learn to trust actions when we see someone’s character in motion. It is from this that the building blocks of trust are developed.

Two of my favourite virtues that God inspires are faith and trust. You might think that the two are similar, but here’s how they differ. Faith is, by definition, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV) We base our faith on something that’s beyond our own logic (at least in the beginning). We base our trust on something we do know, that’s proven by character over time. So when God commands me to trust in Him, I should be able to do this without doubt or question, right?

Great concept, although trusting in someone or something is often easier said than done. Trust is a foundational element to any successful relationship (whether with man or God). If you have trust, you have one of the most important ingredients to claiming your joy and living your life to its fullest potential.

Here are three things that I know for sure about trust:

  1. Trust helps us grow. You know what they say about the man who’s driven by the waves and tossed about? Or the man who builds his house on the sand? When we put our trust in the right place – our Lord, – we’re opening the door for Him to work in our lives for His greater good. Jeremiah 17: 7-8 (KJV) says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green: and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
  2. Trust helps us strengthen relationships. It’s often said that you can’t have successful relationships if you don’t have trust. And how do we build trust? Action by action, day by day. When we open our hearts and let others prove their character, we develop trust, and trust builds healthier, stronger relationships. Proverbs 31 (KJV) says of the virtuous woman that, “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” Trust is a two-way street: It is earned, and it is an effort.
  3. Trust helps us move forward. A favourite Bible verse of many, Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) tells us that we should “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When we have a solid foundation for each decision we make in life, we enable ourselves to move forward along the right path with confidence.

I know that I can put my trust in God, Who’s never disappointed me, and Who’s always proved that He’s had a plan in mind for me that exceeds my wildest expectations. If you’re having trouble trusting, start with the basics. God won’t let us down, and when we have a firm foundation for our faith, our confidence will grow and our hearts will be more open to trust. Isaiah 49:23b (NCV) promises, “Then you will know I am the LORD. Anyone who trusts in me will not be disappointed.”

Originally published as “3 Facts About Trust”. Minto Express. September 9, 2015: 5. Print.



February 2016

Hope Reflected: The Importance of Perspective

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Isaiah 55:9

Have you ever watched the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and thought how huge Antie the ant appeared to be? Have you ever experienced flying in an airplane on a clear day, and looking out the window only to observe how minute the homes and buildings seem below, and how the vehicles cruising the freeway are just little specks? Or have you ever felt so bad for yourself and something that’s happened (or not happened) that when you hear the life struggles of another and see the news of unrest overseas, your problems suddenly seem so small in comparison?


Defined in the dictionary as “the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.” Also, “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point view.”

What we get out of life depends a lot on our perspective.

Three ways proper perspective positively affects our lives:

  1. Proper perspective provides clarity. Ever notice when you’re trying to solve a problem or figure out what to do in a situation, that when you take your focus off said problem or situation for a while and come back to it, that the resolution becomes more clear? That’s what perspective does. It helps us adjust our focus and see things from the bigger picture. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV), “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
  2. Proper perspective produces gratitude. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the events of our own lives, that we lose sight of what’s really important, or we place too much emphasis or value on our own circumstances. What’s the old saying that if we all put our problems in a pile, we’d opt to pull our own problem right back out again? There’s always someone struggling with something more severe. That shouldn’t be a comfort to us, but it should help us develop more of an attitude of gratitude for what we do have in our lives. Colossians 4:2 (KJV) says that we should “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”.
  3. Proper perspective prepares us to help others. Oftentimes we will find that by recognizing the pettiness of our own ‘problems’, we’ll be better equipped to be an encouragement to others. It’s the idea of looking out rather than in. James Keller once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” It doesn’t take much effort to provide a word of encouragement or even a simple smile. We’re challenged in Colossians 3:12 (NIV) to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

It’s not always easy to have the proper perspective, especially when life is moving at warp speed and we feel like there’s never a moment to just stop and breathe. It’s like the adage, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV) says, “’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.’” Proper perspective will help us see the whole picture and how God is working every single circumstance in each of our lives for a greater purpose.