Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

God’s Word Archive

Thursday

17

October 2019

Seeking God’s Counsel

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5 things to remember when seeking God’s counsel

"Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel." (Psalm 73:24) | Read more about seeking God's counsel at hopereflected.com

“And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:” (1 Kings 12:7-8)

We all know how Rehoboam’s reign ended. The importance and impact of heeding wise counsel should never be underestimated. The Bible is filled with the history of men and women who sought wise counsel, and also of those who thought they knew better. Time and time again throughout Scripture we see a similar pattern: Seeking wise counsel is always best.

The book of Proverbs also shares a lot of advice on the subject of seeking wise counsel: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety (11:14), “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (12:15), “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (19:20), “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (24:6)

Probably the most recognizable Proverb on the topic of seeking wise counsel is found in chapter 3, verses 5 and 6: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Our elders and mature believers are both excellent sources to go to for counsel, but let’s not forget the best source of all for wise counsel: Our Heavenly Father.

God’s counsel is sovereign. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35)

God’s counsel is eternal. “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)

God’s counsel is reliable. “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Psalm 73:24)

He is our Wonderful Counsellor (Isaiah 9:6) and He is great in counsel (32:19). God’s Word stands no matter what – He is faithful and true. Seeking wise counsel? Remember to look to God first.


Want to understand more about seeking God’s counsel? Find out more about how God’s counsel stands here.


Originally published as “Seeking Wise Counsel.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. August 8, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

4

October 2019

The Infallible Word of God

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"The grass withereth, and the flower fadeth away, but the Word of our God shall stand for ever." (Isaiah 40:8) | Read more about the Infallible Word of God on hopereflected.com

Is God’s Word infallible?

Yes! Is God’s Word truly inerrant? Yes! Is the Bible really relevant in this “advanced” world in which we live? Yes! It’s paramount that we have a solid understanding of Scripture, as our understanding of the Bible will directly affect our world view. “Order my steps in thy word,” wrote the Psalmist in Psalm 119:133, “and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”

One of the ways we can be sure of the infallible Word of God is through fulfilled prophecy. “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.” (Isaiah 48:3) Many people don’t realize that when the Bible was written, 27% of the Bible was prophetic (it hadn’t yet come to pass).[1] In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin, and He was. In Micah 5:2, Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, and He was. There are even specific prophecies in Zechariah 9:9 and 11:12-13 that Jesus would ride on a colt into Jerusalem and be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.

These are just a few examples of prophecies fulfilled concerning our Lord. There are many others, and about additional historical events as well.

God’s Word endures

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8) It doesn’t get much more clear than that. The earth may pass away, but God’s Word will endure (hey, that’s also prophetic). Generation after generation, century after century, God’s Word still stands, and it still proves itself relevant today. The Bible is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time[2], with estimates of more than 5 billion sold. Over no other book have so many people given their lives and been willing to die.

Furthermore, countries were even founded on Biblical principles. The “Dominion” in the name “Dominion of Canada” and the Latin “A mari usque ad mare” (translated “From sea to sea”) on Canada’s coat of arms, are direct references to Psalm 72:8. The Declaration of the United States of America directly addresses God as Creator.

God’s Word stands fast and it will for ever (Psalm 11:8).

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) As Tozer once said, “God’s words are not for me to edit and tinker with, but to believe and obey.”


You can read more about the importance of spending time in God’s Word here.


[1] Bingham, Nathan W. “Fulfilled Prophecy Demonstrates the Divine Inspiration of Scripture.” Ligonier Ministries, 29 June 2016, https://www.ligonier.org/blog/fulfilled-prophecy-demonstrates-divine-inspiration-scripture/

[2] “Best-selling book of non-fiction.” Guiness World Records, https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/

Originally published as “The Infallible Word of God.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. August 1, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

20

September 2019

Get thyself Wisdom

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." (James 1:5) Wisdom | Read more at hopereflected.com

Wisdom is important as we walk through this life

In the books of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, after Solomon was anointed king, God asked Solomon what He could give to him. “Give me now wisdom and knowledge,” Solomon responds (2 Chronicles 1:10). God grants Solomon’s request. “Because this was in thine heart, and thou has not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself… Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee.” (2 Chron. 1:11-12)

Solomon went on to author most of the chapters found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs contains many references to wisdom and how important wisdom is as we walk through this life. “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.” (Proverbs 4:5)

Rely less on your own knowledge

James 1:5 tells us that “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” Through quiet times spent in prayer and meditating on God’s Word, wisdom starts with God. The key is that you need to spend time with God in order to gain wisdom. As you read more of God’s Word, and consult Him more in daily prayer, you’ll begin to rely less on your own knowledge and more on God’s will. “There are many device’s in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21) As Charles Stanley says, “God will move heaven and earth to show you His will and your obedience to Him will bring greater blessings than your plans could hope to achieve.”

Learn from the godly influence of mature Christians

Wisdom can also be found when you follow the example and learn from the godly influence of mature Christians. An excellent place to start is with your elders. “Is not wisdom found among the aged?” (Job 12:12) Think of the believers in your life who have impacted you through an encouraging word or a strong spiritual example. The Bible is filled with examples of other believers who have lead by example: Joseph in the life of Pharaoh, Elijah in the life of Ahab (Ahab is a great example of what happens when godly wisdom isn’t pursued), Nathan in the life of David, and Jesus in the life of Nicodemus. Look around. You may never know the impact that your testimony has on the lives of those around you.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”

God’s wisdom looks very different from the world’s wisdom. Our finite minds can never comprehend the infinite Creator of the universe. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are different than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Pursuing after wisdom by spending more time reading your Bible, or quieting your soul in prayer may never make sense to someone who has different priorities. In fact, you may even find in your pursuit to get thyself wisdom that others come into opposition. Don’t be discouraged. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). God’s foolishness is wiser than men; and His weakness is stronger than man (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Originally published as “Get thyself wisdom.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. July 4, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

24

January 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

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"Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11) Make it a habit to hide God's Word in your heart | Read more at hopereflected.com

Wednesday Wisdom: Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

You’ve likely heard the saying, “What goes in must come out” or “garbage in, garbage out”. What’s in your heart will show in your life. Do you have low self confidence? You’ll likely seek out others who are the same and who try to put you down to build themselves up. Is there bitterness in your heart? You and those around you can probably taste it in your words. Is there love in your heart? You’ll give that to others in the way that you treat them.

What’s in your heart will show in your life. That’s why it’s important to fill your heart with God’s truth, wisdom, love, and peace!

The book of Psalms is filled with wisdom, and Psalm 119 — in addition to being the longest chapter in the Bible — is filled with the insight of a person who despite living through a world of difficulties, finds joy and “delight” in following the Lord.

Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

A practical way to follow the Lord is to commit His Word (the Bible) to memory. I’m not suggesting you memorize the entire Bible (though some have!), I’m suggesting you start simple and memorize some of the verses that have impacted your life.

What Bible verses encourage you? What Bible verses comfort you? What Bible verses remind you what is right? Start with the Bible verses that speak the most to you, and commit them to memory, one at a time.

Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a week. Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a month. A great way to start is to write a couple of verses down on a sticky note, or an index card. Post it on your computer screen, or carry it in your purse. Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart. After all, what’s in your heart will show in your life.

What is a favourite Bible verse that you’ve memorized?

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Thursday

18

January 2018

5 verses for when you feel insecure

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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It’s inevitable that at some point in your life or another, you’re going to feel insecure. Today I’ve curated 5 verses for when you feel insecure, that are great reminders to call to mind when you need real reassurance. The Bible is filled with verses to encourage our hearts when we go through periods of insecurity and unsteady waters. I hope these Bible verses will be a strength to you and a reminder that no matter where you’re at, and no matter what you’re going through, God has His eyes on you, and He cares for you.

Bible verses for when you feel insecure Psalm 139:17-18 | See more at hopereflected.com

1. 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.”

 

Verses for when you feel insecure (Matthew 10:29-31) | See more at hopereflected.com

2. 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.”

 

Verses for when you feel insecure (Jeremiah 29:11) | See more at hopereflected.com

3. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

 

Verses for when you feel insecure (Jeremiah 1:5) | See more at hopereflected.com

4. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you….”

 

Verses for when you feel insecure (Genesis 1:27) | See more at hopereflected.com

5. Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

 

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Wednesday

13

September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Invest in something that contributes to your growth

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

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Invest in something that contributes to your growth. God's Word is a great place to start! | See more at hopereflected.com

Invest in something that contributes to your growth.

Ever find yourself talking or thinking negatively about your own body? Or spending time with people who are less than encouraging? Reading or watching things that aren’t uplifting or edifying?

We need to stop pouring energy into things that defeat our spirit, and start spending time investing in things that contribute to our growth.

A great place to start investing is in God’s Word. We often take for granted the treasures found within the Bible! Take a look at God’s will for your life by taking the time to dig into God’s Word!

Here are three incredible ways that God uses the Bible to help us grow:

  • The Bible will teach you: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Encouraging, edifying, and filled with wisdom, God’s Word is given to teach us. You can’t grow if you don’t learn, so why not spend some time equipping yourself for God’s will in your life?
  • The Bible will give you peace: Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” There is no peace like the peace that God provides. In Philippians 4:7 we’re reminded that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • The Bible will encourage you: Keep in mind Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Do not be discouraged! Encouragement is the opposite of discouragement, and throughout God’s Word, we are commanded to encourage one another: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) One way that the Bible will encourage you is through the testimony of other Christians who’ve gone on before you! Consider the earthly ministries of Ruth, David, Moses, Noah, Esther, Naomi, and countless others! The Bible is filled with the testimonies of other real life Believers who have gone through this life before us. We can read about their challenges, their triumphs, and ultimately be encouraged by their lives.

Invest in something that contributes to your growth. The Bible is a great place to start!

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Friday

11

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Hidden in Plain View

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"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 | See more at hopereflected.com

Hidden in plain view

Last week, I had a visit from my friend Rudy. We met last year, and since discovering our mutual Faith, Rudy has been a real encouragement to my heart. He has his own unique ministry, part of which includes taking the fronts of cards and photographs and putting them on wooden plaques to hang as art. Rudy gifted me a few of these plaques, including one with the name of JESUS painted between lines that reads “Some see Him; some don’t”. Besides being a conversation starter, Rudy’s gift is also thought provoking. While some of us accept Christ at a young age and live our lives trying to follow Him, others go their whole lives and either don’t realize – or refuse to acknowledge – that Christ is right in front of them. And why is that?

Perhaps you think all Christians are hypocritical. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience by going to church. Or maybe you think that Christians just can’t get along. Whatever you think, the fact is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, and we all sin. Yes, everyone! The only thing that makes Christians different is that we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts.

Whether or not you choose to accept it, Jesus is right in front of you. He knew about you even before you were born, and He gave His life so that you can have eternal life. You may not want to think about what happens when you die, or when your loved ones die, but Heaven and Hell are both very real places. What you choose to live for here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. So are you ready? And if you haven’t chosen to live for Christ, what have you got to lose?

Maybe you think you’ve already got it all together; perhaps you’re retired, you live in your dream home, and you drive a great car. Or, maybe you’re struggling, between jobs, and trying to make ends meet. Choosing to live for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that your life on earth is going to get any better or worse – in fact, now more than ever before, Christians are persecuted for what we believe, – however choosing a life for Christ means that you will always, always, have a built-in compass, a comforter, and a constant companion.

Christ is our compass.Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) You know that feeling when you’re lost, or when the GPS is slower than your car and you miss the turn off for your destination? When you choose to live for Christ, and you’re seeking Him daily, you don’t have to worry about getting lost. He’ll keep you on the right track, even if it means providing just enough light to take you to the next step. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Christ is our comforter. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Wherever you are, and whatever you’re going through, Christ is the Great Comforter. Matthew 5:4 tells us that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall comforted.” There is no person or thing on this earth that can compare to the comfort that Christ provides.

Christ is our constant companion. “And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14) David said in Psalm 46 that God is “ever present” with us. No matter where you are – both physically and emotionally – God is with you. All you have to do is talk to Him. It might sound silly to some, but from my own experience, when you make a point to pray and converse with God, He hears you, and He will show you in amazing ways that He hears you.

Christ will never turn away anyone who turns to Him.

Originally published as “Hidden in plain view.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 3, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Monday

27

February 2017

Encouragement | Psalm 139:3

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encouragement psalm 139:3

“You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:3-4

Sometimes it may seem like you can’t see the path just ahead of you, and you’re afraid to take the next step. Rest assured and be encouraged knowing that God knows your path, He knows your lying down, and He is acquainted with all your ways.

Psalm 119:105 tells us that God’s Word is “a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” If you’ve ever held a candle-lit lamp, you understand that it doesn’t provide a whole lot of light. Rather, it provides just enough light for the stairs in front of you.

That’s the beauty of having a relationship with God. We don’t need to see all the stairs; we can trust that He’s in complete control and will provide the light we require. Just like we’re told in Psalm 139:3-4, God knows our path and He knows all our ways. We can rest in that.

“You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:3-4

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Friday

13

January 2017

Hope Reflected | The Blessing in Obedience

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blessing in obedience luke 11:28

The Blessing in Obedience

Piano lessons. Talk to any adult, and they’ll tell you stories from their child hood about piano lessons. The difference in how the stories end is always related to obedience – some individuals demonstrated obedience in practicing piano, while others gave up and moved on to something else. In the long term, the benefits of demonstrating obedience in practicing piano means more than likely those individuals can still play today! It’s a great feeling of satisfaction as an adult to reap the benefits of obedience when you were a child.

The Bible talks a lot about obedience, and the book of Hebrews specifically recognizes great men and women from the Bible who were obedient and faithful: Abraham, Moses, and Sarah just to name a few.

Obedience plays a part in every believer’s life, and the Bible has much to say on the topic of obedience:

Obedience shows that we believe in and love God. Abraham, Moses, Sarah, and other men and women of faith in the Bible, demonstrated their belief and faith in God through their obedience. Jesus said in John 15:14, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Similarly, 1 John 2: 4-5 says, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

Obedience brings glory to God. As Christians, we have a responsibility to be obedient to God’s Word. Though it’s not always easy – especially when popular opinion contradicts much of the Bible’s truths – obedience brings glory to God. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Obedience brings blessing. Psalm 1:1-2 tells us, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” We’re also told in Proverbs 13:13, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” Jesus even said in Luke 11:28, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

Obedience brings freedom. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And with freedom, comes peace. D.L. Moody was famously quoted as saying, “There will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to obey the voice of God.”

What are you waiting for? If you want to see God do extraordinary things in your life, start taking steps of ordinary obedience.

Originally published as “The Blessing in Obedience.” Minto Express, Independent Plus. December 7, 2016: 5. Print.

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Monday

3

October 2016

Encouragement: Isaiah 54:10

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isaiah 54:10

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10

If you haven’t already read through Isaiah 54, I hope you take a few minutes today to do so. Give it a read. The whole chapter is an encouragement.

Even just looking at verse 10, check out all the encouraging truths that are right here! Can you imagine a world where the mountains and the hills are shaken and not just moved, but removed from the earth?! Yet all the while, God remains steadfast, with several promises holding true:

  1. God’s kindness will not depart from us. We know that God is slow to anger. The Psalmist in Psalm 63:3 proclaims, “Because your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.” In Psalm 69:16 the Psalmist says, “Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.” Our God is KIND. He loves us. He has our best interest at heart.
  2. God’s peace, the covenant of His peace will not be removed from us. Philippians 4:7 promises, “and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” As Christians, we can speak from experience that God blesses His people with peace (Psalm 29:11). When troubles on earth seem to prevail, there is something to be said about committing it all to our Saviour. He will give us a peace that is far beyond any comfort we can find in this world.
  3. God, our Lord, will have mercy on us. From experience, and from God’s Word, we know that God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). Mercy, by definition, is God withholding the judgement that we deserve and instead granting us the forgiveness we don’t deserve and we couldn’t have earned. David, in Psalm 51 cries out to the Lord, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love.” Our Lord is merciful, and He is quick to forgive. He sent His Son to the cross as redemption for our sins.

If you’re looking for encouragement this week, take the time to read Isaiah 54. Not only will God stay with us, show us His kindness, grant us His peace, and show us His mercy; God also promises within Isaiah 54 that “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

 

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