Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

goodness Archive



May 2017

Hope Reflected | Sounds Good

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

sounds good what does the Bible say about standing up for what is right

Sounds Good

Sometimes, the very topics we’re fearful to bring up in conversation or talk about because we don’t want to offend another are the very things that others are thinking about. By now, we’ve all heard of the “silent majority”, and the silent majority goes well beyond the lines of politics.

If we don’t step up and stand out, we’re never to going to make an impact. Too often, fear – of speaking up because we’re afraid of offending someone, or of speaking our mind because we don’t want others to take what we say the wrong way – causes us to remain silent, and silence is what got the world to the state it’s at today.

Since when do we have to be silent because we’re afraid of offending someone? Since when did we get the right to not be offended? And who thinks realistically that we can go through our entire lives and never be offended by what someone else says? Unless each of us lived our lives in a bubble, there’s always going to be someone who disagrees and has a different opinion. We can’t live in fear of offending others just because we may have differing viewpoints.

Here’s what the Bible says about standing up for what is right.

Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” If you ignore something or don’t say anything, you condone it. See also the old saying, “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” There is a danger in not standing up for what is right.

Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Remember what we’re told in Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Standing up for what is right doesn’t necessarily mean you’re leading a protest or standing on a stage with a microphone; no, standing up for what is right is as simple as truly living what you believe and aligning your walk with your talk.

Galatians 6:7-10 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” It’s easy to get caught up in all the woes of the world, however it’s important that we don’t lose sight of eternity. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t continue standing up for what’s right; it means that ultimately, God is in control, and when we feel discouraged or disheartened, we need to remember that He’s got this in the palm of His hand.

James 4:17 “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Recently, I read a short piece by Franklin Graham, where he spoke about personal feelings and how ultimately, regardless of our own feelings or inclinations, God is the authority. This poignant piece about Biblical correctness really resonated with me, because it can be easy to get caught up in our own definition of what’s “good” or “right”, but it only matters if that aligns with what God says in His Word.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

Originally published as “Sounds Good.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. May 4, 2017: 7. Print. Web.



December 2016

Hope Reflected: Dealing with Disappointment

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work


hope reflected dealing with disappointment

There will be some days when it rains (and sometimes it happens both literally and figuratively!). There will be some days when you’ll forget that you left the oven on and you’ll burn what could have been a delicious dinner. There will some days when people you thought couldn’t let you down actually drop you or throw you under the bus. There will be some days when it seems like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. Let’s face it – there will always be some days.

Dealing with disappointment is a reality of life. Though some disappointments will be more harsh than others, throughout our lives, we’ll all deal with several doses of the displeasure of disappointment. And that’s not a bad thing – you wouldn’t be human if once in a while you didn’t experience disappointment.

My college pastor used to say that the key to getting over disappointment is not letting it hold you down. You can become bitter, or you can become better. Rather than dealing with your disappointment, you can let it consume you, zap your energy, and capture your thoughts. None of those are good things. We’re always better dealing with disappointment head on. Sometimes – OK, most times – that’s way easier to say than it is to live!

Before you think I’m getting all down on you, I’m writing this so you know that you’re not alone if experience a day – or two, or three, or hey, maybe even an entire week, – of disappointment. Life happens to all of us! The key is in how we handle it.

The Bible talks a lot about dealing with disappointment, and today I’d like to share four verses with you, to encourage you through whatever you may be dealing with as you read this.

Psalm 42:11 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Matthew Henry once said, “The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies.” Amen! I’d venture to say that David, who wrote Psalm 42, arguably experienced more disappointment throughout his adulthood than most of us will experience in a lifetime. He still chose, however, to put his hope in God.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We can rest assured that our Lord wants to give us a future and a hope, when we trust in Him. In his commentary about this verse, Matthew Poole says that our deliverance “will not depend upon your merits, but upon my [God’s] own mercy and kind thoughts and purposes.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Again, if you think you’ve experienced disappointment, do some research into the life of Paul. Throughout his life, Paul faced many disappointments, and yet he still had an incredible faith in God. Note that Romans 8:28 says “all things work together for good”. ALL things. Not just some things. Not just good things. ALL things. That includes disappointments.

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Paul, who wrote the letter to the Philippians, once again provides sound advice. Even in disappointment, we shouldn’t get anxious. We should in every thing – not just some things or good things or happy things – be praying and be thankful! That can be quite the challenge, because often when I’m disappointed the last thing I feel like doing is praying, let alone being thankful. But, we’re encouraged to just that. We’re also promised the peace of God when we do.

Like Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14, “this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” If you’ve experienced some disappointment the past week, you’re not alone. Choose to get better not to get bitter, and you’ll find dealing with disappointment is actually an opportunity to grow.

Originally published as “Dealing with Disappointment.” Minto Express, Arthur Enterprise-News, Independent Plus. September 28, 2016: 5. Print.



November 2016

Encouragement | Nahum 1:7

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

encouragement, the Lord is good, God's goodness

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7

There are so many elements of this verse that provide encouragement:

  1. The LORD is good. He is! One of the things I love about keeping a prayer/gratitude journal is that it makes it very easy to go back and see God’s goodness and all prayers He answers, exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.
  2. A stronghold in the day of trouble. A stronghold is defined as “a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack,” or “a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld.” The Lord is the one place we can go and confide all our thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams… everything! There is no relationship like the one you can have with our Heavenly Father.
  3. He knows those who trust in Him. Think about that for a minute. The Lord, the One who created the entire universe, knows you. He cares for you. He knows all those who trust in Him. Why wouldn’t you care for the One who created you? Having a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ will truly change your life, if only you’ll seek Him!

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7