Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

hope Archive

Monday

1

April 2019

Endurance

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Because of God, we can find encouragement in endurance

Often used interchangeably with its synonyms tolerance and patience, endurance is one of those things that we get tired just thinking about. Associated with challenges, hard times, and periods of suffering, endurance is not for the faint of heart.

We weren’t called to enjoy this life; we were called to endure it. Some of you reading this will balk, thinking rather that we are here on earth to enjoy our life. The reality is that you can spend your whole life searching and seeking enjoyment and happiness, but without the Lord you will come up short and end up empty-handed. You know what we are called to enjoy? God. As the Westminster Catechism states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” You can disagree, but thankfully the Christian faith is based on facts that date back far earlier than you or I.

When you become a Christian, your life is probably not going to be easy. People are going to make fun of you, belittle you, laugh at your expense, and depending where you live in the world, persecute you. The good news is that we aren’t the first to endure hardships, and if we’re being honest, ours are “first world problems” compared with what Christians in many other nations have to endure.

So where’s the encouragement in endurance? The Bible is filled with accounts of men and women who lived in faith before us. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Mary, Samson, David, – I could go on. By faith they endured (Hebrews 11:27). By faith, they “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, and out of weakness were made strong (Hebrews 11:33-34).

Beyond our ancestors before us, because of God, we can find encouragement in endurance. Our chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Even when we are at our worst, God’s goodness endures forever. “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually.” (Psalm 52:1)

Even when we doubt, God’s truth endures forever. “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

Despite our ruthlessness, God’s mercy endures forever. “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 106:1)

Regardless of our immorality, God’s righteousness endures forever. “His work is honourable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:3)

Even though we think we’re in charge right now, His dominion endures forever. “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” (Psalm 145:13)

Originally published as “Endurance.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. November 29, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

8

February 2019

Hope for the Anxious Heart

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In the midst of how you’re feeling, it always helps to remember the facts

While the degree to which may vary, anxiety affects each of us in some shape or form. It can be easy to get caught up in the events of the day, to find your mind wandering and replaying in the middle of the night, or playing out possible scenarios to all kinds of situations that haven’t even happened. Anxiety, fear, and worry happen to us all. In the midst of how you’re feeling, it always helps to remember the facts. There is hope for the anxious heart.

Feeling worried? Remember what Jesus asked the disciples in Luke 12: “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26) The only thing that worrying accomplishes is wearing you out. Jesus also said that we should, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34). When you’re tempted to worry, take it to the Lord and He will give you peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

Beyond worry, fear is also a reality for many people. When Joshua became Moses’s successor, it was a daunting task. He was commanded to “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Or consider David, who penned Psalm 34 from the cave of Adullam while fleeing Saul. In the midst of his fears, David said, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) “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)

Hope for the anxious heart is never too far away, in fact, God promises us that He is always with us (Isaiah 41:10) and He will never abandon us (Hebrews 13:5-6). “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19) What are God’s comforts? His love is eternal, His promises are never broken, and He is the surety of our salvation. As Thomas Horton said, “The little world within us is, like the great world without full of confusion and strife; but when Jesus enters it, and whispers “Peace be unto you,” there is a calm, yea, a rapture of bliss. Let us turn away from the mournful contemplation of the oppression of man and the present predominance of the wicked, to that sanctuary of pure rest which is found in the God of all comfort.”

Originally published as “Hope for the anxious heart.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. November 8, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

6

July 2018

Hope Reflected | Mercy

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"Show mercy and compassion." Zechariah 7:9 Mercy | Read more at hopereflected.com

Mercy

How can you live a life filled with mercy?

David and Saul. You’ve likely read about their tumultuous relationship before. David was that guy that Saul just loved to hate: Successful, beloved, and righteous. Saul couldn’t stand it. He hated David, so much so that he pursued David throughout the wilderness because he wanted to kill him. And what happened? Well, in the end, Saul dies in the most tragic of circumstances, but before that happens, we see perhaps one of the most moving examples of mercy documented in the Bible.

Whether or not he was sleeping or using the bathroom is beyond the point, but in the midst of his pursuit of David, we find Saul taking a break in a cave (1 Samuel 24:3). It just so happens that this very cave is the place where David and his men were hiding! Saul is completely unaware of his present company, while David and his men contemplate their next move, and what does David do? He spares Saul’s life, and he doesn’t let his men kill Saul, either. He chose to show goodness rather than evil to the very person who was purposefully practicing evil against him, and he encouraged his men to do the same. David demonstrated mercy.

God’s mercy is described in many ways throughout the Bible: Great (Isaiah 54:7), sure (Isaiah 55:3), abundant (1 Peter 1:3), tender (Psalm 25:6), new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Quite often in Scripture, we read about God’s mercy in its plural form (God’s mercies). We serve a God Who doesn’t just show us mercy in one way – He is filled with mercies. As Christians, we should lives that exhibit mercy, just as Christ demonstrated toward us when he went to the cross so we could have eternal life.

So how can you live a life filled with mercy?

You can live a life filled with mercy when you show mercy to others. “Show mercy and compassion every man to his brother.” (Zechariah 7:9) Mercy can be defined as not getting what you deserve. When you live a life filled with mercy, you show compassion to others even when they treat you with cruelty. When you apply mercy in your own life, you exercise forgiveness.

You can live a life filled with mercy when you learn to love mercy. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8) I don’t think you can love mercy until you’ve truly experienced it. And the greatest mercy of all? God’s gift of eternal life to us. Some versions of the Bible replace “love mercy” in Micah 6:8 with “love goodness,” or “love kindness”. When you live with mercy, you learn to love that virtue and the others that go along with it.

You can live a life filled with mercy when you keep mercy close to your heart. “Put on therefore…bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering….” (Colossians 3:12) Your bowels are the deepest part of you. The term “bowels of mercies” suggests that mercy, like many other virtues, comes from the deepest part of you. When you truly have mercy in your heart, you’ll show it through your actions towards others.

We see God’s mercy demonstrated toward us in His forgiveness, His gift of eternal life to us. As C.S. Lewis once said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Mercy doesn’t come naturally, it is learned through a personal relationship with God. When you have a relationship with God, God’s mercy toward you is bigger than any mistake you can make. God’s mercy is inexhaustible. And when you see God’s mercy at work in your own life, you’ll be better equipped to live a life filled with mercy.

Originally published as “Mercy.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 18, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Sunday

31

December 2017

45 Life Lessons Learned in 2017

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45 Life Lessons Learned in 2017

2017 has been a year of growth. There is so much more that I learned this year than can be compiled in a column. While some of these lessons certainly aren’t new, they are truths that I reflected on or learned from a new perspective in 2017.

Cheers to this year that has passed, and God’s continued blessings ahead in 2018! Can’t wait to share it with you all!

  1. It pays to be prepared. “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.
  2. It costs nothing to be kind. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (Mark Twain)
  3. When you feel alone, reach out. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) “Look for yourself and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else.” (C.S. Lewis)
  4. God will love you more in a moment than anyone will in a lifetime. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) If you’re looking for love, the best place to start is a relationship with God.
  5. Jealousy is a bitter cup. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) When you find yourself feeling jealous, stop looking in and start looking up.
  6. Grow where you’ve been planted. “Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” (Psalm 96:2) God brings people across each of our paths for a purpose. Share your faith through your actions and not just your words.
  7. Bitterness will destroy you. “Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:17) Like its cousin comparison, bitterness is a thief. “Bitterness and love can’t live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay.” (Dave Willis)
  8. Once you say it, you can’t take it back. “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) We’ve all learned the hard way that you can’t “un-speak” words. God gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t, so that should tell us something.
  9. Seek wisdom and pursue it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” (James 1:5) Charles Spurgeon once said that wisdom is “the right use of knowledge.” Use it to discern what is truly important in this world, and eternity.
  10. Get into God’s Word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.” (A.W. Tozer)
  11. Don’t give up. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Whatever trial or difficulty you’re going through right now, you are not in it alone; God is with you. We are weak, but He is strong. Don’t give up; give it to God. He will see you through.
  12. God’s grace is immeasurable, and God’s mercy is inexhaustible. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) Living a life filled with grace and mercy requires a lot of God’s grace and mercy.
  13. Jesus is alive. “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20) God’s gift of salvation is free; all we have to do is put our trust in Him! “I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else.” (C.S. Lewis)
  14. Renovations aren’t just for houses. “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) God can perform a renovation on your spirit and make you brand new. We’re all in desperate need of a Saviour, even when on the outside we appear to have it all together.
  15. There is a time for everything. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) 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.”
  16. We have a responsibility to stand up for what is right. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) If we don’t stand up, we’re never going to make an impact. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
  17. Wherever you’re at, God is with you. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismay, for I am your God.” (Isaiah 41:10)
  18. Adversity is an opportunity. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2)
  19. Only God can restore what is broken and make it into something brand new. “Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) No matter where life finds you, God uses the remnants. He is able to take the most devastating situation and use it for His glory. All you need to do is look to Him and put your trust in Him.
  20. There are countless blessings when you put your focus on the Lord. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
  21. God understands what you’re going through. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. “ (Psalm 139: 2-3)
  22. Take time to rest. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:5) As “You can’t truly rest until every area in your life rests in God.” (A.W. Tozer)
  23. In the face of resentment, when you choose God, He renews and restores. “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31)
  24. Meekness isn’t weakness. “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing…” (2 Timothy 2:24-25)
  25. Rather than putting your focus on the furiousness of the storm, put your focus on the One Who controls the storm. “for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5)
  26. Be humble. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
  27. Christ is our constant companion. “And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14) Christ will never turn away anyone who turns to Him.
  28. As part of God’s creation, we are also created to glorify Him with our lives and our voices – and that includes the words that leave our lips. “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23)
  29. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you realize that God is your rock at the bottom. “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  30. “Don’t shine so that others can see you, shine so that through you, others can see Him.” “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) As C.S. Lewis said, “I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else.”
  31. Like ships, we need an anchor. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19)
  32. It’s not a coincidence that the word “listen” contains the same letters as the word “silent”. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) The next time you’re feeling uncomfortable or awkward because of silence, use the opportunity to listen.
  33. Following instructions gives life. “He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.” (Proverbs 10:17)
  34. Don’t grow weary in well doing. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
  35. Even when you can’t hear God, see God, or feel God, God is still working. “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
  36. The grateful heart is content. “Be content with what you have.” (Hebrews 13:5)
  37. Waiting on the Lord makes you a more efficient person. “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient.” (James 5:7-8)
  38. Love others, even when it’s hard. “Love suffers long and is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
  39. God is our source of life, abundance, and security. “He sends the springs into the valleys”. Isaiah 41:18 says that God opens “fountains in the midst of the valleys.” (Psalm 104:10) No matter how low or far down we may feel, God can reach us, especially in our valleys.
  40. God’s faithfulness is always fresh. “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  41. When you’re part of a solid church, you will be challenged, cherished, and comforted. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
  42. A solid church speaks the truth. “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17)
  43. In our Christian walk, just like in fishing, the quieter you become, the more you can hear. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  44. God’s economy is different than our economy. “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
  45. Jesus came to earth for you and I. “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)

Originally published as “Life Lessons Learned in 2017.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. December 28, 2017 and January 4, 2018: 7. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

20

September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Nourish to Flourish

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"You have to nourish if you want to flourish." Wednesday Wisdom | See more at hopereflected.com

“You have to nourish if you want to flourish.”

Self care is something that many of us aren’t good at. Think of all the competing priorities! From work and family to church and volunteering, sometimes it can be difficult to find — nay, take — time to rest yourself and to be still.

Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” Think about that. Providing nourishment for ourselves is about more than just the food that we put into our bodies. We also need to provide nourishment for our souls, through God’s Word, and through prayer, and we can’t do that if we are taking time to be still. Be still.

When I’m running all day, and my mind is running too, that’s when I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and feelings. Isn’t it true? Any time we find ourselves anxious or worrying, I can pretty much guarantee it’s because we’re spending more time focused on our problems than on our Saviour. It is crucial to take time each day to retrain our focus on the Lord and His goodness. When we do this, we are promised God’s perfect peace. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

In all areas of your life, if you want flourish, you’ve got to nourish. Jesus Christ is the living bread; it is only through Him that we can find nourishment for our souls! “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51)

What are you putting into your body, soul, and mind? What are you doing to nourish your spirit? Remember to take time to rest each day. And remember, what you choose to focus on can have a huge impact on your life. Feed yourself with the right things!

“You have to nourish if you want to flourish.”

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Friday

8

September 2017

Hope Reflected | The Anchor

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Don't focus on the storm; focus on the One who controls the storm! God is our anchor. | See more at hopereflected.com

The Anchor

During one of our trips down South, Wes and I spent a great deal of time on the waterfront, exploring some large watercraft and even an aircraft carrier. Whether a small fishing vessel, a mid-size yacht, or an aircraft carrier, every ship needs an anchor.

Like ships, we also need an anchor as we walk through this life. We need an anchor to keep us from drifting. Often overlooked, an anchor is arguably one of the most important components of the ship, for several reasons.

An anchor provides safety. “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7) When we trust the Lord as our anchor, we’re told several times throughout Scripture that He will keep us safe. Even the hymn writer William C. Martin wrote in his famous hymn, “My Anchor Holds,” that “wildly though the winds may blow, I’ve an anchor safe and sure, that can evermore endure.” There is great peace that comes with security in Christ. When you know Him as your Saviour, only then can you truly say, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep, for thou, God, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)

An anchor provides strength. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) You may be in the best physical shape of your life, but true strength is found in your soul. When you trust the Lord as your Saviour, you’ve got strength like no one else. Nothing is impossible when God is your strength. “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

An anchor provides stability. “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times.” (Isaiah 33:6) No matter what you’re going through in life, you can count on Christ to remain the same. When you trust the Lord as your Saviour, you’ve got an anchor that will hold you sure, no matter how tough the storms of life may seem. I love how in Psalm 18, David says that God “enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” (Psalm 18:36) Having Christ as your anchor may not change the circumstances around you, but it does change how you react to those circumstances. Even when you feel like there’s no way you can catch your balance, Christ will sustain you, and He will stabilize you.

When we choose Christ as our anchor, it is then that we can truly sing like the hymn writer, “We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.” Whether the seas of life are calm or stormy, it’s an incredible thought that we can fasten ourselves to the Rock which cannot move. Don’t focus on the storm; focus on the One Who controls the storm! “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19)

 

Originally published as “The Anchor.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 31, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Thursday

7

September 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Greater is He

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Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 | See more at hopereflected.com

1 John 4:4 says, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This verse is talking about how as Christians, as those who have accepted Jesus as our personal saviour, we have someone greater in us than anyone in this world. At times it can be hard to fathom, especially when we look around and see political unrest, hurricanes, and hurting hearts. It is true, however. Our God is greater than all of that. He is greater than any circumstance. His attributes are so many we can’t even begin to number them.

Who is the Lord? The Bible tells us so much about our Lord (these verses don’t even begin to cover it). Here are 20 attributes of God that encourage me, and verses to go along with them. These are just 20 of God’s attributes; the Bible is filled with many more!

  • God is our ROCK.
  • God is our STRENGTH.
  • God is our FORTRESS.
  • God is our DELIVERER.
  • God is our GOD.
  • God is TRUSTWORTHY.
  • God is our SHIELD.
  • God is the HORN OF OUR SALVATION.
  • God is our STRONGHOLD.
    • “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
  • God is WORTHY TO BE PRAISED.
    • “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:3)
  • God is NEAR YOU.
    • “The LORD is near all who call out to Him.” (Psalm 145:18)
  • God is our KING.
    • “You are my King.” (Psalm 44:4)
  • God is our RESTORATION.
    • “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3)
  • God is our SHEPHERD.
    • “The LORD is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1)
  • God is our HIDING PLACE.
    • “You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble.” (Psalm 32:7)
  • God is our HEALER.
    • “LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)
  • God is our REST.
    • “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
  • God is our PEACE.
    • “For He Himself is our peace…” (Ephesians 2:14)
  • God is our HOPE.
    • “For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; you are my trust from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5)
  • God is our COUNSELOR.
    • “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel.” (Psalm 16:7)

The next time you feel like you’re barely hanging on, call on God and His incredible attributes. The above are just 20 of God’s attributes. Take the time to get into God’s Word; His attributes and His promises will encourage and reassure you, wherever you are!

 “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

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Tuesday

5

September 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Romans 15:13

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. (Romans 15:13) | See more at hopereflected.com

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Romans 15:13)

If you’ve ever read through the book of Romans, you’re well aware that throughout it, the apostle Paul delivers a powerful presentation of the Gospel. Through Christ alone can we find eternal salvation; it is His righteousness alone.

The book of Romans also provides encouragement for Christians, as evidenced in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

  • Only God can fill us with all joy and peace in believing (the key is we must believe in Him)
  • As Christians, God will fill us with ALL joy, not just some joy or a little joy, ALL joy
  • We have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives
  • We can abound in hope because we believe in Christ
  • Only God can fill us with peace, and that peace comes when we believe

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  (Romans 15:13)

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Monday

12

June 2017

Hope Reflected | Three Facts to Remember About Hope

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facts about hope

Three Facts to Remember About Hope

 

Emily Dickinson once wrote:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all

Hope is a funny thing. Growing up, there were times when I found it difficult to have a name that rhymed so easily with other words. More recently, in my adult years, I’ve found it a challenge to bear this name, as there have been times where I’ve felt anything but hopeful.

Everyone, at some point in his or her life, feels discouraged. The key is to never give up hope. Even when all the cards are down and you feel like everyone’s against you, there is always hope. As long as you’ve got your Faith, you’ve got a solid foundation, and you’ve got hope.

If you’re feeling down or discouraged today, take heart. Remember these three facts about hope:

  1. Hope is a reality and not a feeling. (And I’m not talking about myself here!) Biblical hope means that I’ve got a solid foundation for LIFE, and can rest on the promises of the One who loves me and cares for me more than anyone on this earth. Hope is a promise, and God always keeps His promises. “…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23, NKJV)
  2. Hope endures. Sure it may seem like the rain will never stop or your heart will never be whole again, but take heart – it will! Hope claims the promises of God and gives us confidence to weather the storm. He may not take away the challenge or stop the season, but He always gives strength to endure. Believe it, and cling to it. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24, NKJV)
  3. Hope believes. And when you believe, you can achieve. God’s got a plan, and we just need to learn to rest in this reality and trust Him. It can be hard, but it’s like the book of Isaiah says: “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ saith the Lord.” Quite often our plans look very different from God’s plans, and quite often He has a way of bringing things to pass that we could never even dream. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” {Jeremiah 29:11NIV)

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” (Psalm 16:9 NKJV) Hope: A small word with endless promise. Even without all the words, keep singing!

Originally published as “Three facts to remember about hope.” Minto Express. June 10, 2015: 5. Print.

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June 2017

Hope Reflected | What to do in the face of fear

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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what to do in the face of fear isaiah 41:10

What to do in the face of fear

In Psalm 56:3, David says “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Note that he doesn’t say “If I’m afraid,” he says, “Whenever I am afraid.” Fear is a natural part of life. It would be completely fake for someone to say that they’ve never been afraid and that they don’t fear anything. Fear is normal. How we react to fear is what is truly important.

Three things to do in the face of fear:

  1. Face your fears. “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Psalm 27:3 Eleanor Roosevelt once said to “Do one thing every day that scares you.” That quote has always resonated with me, because I’m a big believer that we gain confidence when we choose to face our fears and step outside of our comfort zone. Inaction breeds fear; action breeds confidence. In the face of fear, we should be confident. That’s easy to say when the skies are sunny and the going’s good. However, even when the rain is pouring and the road gets rocky, we can be confident because we trust the Lord. We have an anchor that will hold in the stormiest of seas. “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear!” Behold, your God will come… He will come and save you.”” (Isaiah 35:4)
  2. Focus on the Lord, not on your fears. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4) In this verse, David references trusting the Lord not once, but twice. He also references praising God’s Word. It’s important when we’re afraid to put our focus on the Lord, not on our fears. Claim a verse, or two, or three (Psalm 56:3 is a good one!) that you can recite in times when you’re afraid. Instead of putting energy into your fear, in those times turn it around and praise the Lord, tell Him of all the things and people for which you’re thankful.
  3. Feed your faith and move forward. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) The words “Fear not” appear 365 times throughout the Bible. Isn’t that incredible? That’s encouragement for every day of the year! We are told in God’s Word to “Fear not” and the only way we can do this is to trust God and rely on His strength (when we do, He promises to help us!). One of my favourite psalms is Psalm 18, where in the first two verses, David claims the Lord as his strength, not just once, but twice. In the face of fear, feed your faith by claiming God’s promises and calling upon His awesome characteristics. Only God can help you move forward and advance in the face of fear.

Wherever you’re at, remember that God is with you! All we have to do is call upon Him and He will hear us. God is omniscient (He knows everything), God is omnipresent (everywhere at the same time), and God is omnipotent (God is the Ultimate Power and can do ANYTHING). Don’t be afraid of tomorrow; God is already there!

Originally published as “What to do in the face of fear.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. May 11, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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