Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

hope Archive

Monday

12

June 2017

Hope Reflected | Three Facts to Remember About Hope

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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.

Friday

2

June 2017

Hope Reflected | What to do in the face of fear

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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.

Monday

21

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

Monday

5

September 2016

Monday Encouragement: Isaiah 58:11

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

monday encouragement: isaiagh 58:11

“The LORD will guide you always;” Isaiah 58:11

Ah, Mondays. I find the first Monday of the month to be particularly inspiring. The promise of a new month and a new week brings with it a fresh start and renewed inspiration.

Also, — and perhaps the most, — inspiring? God’s promises, which are spread throughout His Word.

Like Isaiah 58:11, where we are reminded, “The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

If you’re looking for encouragement or inspiration this week, look no further than the book of Isaiah. God’s got His hand on you, if you’ll put your trust in Him!