Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

inspiration Archive

Monday

28

November 2016

Encouragement | Genesis 1:27

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

we are made in God's image

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created him them.” Genesis 1:27

If you ever feel discouraged, or like you’re not good enough, remember this: God created you in His image. As Matthew Henry says in his commentary, “Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an honour and a favour to him.” And it’s true! What an honour, what a breath-taking thought, to consider that we are created in God’s image.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God created us in His image. He has a beautiful, unique purpose for each of His creations; whoever He’s made you, He has a purpose for you. If you know Christ as your Saviour, and you have a personal relationship with Him, you can rest assured that God will not allow anything in your life that’s outside His will.

Need encouragement? Remember, you are created in God’s image!

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created him them.” Genesis 1:27

 

Share Button

Monday

24

October 2016

Encouragement: Zephaniah 3:17

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah 3:17 is an incredibly encouraging verse. If you’re feeling down, or overwhelmed, or not sure how you’re going to face the week ahead, check out the promises in Zephaniah 3:17. This verse is filled with God’s truth and promises.

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty…” — Not only are we promised that God is in our midst, we are also reassured in this verse that He is mighty! We can call on Him whenever, wherever, and for whatever, and He is right there with us. He’s also mighty, meaning He’s stronger than any challenge we may face.

“…he will save…” — Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, God is able to save you. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to this earth to redeem us.

“…he will rejoice over thee with joy…” — I love how Barnes’ Notes on the Bible describes this part of the verse: “Love, joy, peace in man are shadows of that which is in God, by whom they are created in man. Only in God they exist undivided, uncreated.” Joy in us is something that comes from within – joy is not based on circumstances, it is based on our knowledge and love of Christ.

“…he will rest in his love…” — And because of that, we can rest in Him. Only in God can we truly find peace and rest. You may feel overwhelmed, or anxious, however remembering the love God has for you, and that He has His perfect timing, will help you find rest and renewal.

“…he will joy over thee with singing.” — For the second time in this verse, we see the word joy. God delights in us; that should be enough to make us joyful! Singing can be used as an expression of joy. Think about that in context – God will joy over thee with singing. What an encouraging and inspiring thought!

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Share Button

Monday

12

September 2016

Encouragement: Psalm 138:3

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

encouragement encouraging psalms

Psalm 138 is one of the most encouraging psalms. Written by David, a man after God’s own heart, Psalm 138 is filled with some amazing truths.

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

One of David’s psalms, Psalm 138 is so encouraging and inspiring. It speaks of whole-hearted praise for God, worship of His Holiness, God’s lovingkindness and truth, the power of God’s Word, God’s ways, and so much more.

Perhaps my favourite verse from this Psalm of praise is verse 3, when David says: “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.”

This verse tells me at least four facts:

  1. God is always there for me, I just need to seek Him. “When I cried out…”
  2. God’s answers prayers. “You answered me…”. It may not always how we think He will answer, or how we think He should answer, but God hears our prayers, and He answers our prayers. Thank you, Lord!
  3. God makes me bold. “You…made me bold.” We all know Proverbs 28:1, which tells us that “the righteous are bold as a lion”. True boldness comes from Christ. D.L. Moody once said, “When we find a man meditating on the words of God, that man is full of boldness and is successful.”
  4. God provides strength for my soul. “…with strength in my soul.” God is more than capable of bringing me through anything. I’m reminded me of one of the other encouraging psalms, with the incredible promise of Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” God will provide the strength you need for whatever you’re facing this week. Note it doesn’t say that He’ll remove the problem in front of you, but He will, HE WILL! provide the strength you need to come through it. Praise the Lord!

We serve an amazing God, and He longs to have a relationship with us, and to provide for us. If you’re looking for examples God’s goodness, check out any number of the encouraging psalms. Written by various authours who faced various challenges—and received various blessings—throughout their lives, the psalms are some of the most inspiring and incredible chapters of the Bible. All we need to do is cry out to Him! Wherever you are today, God is there for you, He will answer your prayers, He will make you bold, and He will provide you with strength for your soul! God is good!

 

Share Button

Monday

5

September 2016

Monday Encouragement: Isaiah 58:11

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

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!

Share Button

Monday

22

August 2016

Monday Encouragement: John 14:27

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

hope reflected john 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

The beginning of a new week is an opportune time to consider the peace that comes with knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.

In John 14:27, we understand God’s peace is given to us as a gift. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:”. God’s peace can’t be had apart from His presence. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? There is no true peace apart from God.

“not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” If we limit ourselves to the gratification of earthly pleasures, we’ll sell ourselves short of all the blessings available to us through a personal relationship with the Lord. Don’t be deceived by what the world praises as good and successful; true goodness and true success — true peace, — can only be found in Jesus Christ.

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” There are many verses throughout the Bible which encourage us to be strong in heart. Take Joshua 1:9, or Isaiah 41:10 as examples. When our heart rests in the Lord and we have His peace, He will provide us with the strength and the courage to face whatever is before us.

Wherever you’re at this Monday morning, claim it: Peace is yours if you’ll trust in the Lord, and He will provide for every area of your life if you’ll let Him! Find your strength and courage in Him.

 

 

Share Button

Friday

19

August 2016

Hope Reflected: 3 Things We Should Do Every Day

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Share Button

3 things we should do every day

In my last column, I discussed the importance of doing devotions every day. After writing that column, Wes and I were talking about how devotions have impacted our life, and also about other habits we’ve developed that have worked wonders in our Christian faith.

We live in a world that where there are so many distractions that being busy and constantly connected is too easy. But what about being constantly connected to God? Are we truly taking time each day to connect with our Lord and Saviour about the things that truly matter?

There are so many good habits that we could get into, however here are three things that we should all do every day.

  1. Read God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” The Bible is available to us so that we are equipped for life here on Earth, and if we’re not reading it, we’re missing out on some serious life hacks. King David says in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” If you’re feeling lost, lonely, or misguided, get into God’s Word for direction. There is no topic untouched, and there are no exceptions. He’ll provide the light you need.
  2. Pray. 1 John 5:14 states, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” Does that mean we should only go to God in prayer when we need something? Definitely not! God wants to hear from us everyday, about everything. Even the things you think don’t matter have significance in God’s eyes. He wants to hear our worries, our fears, our hopes, our dreams, and especially our thanks. You may wonder if there’s a special way to pray, and there is. Jesus Himself talked about the way to pray in Matthew 6:9: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Whenever we pray, we’re instructed to pray in Jesus’s name.
  3. Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 says it best, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” It’s not always easy to choose joy, however rejoicing is something we’re commanded to do in the Bible. Does this mean we should always be happy and walk around with a fake smile plastered on our faces? Not at all! Rejoicing means to “feel or show great joy or delight”, and also “cause joy to”. Rejoicing doesn’t mean that one always has to be happy, it just means that we have true lasting joy, no matter what the season. That’s a gift from God! Psalm 5:11 says, “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.” God is our refuge and he is a shelter to us; that’s reason enough to rejoice each day!

Good habits take a while to develop, so if you miss a day of devotions or find yourself with a bad attitude, don’t lose heart. Nobody is perfect, and the great thing is that God already knows that, and that’s why He sent His Son. Develop the above habits one day at a time. You may find it helpful to set aside time in the morning for reading God’s Word, to start your day off right. The great thing about prayer is we pray anytime, anywhere, however you may also find it helpful to pray before and after your Bible reading. And remember, we aren’t expected to be happy all the time, however we are commanded to rejoice – choose joy and count your blessings.

Originally published as “3 Things We Should Do Everyday.” Minto Express. June 29, 2016: 5. Print.

Share Button

Monday

25

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Philippians 1:6

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

Share Button

Philippians 1:6 he which hath begun a good work in you will continue it

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Paul wrote the book (or letter) of Philippians while he was in prison. The 11th book in the New Testament, Philippians has long been one of my favourite books of the Bible, because joy,—among other fruits of the Spirit,— is the main theme of the epistle.

Philippians is a book filled with encouragement, gratitude, and rejoicing.

No matter where this week finds you, if you trust in God, you can find encouragement in Philippians 1:6. Here are just a few reasons why:

“He which hath begun a good work in you…” God started the work in you. It was nothing you did. God is the One working in each of us. It’s nothing that any of us can do.

“…will perform it…” God will carry the work that He started in each one of us to completion. He will perfect the work that He has started in each one of us.

“…until the day of Jesus Chrsit:” The day of the Lord; this is the day when God’s glory will be revealed to His people. This is a great reminder and encouragement to each of us to persevere, to keep on, because God started the work in us, and He will finish it. He is the great Designer and has promised eternal life to all those who trust in Him.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Share Button

Wednesday

20

July 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: God Will Help You Find a Way

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

Share Button

God will help you

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

How many times have we read in Exodus how God parted the Red Sea for Moses, allowing the Israelites to walk on dry ground and cross to safety while being pursued by their enemies? We’ve heard the event shared time after time after time; this is classic Sunday School lesson material.

Exodus 14:21-22 (KJV) tells us, “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”

Notice anything interesting about this selection of scripture? It wasn’t until I came across author Brad Wilcox’s awesome quote that the truth struck me: God divided the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites so they could cross to safety.

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

Wow.

Sometimes we can hear a truth over and over again, but until it’s explained in the simplest of terms, we don’t necessarily understand the breadth of it.

God’s not necessarily going to remove our problems, but He has promised to help us through whatever challenges we’re facing.

David testified in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Isaiah 41:10 instructs us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus promises us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God is with us, always, if we trust in Him. God is our refuge, and our strength. God will give you the strength to get through whatever challenge or problem you are facing, if you will trust in Him. God is the one who will provide us with rest. Seek Him, learn about Him, trust Him.

We don’t need to fear problems or eliminate them when we have the choice to face them with God on our side.

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

Trust God, and let Him help you today!

Share Button

Monday

18

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Deuteronomy 4:29

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

monday encouragement

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

Last Sunday in church, both Wes and I were struck by the speaker’s simple yet profound sermon about surrendering complete control to God.

It seems like such an easy thing, doesn’t it? Or at least easy to say?

God is in complete control.

Acknowledging that God is in complete control is the first step to contentment.

But living it,—acknowledging that in each of our lives, we will only ever be completely content after we acknowledge that God is in control,—living it is a completely different thing.

We think if we pray harder, or differently, if we do certain things, or speak in a particular manner, that God will somehow be more apt to hear our prayers.

And that’s just not true.

The truth is, that it’s when we really seek Him with our whole hearts,—all our hearts,—and our whole souls, —all our souls,— that we will truly find God and He will find us.

Sometimes, all the time, all we need to do, is surrender.

No ritualistic prayers, no special speech, just ultimate surrender. “God, you are the One Who is in complete control.”

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

Share Button

Tuesday

28

June 2016

Encouragement: 1 Peter 5:7

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

Share Button

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

That’s the traditional King James Version, however translated into other versions, the “care” referred to in 1 Peter 5:7 is also translated as anxieties and worries.

Isn’t that an incredible thought? We can cast any of our anxieties, worries, and fears on the Lord, because He cares for us. He cares for us.

Whenever I read 1 Peter 5:7, I’m also reminded of Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus offers rest and peace of mind:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-30

Only God can truly give us rest. For anyone who is heavy laden and filled with cares, cast them on God! 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your care — not just some of your care. God wants it all. And in exchange, He’ll provide you with the peace that passes all understanding.

If you find yourself with so many cares and if you’re feeling anxious or worried, take heart! Cast all your care upon God; He cares for you!

Share Button