Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

peace Archive

Thursday

29

October 2020

Stirring the pot

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"And let

My Mum makes the best gravy. Any time someone “helps” her finish making it, she provides the same instructions: Once you’ve brought it to a boil, really stir it up so it doesn’t get lumpy. It always works with her gravy, not so much with mine.

Stirring the pot takes work

The Bible has many references to stirring things up, from both sides of the spectrum. Whether for good or bad, stirring the pot takes work. Where will we focus our efforts?

Proverbs 10:12 says that “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Just one look at the news, and we can see the stirring up of strife in so many situations, because of hate. As God’s children, we should be looking for ways to show His love in how we live and treat those around us. It starts in our hearts and homes.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grevious words stir up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1

We all know that person who makes comments or says things just to get a rise out of others. Proverbs 15:1 says that, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grevious words stir up anger.” When we open our mouths, is it to share a soft answer, or to gush grievous words? “The tongue is a little member and it boasts great things”, James wrote in James 3:5. “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” We all know the power of our words, because we have all said things that we regret – probably even as recently as today.

Stirring up strife, or appeasing it?

Proverbs 15:18 says that “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Are we predisposed to stirring up strife, or appeasing it? There are times when we react in the heat of the moment, but rather than be quick to anger, the Bible tells us that as Christians we should be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” (James 1:19). Though it can be hard, especially in the heat of the moment, those who are slow to anger will stir up peace rather than strife.

In addition to peace, we should be stirred up to generosity. In Exodus 35, the hearts of the people were stirred up to give of their possessions to help build the tabernacle. Are our hearts stirred up to give? There are so many lives that could be impacted by even a small act of generosity. While giving is often associated with financial means, being stirred to generosity could also look like dropping off a meal to a neighbour, sending a note of encouragement, or even sharing a smile and a kind word. Giving does not diminish; it always multiplies.

Stir up the gift of God which is in you

“Consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,”

Hebrews 10:24

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged Timothy “to stir up the gift of God which is in you,” (1 Timothy 1:6). Sometimes we need to be reinvigorated; this can especially be true for those serving in full-time ministry. It can be exhausting living a life of service. This is why it is so important that we stir one another up to use the gifts that God has placed in us. We should “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24). How are we stirring the pot?

Originally published as “Stirring the pot.” Independent Plus. June 4, 2020: 5. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

15

April 2020

Counsellors of Peace

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"Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy." (Proverbs 12:20) | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

Proverbs 12:20

The Bible is filled with verses about peace. We are all familiar with Psalm 34:14, John 16:33, Hebrews 12:14, Colossians 3:15, and more. Perhaps one of the lesser referenced verses on the topic is Proverbs 12:20. Proverbs 12:20 refers to “counsellors of peace”, and that one of the benefits to such people is joy.

Are we counsellors of peace? Are we sowing peace in our relationships, and cultivating the characteristic? It can be hard, especially when there is uncertainty all around. Counsellors of peace are those who promote peace not just in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. In Gill’s Exposition, he describes counsellors of peace like this:

“…such who consult the good of others, who advise to peace, concord, and unity; who seek to cultivate it in their families and neighbourhoods, and in the church of God…”

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

How can we become counsellors of peace, as described in Proverbs 12:20?

  • Rather than fretting about our circumstances, may we find our confidence in God. (Proverbs 14:26)
  • Instead of complaining, may we practice an attitude of gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Remember that though we may not understand the timing, we can rest in the fact that God is in control. (Luke 12:22-26)
  • When we are going through challenging and uncertain times, may we remember that nothing is a surprise to God. (Revelation 1:17)

We have peace when we have a relationship with God. In this life, we will never find peace in and of ourselves, but only when we look to Him and His Word.

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

James 3:18
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Friday

3

April 2020

Hope for hard times

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13) | Read more about Hope for hard times at hopereflected.com

Hope for hard times is not far away

We find ourselves in uncertain times; we cannot turn on the TV without seeing something about COVID-19; we cannot listen to the radio without hearing the same. Many of us – if only all of us – have been staying home, physically isolating ourselves from others. We are unable to gather together – at least physically – as a body of believers to worship the Lord.

We need to remind ourselves that we are not without hope. We believe in the Sovereignty of God, and this is the very time we need to let Christ’s light shine! Matthew Henry once said that God “will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him… Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?”

Hosanna! Our Greatest Hope

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we rejoice in the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. A great multitude gathered before and behind, and they rejoiced! “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Hosanna! The Hebrew word, “hoshi’a na,” is translated “hosanna”. Throughout Scripture this word is used in several ways: “Please, save us!” a plea for help to our Lord. “Salvation, thank you!” a declaration of salvation and thanks to our Lord. Whether or not we are able to meet together physically on Palm Sunday is beside the point; this period in time, though scary, should not overshadow the actual reason for time.

We have the greatest Hope within us. The God of hope is on our side, and He not only longs to give us all joy and peace, He also wants us to abound in hope through His power (Romans 15:13). Let us not lose heart, rather let us shift our gaze up from the troubles in front of us to look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13).

Our Blessed Hope for Hard Times

We not only have a blessed hope, we have a living hope! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3). This is not a time for us to be wearied by world events; this is a time for us to let the light that is in us shine! In both calm and stormy seas, our hope in Christ is the “anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,” (Hebrews 6:19). Is that what others see when they see us?

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose,” C.S. Lewis wrote. Seasons may change our circumstances, but we will do well to remember that, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) In Him we have peace, because He lives in us. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Originally published as “Hope for hard times.” Independent Plus. April 2, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Tuesday

31

March 2020

3 Bible verses to help anxiety

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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God’s Word is filled with encouragement for the weary soul, and it is filled with wisdom to help us deal with anxiety, insecurity, and worry.

We could all use more calm for our souls, and the best place to find peace and calm is the Bible.

While there are many more than just three Bible verses to help people with anxiety, these are three I recall to mind when I’m anxious, worried, and need reassurance. They’re easy verses to memorize, and they are an amazing encouragement and reminder that God cares for us and He wants His best for us!

1. Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Anxiety often brings with it feelings of restlessness, an inability to calm down, and an overwhelming number of thoughts. This is precisely the time that we need to remember to “be still”. “Be still, and know that I am God,” we read in Psalm 46:10. He is God. He is in control. We need only to be still. When I’m experiencing feelings of anxiousness, nervousness, or even having trouble sleeping, this is one of the verses of which I remind myself.

"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com

2. Psalm 40:5

“Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalm 40:5)

God’s thoughts toward us are more than we can number. What an encouragement to calm anxiety. God’s thoughts toward us are thoughts of love and of peace. He does not wish for us to be harmed. Psalm 40:5 reminds me of 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.” Or what about Matthew 10:29-30, “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.”

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalm 40:5) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com

3. Isaiah 26:3

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

When you’re looking for Bible verses to help anxiety, Isaiah 26:3 is a great source of strength. Perfect peace is found only in one place, and that’s with our Heavenly Father. How can we keep our mind stayed on Him? By getting into God’s Word and memorizing Scripture! Another way to alleviate feelings of anxiety or stress is to recite Scripture. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Memorize it, claim it, believe it, repeat it. Peace is possible with God.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3) | Bible verses for anxiety | Read more at hopereflected.com
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Thursday

26

March 2020

The God of hope

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)  | Read more at hopereflected.com

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

“Now the God of hope fill you”

Not you and I, not anything we do, no amount of self-care or service – true fulfillment is found only in God. Fulfillment comes from God. He is not just a god, but rather the God of hope! Not despair, not hopelessness, not fear, not anxiety – God is a God of hope, and He wants to fill us with joy and peace. Our search for true fulfillment should start with Him.

“with all joy and peace”

Not just a little joy and peace, not just some joy and peace – God longs to fill us with ALL joy and peace. We wonder how that’s possible, but when we consider that He is the God of hope, and that true fulfillment comes from Him, we can begin to understand that He is the giver of all joy and peace. Oh how we look for fulfillment by pursuing puny earthly pleasures when we should be looking to the One from whom joy, peace, and all other gifts originate.

“in believing”

In order for our joy to be full, there is a requirement of us – we must believe! It’s important to note here that believing is very much a verb; believing is a continuous action, not a one-time choice. If we want real joy, we must exercise authentic faith.

“that ye may abound in hope”

Why does the God of hope want to fill us with all joy and peace in believing? So that we may abound in hope! As a result of being filled with true joy and peace from the God of hope, we will abound in hope. Not just a little bit, not merely a glimmer – God wants us to abound in hope. By definition, that means large numbers, great quantities, copiously supplied! As if being filled with true joy and peace weren’t enough, God also promises that we will abound in hope.

“through the power of the Holy Ghost”

Lest we get conceited and think we can bring ourselves any lasting joy, peace, or abounding hope, we need to remember through Whom we receive these gifts: They come through the power of the Holy Ghost. Having a personal relationship with Christ means that we are filled with His Spirit. Our finite minds can’t fathom how truly amazing that is. It’s because of Him that true joy and peace are possible!

Consider what Alexander Maclaren shared about this verse in his Expositions of Holy Scripture: “There are two limits to God’s gifts to men: the one is the limitless limit of God’s infinitude, the other is the working limit – our capacity – and that capacity is precisely measured, as the capacity of some built-in vessel might be measured by a little gauge on the outside, by our faith.” We serve a generous and gracious God.

Originally published as “The God of hope” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. October 24, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

18

March 2020

10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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During times of uncertainty, and when we focus on what’s happening all around us, it can be easy to lose our focus on God. We need God now more than ever! In the midst of all the staying home and social-distancing, we should be clinging to Him now more than ever. When we need reassurance and reminders of God’s goodness — and we all do, don’t we — God’s Word is the best place we can go. I hope these 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind are an encouragement to your spirit. Read them, write them down, print them out, and commit them to memory so you can calm your anxious mind no matter where you are. Even when we don’t understand the plan or the purpose, we can trust the Great Planner. Remember, nothing is a surprise to God!

1. Joshua 1:9

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

2. Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

3. Psalm 86:7

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” (Psalm 86:7)

"In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me." (Psalm 86:7) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

4. Psalm 91:4

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)

"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (Psalm 91:4) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

5. Isaiah 35:4

“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)

"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) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

6. Isaiah 41:10

“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.” (Isaiah 41:10)

"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." (Isaiah 41:10) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

7. 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.” (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." (Matthew 10:29-31) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

8. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

9. Philippians 4:6

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

10. 2 Timothy 1:7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) | 10 verses to calm and reassure your anxious mind | Read more at hopereflected.com

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Wednesday

18

December 2019

Peace, Be Still (I Saw Three Ships)

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:38-40) | Peace be still | Read more at hopereflected.com

The Bible is filled with rich history that involves ships

I Saw Three Ships is an English Christmas carol with which many of us are familiar. While there’s always been some debate as to how the ships could be headed to Bethlehem (when the closest body of water is the Dead Sea), some people believe that the ships being referenced in the carol were not ships at all, but rather the three camels that the wise men used on their journey to meet Jesus.

The ship’s rudder determines the direction that a ship is going; whichever way the rudder turns, the boat will go in the direction with the least water pressure resistance. The direction we choose is based on our foundational beliefs, and that is why it’s so important that we have a firm foundation.

Peace, Be Still

The Bible is filled with rich history that involves ships, and we can learn many lessons from these accounts. It was from the stern of a ship that Jesus taught us the importance of finding peace and rest in Him. Mark 4 details one of the times that Jesus quieted the sea: “And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:38-40)

It was also from a ship that Jesus provided reassurance and reinforced our faith. When His disciples were caught up in unsettled waters, Jesus walked to them on water. Doubting whether it was really Jesus, Peter wanted to walk to Him on the water to be sure. And Jesus said, “Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:29-31)

Jesus used a ship to remind us that He is our provider

We can recall to mind the times that Jesus used a ship as the vessel to remind us that He is our provider, and that He does exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we can ask or think. In Luke 5, when Peter first meets our Lord, Jesus instructs him to let down his nets, and the multitude of fish Peter and his crew catch is so large that the net breaks (Luke 5:6). From this point on, Peter becomes a fisher of men. Or what about in John 21, after the resurrection, when Jesus appears to the disciples and tells them to cast their net, and they can’t draw the net in because there are so many fish (John 21:6).

Whatever season you’re sailing through, you will find true peace, rest, and reassurance when you put your faith in the One whom even the wind and the sea obey. He will be the anchor for your soul.

Originally published as “I Saw Three Ships.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. December 6, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Friday

29

November 2019

Peace is possible

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3) | Peace is possible, read more at hopereflected.com

Peace is one of God’s promises

It’s no wonder we experience anxiety, worry, and insecurity. We have a tendency to focus on ourselves: Our capabilities, our strength, our power. We are quick to forget that we are finite beings. Focusing on ourselves to find security is exactly what leads to our insecurity! Isaiah wrote, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (26:3) Peace is possible when God is our focus. Matthew Henry said that, “Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in Him, but shall receive from Him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.” David wrote in Psalm 112:7-8 that the man whose heart is fixed and established, trusting in the LORD, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings.” Peace is not an exemption from the trials of this life, but when God is our focus, peace is possible as we go through the trials of this life.

Peace through prayer

Peace is also possible when God is our go-to and prayer is our first response. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7) Paul wrote these words from prison, and he is proof that peace is possible when prayer is our first response. Oswald Chambers once said “we tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.” If we want peace, we have to remember to pray.

Peace because God has the preeminence

Peace is possible because God has the preeminence. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) We spend a lot of time fretting and worrying, which in effect is saying we don’t trust God with the outcome of our problems. When we worry, we’re trying to be in control of the situation, and we often miss out on the peace that comes from remembering that God is in control. He is the Creator of the universe; do you really think that you know better than He does? David wrote in 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.” God will ordain peace for us because it is God Who has wrought all our works in us (Isaiah 26:12).

“God cannot give us a happiness or peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” (C.S. Lewis) Peace is not just possible; it is one of God’s promises. “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)

Originally published as “Peace is possible.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. September 5, 2019: 7. Print. Web.

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Monday

1

April 2019

Endurance

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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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

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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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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