Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

perseverance Archive



December 2021

What are we doing while we’re waiting?

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

There is a blessing when we wait on the Lord

As much as Advent is a season of celebrating, it is also a season of waiting. Read more of "What are you doing while you're waiting?" on hopereflected.com

Advent is a season that’s filled with anticipation as we celebrate the first advent of Christ, and prepare for Christmas. As much as Advent is a season of celebration, it is also a season of waiting.

When I was a child, there were several years that I found it particularly difficult to go to bed on Christmas Eve. My heart was filled with such anticipation of waking up to a stocking hanging on my bedroom door, gifts under the tree, delicious food to eat, and cousins to play with – it felt like I literally could not wait for Christmas. I had to, however. I can recall my parents tucking me in to bed, saying that Christmas morning would be here soon enough, and I can remember thinking that it would never come, but eventually it did.

Advent means coming. When something is coming, it has not yet arrived, and therefore, we must wait. We have to wait for Christmas, as we do many things in life. Perhaps it’s not Christmas that you’re waiting for. Maybe you’re waiting for a phone call, for a difficult season to end, an exciting new season to begin, or for a certain milestone. We’re all waiting for something. My Mum and I recently talked about waiting and “what-ifs”, and she asked me, “What are you doing while you’re waiting? That’s the key.”

How to wait on the Lord

Are our hearts focused on Christ? Are we worrying or resting in Him? Worrying is tiring because it requires a great deal of energy. Remember what the Bible says about waiting on the Lord: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) When we wait on the Lord, we rest in Him. Even if we have to remind ourselves multiple times throughout the day, we should choose to rest in Him rather than to worry. Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean that He’ll remove our challenges or speed up time, but when we wait on the Lord, He promises to strengthen our hearts (Psalm 27:14).

“Waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean that He’ll remove our challenges or speed up time, but when we wait on the Lord, He promises to strengthen our hearts (Psalm 27:14).”

Hope Reflected

Rather than fretting about the future, we should commit our way to the Lord. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5) When we wait on the Lord, He will bring it to pass! Though the outcome may not always be what we think – or sometimes even what we want – there is a blessing when we wait on the Lord.

Working faithfully while we’re waiting

While the shepherds were waiting, they worked faithfully. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Luke 2:8) As a result they witnessed the first incarnation of Christ, what we celebrate today as Christmas. The Lord is good to those who wait on Him! (Lam. 3:25) As we celebrate Advent, may we recognize the benefits and blessings of waiting on the Lord. As C.S. Lewis once said, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.”

Originally published as “What are we doing while we’re waiting?” Independent Plus. December 19, 2019: 5. Print. Web.



November 2021

Launch out into the deep

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An unsuccessful night at work

After working all night, Peter and his crew got out of their boats and started cleaning their nets. Being a fisherman was no easy task; the vocation was a risky one, and the income wasn’t always steady. After this night in particular, Peter and his crew hadn’t caught any fish at all, which meant they wouldn’t have anything to sell at market.

As Peter painstakingly washed his nets, getting rid of any dirt and debris, Jesus got into Peter’s boat and asked him to put out a little from shore (Luke 5:3). Can you imagine? You’re just getting things cleaned up after a non-productive night at work, and someone asks you to get all your equipment back out – equipment that you’ve just cleaned and put away – and head out for another shift? And yet, Peter does it.

Peter was willing; are we?

Peter, without complaint or question, stopped what he was doing and followed Jesus. After Christ finished teaching, he said to Peter, “Launch out into the deep, and let down the nets for a draught.” (Luke 5:4). Peter responded, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” (5:5). Peter was willing to go out his way not just a little bit, but a lot. Can the same be said for us?

We get so caught up in our work that we put our relationship with Christ on the back burner. We can’t even keep up with simple tasks like reading God’s Word regularly and praying – we make other things higher priority. And yet, how many of us ask why God has not given us more? We put Him off, make excuses, waste time trying to rationalize what He wants us to do and question how it makes it sense, when what we ought to do is simply put out a little from shore. We will never get out into the deep waters Christ has for us if we’re not willing to wade into the shallow waters at all.

Our faith has a ripple effect

Peter, in his acts of faith, saw the results when he and his crew collected such a great multitude of fishes that “their net brake.” (Luke 5:6). The catch was so overwhelming that they needed another boat to help them out! Peter’s acts of faith didn’t just have an impact on him, but on those around him as well. Like waves on the water, our faith has a ripple effect. Our example makes an impression on those around us, whether for good or bad.

Like waves on the water, our faith has a ripple effect.

Hope Reflected

After catching all these fish, and more than compensating for a failed night on the water, rather than saying “Thanks, Lord! Gotta get these fish to market!” Peter instead humbled himself and “fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (v. 8). Everyone around saw his response. Unfortunately, when Christ allows us to see success in our earthly ventures, we often let it go to our head. As Matthew Henry said, “Those whom Christ designs to admit the most intimate acquaintance with him he first makes sensible that they deserve to be set at the greatest distance from him.”

Originally published as “And yet, Peter does it.” Independent Plus. July 22, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



May 2019


Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Perseverance is not for the faint of heart

Perseverance: "Run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) | see more at hopereflected.com

Right now in our devotions, Wes and I are reading through the book of Genesis and history of Joseph. Widely remembered for his longsuffering, his forgiving spirit, and his strong faith, Joseph is an excellent example of perseverance.

By this point in the New Year, many people who have made New Year’s resolutions have already given up on them. As humans, we have a tendency to start out strong and enthusiastic towards our goals, only to get distracted by other priorities, or even laziness. We lose sight of – or maybe aren’t even sure of – our reason why we started in the first place.

Joseph isn’t the only figure in the Bible who gives us a great example of perseverance; his father Jacob also provides an excellent framework around what it is to be patient, as does Esther, Ruth, David, Hannah, and many others.

When you’re tempted to give up because you’re not seeing progress, or you just don’t get the point, don’t lose heart! That is precisely the time when you must keep going. God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:4). Perseverance is as much about patience as it is about waiting well. Perseverance requires work, and if you don’t think waiting is work, then you’re likely not doing it right.

From credit cards and food to cell phones and the internet, we want everything now. Living in a society where everything is instant means that learning the value of true perseverance can be difficult.

As Christians living in today’s world, it can be wearying to hear about the injustices happening all around us, but we must persevere. We are called to let our light shine before others (Matthew 5:16), we are called to let His light shine and be the difference. When we know the right thing to do and we don’t do it, that’s called sin (James 4:17). One of the best ways you can help your Christian brothers and sisters to persevere is to pray. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:18). You can also persevere by being courageous (Psalm 27:14). It can be difficult to persevere when you feel like you’re alone, but remember, you are not alone. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.” (Psalm 37:7). Perseverance is not for the faint of heart; remember, we are to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9). As Oswald Chambers once said, “Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.”

Originally published as “Perseverance.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 31, 2019: 6. Print. Web.