Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

perspective Archive



August 2021

Where’s your focus?

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"If we cannot see God, at least we will look towards Him." Read more about the importance of focus on hopereflected.com

Focusing on Christ rather than the miracles He performed

Throughout Jesus’s ministry, there are many times Jesus performs a miracle and specifically tells the healed not to tell anyone about their healing. The leper (Matt. 8), the blind men (Matt. 9), the “great multitudes” (Matt. 12), the twelve year old girl (Mark 5), the man with the speech impediment (Mark 7), as well as several others.

Wouldn’t Christ have wanted these incredible healings to be broadcast to bring more people to Him? In Mark 7:36, we read that “the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;”. More than the miracles themselves, it seems that Christ wanted to keep the focus on the Saviour rather than on the miracles.

Christ wanted to keep the focus on the Saviour rather than on the miracles.

Hope Reflected

We get so focused on what’s going on around us, on our circumstances, on other people, on their problems, that we have a hard time keeping our eyes on God. We’re faster to find fault than we are to offer forgiveness. We’re more quick to question than we are to quietly wait on the Lord’s will. We are troubled over trivial matters instead of maintaining a triumphant attitude at all that the Lord has done for us.

“Set your affection on things above”

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2) Read more about focus on hopereflected.com

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” Paul wrote to the church at Colossae in Colossians 3:2. This is not to suggest that we be so heavenly minded that we’re of no earthly good, however as Matthew Henry wrote, “affection to the one will weaken and abate affection to the other.” Where we put our focus is of utmost importance. When we focus on the things of this world, they become the most important. Paul wrote the book of Colossians while he was in prison. His focus was on providing encouragement to Christian believers. Throughout his letter, we don’t read about the prison conditions or how discouraged he was. The only reference we read about Paul’s imprisonment is at the closing of his letter when he asks for the believers to “Remember my bonds.” (Col. 4:18). Paul’s focus was in the right place.

"To guide something or someone with the eye requires our focus to be in the right place." Read more about focus on hopereflected.com

David is another Biblical figure who understood the importance of where we focus. After his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, he wrote several Psalms, including Psalm 32. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (v. 8). In Hebrew, this means to fix one’s eye, to focus. To guide something or someone with the eye requires our focus to be in the right place. Similarly, in Psalms 121 and 123, the psalmist writes, “I will lift up mine eyes,” to focus on the Lord (Ps. 121:1, 123:1).

Where we choose to focus directly impacts our lives. Charles Spurgeon wrote that “we must use our eyes with resolution, for they will not go upward to the Lord of themselves, but they incline to look downward, or inward, or anywhere but to the Lord: let it be our firm resolve that the heavenward glance shall not be lacking. If we cannot see God, at least we will look towards him.”

Originally published as “Focus.” Independent Plus. March 11, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



February 2016

Hope Reflected: The Importance of Perspective

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Isaiah 55:9

Have you ever watched the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and thought how huge Antie the ant appeared to be? Have you ever experienced flying in an airplane on a clear day, and looking out the window only to observe how minute the homes and buildings seem below, and how the vehicles cruising the freeway are just little specks? Or have you ever felt so bad for yourself and something that’s happened (or not happened) that when you hear the life struggles of another and see the news of unrest overseas, your problems suddenly seem so small in comparison?


Defined in the dictionary as “the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.” Also, “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point view.”

What we get out of life depends a lot on our perspective.

Three ways proper perspective positively affects our lives:

  1. Proper perspective provides clarity. Ever notice when you’re trying to solve a problem or figure out what to do in a situation, that when you take your focus off said problem or situation for a while and come back to it, that the resolution becomes more clear? That’s what perspective does. It helps us adjust our focus and see things from the bigger picture. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV), “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
  2. Proper perspective produces gratitude. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the events of our own lives, that we lose sight of what’s really important, or we place too much emphasis or value on our own circumstances. What’s the old saying that if we all put our problems in a pile, we’d opt to pull our own problem right back out again? There’s always someone struggling with something more severe. That shouldn’t be a comfort to us, but it should help us develop more of an attitude of gratitude for what we do have in our lives. Colossians 4:2 (KJV) says that we should “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”.
  3. Proper perspective prepares us to help others. Oftentimes we will find that by recognizing the pettiness of our own ‘problems’, we’ll be better equipped to be an encouragement to others. It’s the idea of looking out rather than in. James Keller once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” It doesn’t take much effort to provide a word of encouragement or even a simple smile. We’re challenged in Colossians 3:12 (NIV) to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

It’s not always easy to have the proper perspective, especially when life is moving at warp speed and we feel like there’s never a moment to just stop and breathe. It’s like the adage, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV) says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ saith the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Proper perspective will help us see the whole picture and how God is working every single circumstance in each of our lives for a greater purpose.