Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

proverbs 21:5 Archive



December 2018

Esther | An Excellent Example

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness." Proverbs 21:5 | Esther: An Excellent Example | Read more at hopereflected.com

Esther: An excellent example

We can learn many lessons from the life of Esther


The Bible is filled with many amazing examples of men and women who went before us, their testimonies, and the examples and legacies that they have left for generations to learn from and to follow. One such example is Esther, or Hadassah, the maiden who became the queen of Persia.

Esther’s story is unique in that out of all the books in the Bible, not once in the book of Esther is the Lord mentioned. Esther’s story gives reference to the origins of the feast of Purim, and also provides a unique viewpoint and record of an important part of Jewish history. Esther’s story is also an awesome testimony of a woman of influence. We can learn many lessons from the life of Esther that are still practical and relevant for women and men today.

After both her parents died, Esther was raised primarily by her uncle, Mordecai (who many speculate actually wrote the book of Esther that we read in the Bible). Esther was an orphan. Even though her background was not necessarily conducive to her becoming queen, it’s evident that she didn’t let her past didn’t define her. It’s an important reminder for each of us that our past shouldn’t dictate our present, or our future. It’s never too late to start fresh; while we can’t go back, we can move forward. As Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14, “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Mordecai said of Esther, “who knows whether you’re come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther lived with purpose.

Another example we can learn from Esther’s life is that she was prayerful. Esther didn’t rush into decisions and she certainly wouldn’t be defined as hasty. Proverbs 21:5 says that “the thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Esther was diligent in her thoughts. In fact, before one of the biggest decisions of her life, Esther fasted for three days, and she asked everyone close to her to fast as well. When it comes to decision making, is your first inclination to consult others first or to consult God? Esther didn’t make decisions lightly; she made them very prayerfully because she recognized that prayer changes things. As we’re told in James 5:16, “…pray for one another…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Esther was a woman who was quietly confident, but she also stood up for what she believed in, and was willing to risk her life for it. While she first caught people’s eyes with her beauty, she commanded respect with her wisdom and confidence. Esther is an excellent example of knowing when to speak and when to hold your tongue. She was quick to listen and slow to speak, but when she spoke, she stood her ground. Each of us can learn from this. Meekness doesn’t mean weakness. We’re told in 1 Corinthians 16:13 to “be on guard; stand fast in the faith, be strong.”

Originally published as “Esther: An Excellent Example.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. October 25, 2018: 6. Print. Web.



March 2016

Hope Reflected: Strategy (On the Road to Success)

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Proverbs 21:5

Last weekend, Wes and I were playing a game of Battleship. As it usually happens when we play board games, things got pretty heated, and before long, we were engaged in a best of three tournament (and I’ll admit, Wes won two of the three rounds). This brought up the discussion of strategy during the first and second World Wars, and further than that, got me thinking about the relevance of strategy in every day life.

The word strategy is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.” The thing is though, you might have what you believe to be the best laid plans to achieve your goals, but there are always some circumstances that are out of your control. What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Here are three important factors to consider in your strategy on the road to success:

  1. If you move too quickly, you’re more likely to go the wrong way. The line between patience and pursuit is a fine one, but as King Solomon – one of the greatest strategists of Biblical times – said in Proverbs 21:5 (KJV), “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Don’t be so eager to achieve your goals that you make decisions before first praying, and thinking. See also King Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 13:16 (NKJV), “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly.”
  2. Be willing to re-evaluate your plan and change your mind. Continually. Sure you’ve set goals, as well as the road map to achieve them, but let’s face it: Life is constantly changing. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV), “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” We have to be ready and wiling to adapt to – and to anticipate – change. Part of that is having a willingness to hear constructive criticism and listen to the advice of those around you.
  3. Fight your battles on your knees. I’ve long been a huge fan of Dr. Charles Stanley and his “Life Principles” series, and his “Life Principle 8” states, “Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.” The most important thing to realize about any pursuit in life is that you’re not in it alone. And when I write that, I don’t refer to family or friends. I’m referring to the importance of your relationship with God. While we are all born with a free will, God’s got every circumstance in His control. It’s an amazing truth to realize that when our life strategies don’t go according to plan, we don’t have to panic. Claim Isaiah 41:10 (KJV) which promises, “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.”

Ask any successful person, and they’ll tell you the road to accomplishment is not without its sharp curves, potholes, and detours. Don’t give up just because things may not be going the way you want right now. Part of a winning strategy involves learning to be patient, being open to change, and being prayerful in your direction and decisions.


Originally published as “Strategy on the Road to Success.” Minto Express. January 27, 2016: 5. Print.