Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

psalm 27 Archive



September 2021

Believe to see

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"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of living." (Psalm 27:13) Read more on hopereflected.com

In our current circumstances

Many are wondering what God’s purpose and plan is in our current circumstances. It would seem that people are more discouraged and down than we’ve ever seen in our time. We are living through a period where God has permitted us to be put into places and positions where we feel completely alone. Could it be that one of His reasons for this is so that we will realize that we are armed with His presence and power?

Enduring such adversities

Lest we think we’ve got it worse today, consider a man whose life was filled with its share of tribulation. Adultery, murder, death of loved ones, living on the run with no home, at odds with his family to the point that they were trying to kill him, relationally challenged to the point that his foes sent armies after him to kill him, “I had fainted,” David says in Psalm 27:13. You think? David’s life was hard! How could anyone endure such adversities? “I had fainted,” David continues, “unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13).

David did two things that we so desperately need to do right now: He believed to see, and he focused on the goodness of the Lord. Read more on hopereflected.com

Believe and focus

David did two things that we desperately need to do right now: He believed to see, and he focused on the goodness of the Lord. Although tribulation is all around us in the land of the living, because we have the Lord and He has armed us, we can believe to see that He has a plan, and we can focus on His goodness. “Faintness of heart is a common infirmity; even he who slew Goliath was subject to its attacks…” Charles Spurgeon wrote. “We must believe to see, not see to believe; we must wait the appointed time, and stay our soul’s hunger with foretastes of the Lord’s eternal goodness which shall soon be our feast and song.”

"We must believe to see, not see to believe," (Charles Spurgeon) Read more on hopereflected.com

“Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control.”

Joni Eareckson Tada

We are not alone, even as we go through times of tribulation, live through stressful situations, or are even physically isolated. He has armed us. “These things I have spoken unto you,” Jesus said in John 16:33, “that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Preceding this, Jesus says these words: “I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (16:32). Jesus spoke these words knowing that He would shortly go to His death and endure the cross.

Trust the One who promises to never leave us or forsake us

Joni Eareckson Tada, a woman who has also seen her share of tribulation, once said that, “Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control.” Our present circumstances do not surprise God. He’s not panicking about how He’ll put everything back together. While we may not understand the reasoning for what’s happening all around us, there is no need to stoke the fires of anxiety and stress. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain, but without stain.” May we trust the One who promises that He will never leave or forsake us.

Originally published as “Believe to see.” Independent Plus. April 22, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



November 2019

Be strong and of a good courage

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"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1) | Be strong and of a good courage - read more at hopereflected.com

We are each called to find our confidence in Christ

The Bible is filled with examples of epimone, a rhetorical device that uses frequent repetition to emphasize an important point. Whenever a word, phrase, or command is repeated in Scripture, take note: It is important and requires our attention (and often our obedience).

In Deuteronomy 31:7, when Joshua is appointed as Moses’s successor, Moses encourages Joshua for the task ahead: “Be strong and of a good courage….” Only a few chapters later in the opening phrases of the Book of Joshua, our Lord repeats these same words three times to exhort Joshua. Then, Joshua’s own people embolden him with an echo of the edict: Be strong and of a good courage.

Seven words with such significance: Be strong and of a good courage.

We can learn from Joshua’s example of courage

Joshua, the man who led the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan, who defeated the Canaanites and divided the land among the tribes of Israel, under whom – as most are familiar – the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. While our walls of Jericho may look different than the ones in Joshua’s time, while we may be frightened by the flow of the Jordan River that we need to cross, or whether the Canaanites we face have changed from the ones of Joshua’s day – whatever our challenges, we are called to be strong and of a good courage.

Your Jordan River may flow faster than mine, the walls of your Jericho may seem taller than your neighbour’s, and the Canaanites you face may be more cunning and crafty, but the one thing we share in common as Christians is this: We are each called to be strong and of a good courage and we are each called to find our confidence in Christ.

We aren’t called to be weak; we’re called to be meek (and yes, they are two completely different qualities). We aren’t called to be pushovers; we’re called to prevail. We aren’t called to be losers; we’re called to be – and we are – loved by Christ.

David found his courage and strength in the Lord

In the midst of his flight from Saul, David wrote, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) My Grandmother wrote in her Bible beside this verse that David’s confidence came only from keeping his faith trained on God. David went on to write in Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.”

Just as we can’t strengthen our physical bodies unless we eat right and work out, so we can’t strengthen our hearts and spirits unless we’re taking in God’s Word and purposing to live for Him.

Where do our eyes go when we’re facing challenges, and where do our minds go when we’re feeling afraid? As humans, it’s not our natural inclination to go first to the Lord. We have to train our spirits and make it a habit to seek God first in all of our circumstances. Strength and courage aren’t qualities that we’re born with; strength and courage are developed as we grow closer to God and spend more time feeding from His Word.

Originally published as “Be strong and of a good courage.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. August 22, 2019: 7. Print. Web.



July 2017

Hope Reflected | Through the storm

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"In the time of trouble, He shall hide me." Psalm 27:5 | Through the storm See more at hopereflected.com

Through the storm

Sometimes in life it may seem as though you’re going through everything at once – professionally, personally, and internally – and it’s during times such as these, when you’re in the middle of the storms, that it’s important to remember that storms are only temporary. It is in the storms that we have the ability to grow the most – and to grow closer to God.

How many times have we read in the book of Exodus how God parted the Red Sea for Moses, allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry ground and cross to safety while being pursued by their enemies? We’ve heard the event shared time after time, and it’s easy to become desensitized to the significance of this account. “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.” (Exodus 14:21-22)

Anything stand out to you about this selection of scripture? It says that God divided the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites so they could cross to safety. Author Brad Wilcox puts it like this: “God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Sometimes we can hear a truth over and over again, but until it’s explained in the simplest of terms, we don’t understand the breadth of it.

God’s not necessarily going to remove our problems, but He has promised to help us through whatever storms we’re facing. God didn’t remove the Red Sea or eliminate it from the picture; He divided it and helped the Israelites through it.

Consider also how many times reading through the psalms that perhaps you’ve breezed over the sacred truth David wrote in Psalm 27:5: “for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” In the Old Testament tabernacle, the secret place of the tabernacle was sacred. Only the High Priest was permitted to enter the secret place of the tabernacle, and even then only once per year. Imagine the significance of David to say in Psalm 27:5 that in the time of trouble, God hides him in the secret place of His tabernacle!

What’s amazing is that David wasn’t the only one who could say this. In the time of trouble – and any time – God hides us in the secret place of His tabernacle. He wants to take us in and protect us; all we have to do is put our trust in Him. Whatever problems you’re facing and whatever storms you’re battening down to get through, you don’t have to face them alone.

You may be skeptical and think that it won’t make a difference if you put your trust in God. But consider this – God’s not worried about the storm because He controls it, so who better to trust in and focus on? “Then he got in the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’” Rather than putting your focus on the furiousness of the storm, put your focus on the One Who controls the storm.

Originally published as “Through the storm.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 13, 2017: 7. Print. Web.