Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

psalms Archive

Thursday

19

October 2017

Encouragement | 1 Peter 5:10

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God will strengthen and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10 | See more at hopereflected.com

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Not only do we serve the God of all grace as 1 Peter 5:10 describes Him, we are reassured of our Lord’s countless virtues so many times throughout scripture (check out Psalm 18 if you’re looking for an example).

The God of all grace — God is compassionate, full of mercy and truth, long-suffering (Psalm 86:15). He provides stillness and peace (Isaiah 26:3).

He has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus — The Saviour of the world has personally invited us to His eternal glory. I’m not sure that we will ever be able to fully comprehend just how amazing that is!

After you have suffered a while — When you accept Jesus as your Saviour, you’re not guaranteed a life without pain or suffering. In fact, no wore than ever, Christians are persecuted for what they believe. Suffering is a part of this life. Just remember that this life on earth is only the beginning; I think we could all use the reminder to live with eternity in mind.

If you’re looking for encouragement today, consider the above, and consider these encouraging facts from 1 Peter 5:10:

  • God will perfect you (Psalm 138:8)
  • God will establish you (Proverbs 16:3)
  • God will strengthen you (Philippians 4:13)
  • God will settle you (Exodus 14:14)

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

 

Tuesday

17

October 2017

Encouragement | Psalm 145:18

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The LORD is near all who call out to Him." Psalm 145:18 | See more at hopereflected.com

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

Even when you feel like He can’t hear you, you can rest assured that the Lord is near to all those who call upon Him.

Each one of us has days where it feels as though God is far away, or like He can’t hear us. It’s what we do when we feel that way that matters.

Psalm 145:18 says that we should “call upon Him”. Even when it feels as though God can’t hear you or maybe even like He’s not listening, call upon Him and cry out to Him!

King David, who wrote many of our favourite psalms, shared throughout several of the psalms that at times he felt abandoned by God. But notice the pattern? While he may start a psalm lamenting that he feels God can’t hear or has forsaken him, by the end of the psalm he is praising God for His goodness and faithfulness!

When we feel like God can’t hear us, it’s at those times that we really need to cry out to God! He does hear! He is listening!

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Make an effort. Pray. Read your Bible. Cry out to the Lord. The Lord said that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Trust Him. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

Friday

13

October 2017

Hope Reflected | Don’t grow weary in well doing

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"Let us not grow weary while doing good." Galatians 6:9 | See more at hopereflected.com

 

Don’t grow weary in well doing

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9) Sometimes I get weary. Do you ever feel like you just can’t do anything right? That no matter what you do, there’s always going to be someone right there, ready to criticize you and cut you down? I’m right there with you. And you know what? It can be wearying, can’t it? Sometimes I wonder what exactly Paul was going through when he wrote those words in Galatians. It’s not lost on me how even 2,000ish years ago, the struggle was real.

Weariness. It sure has a way of creeping up on you, doesn’t it? When you’re doing the best you can, and you’re coming up against criticisms and chastisements, weariness seems like a natural reaction. I mean, who, doing their best, wants to continue on when they’re only met with adversity?

What the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians however, is true. We aren’t to grow weary while doing good. Even when we think there’s no point, or we’re not being recognized or appreciated how we think we ought to be, we’re still supposed to keep doing good and to not lose heart. If you know anything about the life of the apostle Paul, you know he didn’t have it easy. He was trying his best, and he was beaten, bruised, jailed, and persecuted. The ironic thing is, that Galatians was the first epistle he ever wrote – can you imagine how he was feeling when he got to writing books 12 and 13?!

There are many areas in our lives where we should not grow weary while doing good.

  • Serving others. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24) It’s not always easy to work with others, especially those who have… difficult personalities. A good thing to remember is that there will always be that person who always has to be right, who always wants to be involved, or who always wants to be in control. As hard as it can be, sometimes you’ve just gotta run with it. Accept others. Eat humble pie. I am really speaking to myself, here. When everything in me wants to retaliate, sometimes the best course of action is no action at all. Rather, focus on the Lord and at the task at hand. After all, we’re told in Proverbs 25:21-22, when we work to serve others, even those who are against us, “you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”
  • Working diligently. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23) Perhaps you’re working in a factory where you think you’re nothing more than a number. Maybe you’re serving in a position that is less than glamorous and you long to be recognized. Whatever the case may be, remember that no matter your job here on earth, God sees you, and He sees your heart and how you serve. If you’re feeling discouraged, keep in mind that ultimately we’re to work for His glory.

Regardless of where you’re at in your Christian walk, there are many areas in each of our lives where we need to stay strong, keep the faith, and not grow weary while doing good. Whether your weariness is in your personal or professional life, God has a plan. Don’t underestimate how He can use even the most “ordinary” of circumstances and people to do something extraordinary. As the controversial artist Banksy said, “If you get tired, learn to rest and not to quit.” And if you catch yourself getting tired, remember that in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 we’re told that we should, “admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” Ultimately, how we live our lives here on earth will affect our eternity. Who and what are you living for? Come unto Jesus, and He will give you rest!

Originally published as “Don’t grow weary in well doing.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. September 28, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

Friday

25

August 2017

Hope Reflected | The Rock

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The LORD is my rock. | See more at hopereflected.com

The Rock

While reading in the Psalms this week, one word really stood out to me in Psalm 92:15. The word is rock. “To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Throughout the Psalms, God is referred to as a “rock” more than twenty times. This tells me that there is something incredibly significant about the fact that God is our rock.

Being married to a stone mason, and also having several masons on both sides of our family, it didn’t take long for me to understand the value and impact that a well-shaped rock can make.

More than any rock in its earthly form, when I think about God as our rock, I’m not sure it’s possible to fully comprehend the power of this fact. As Christians, it’s so easy to become de-sensitized to our all access pass to the Creator of the entire Universe and the fact that although we are but dust, He cares about each one of us.

Psalm 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” The LORD is my rock. When I think about God being my rock, there are a few illustrations that come to mind.

God is our firm foundation. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24) Just as you can’t build a house without a firm foundation, you can’t live a Christian life without a firm foundation, either. Knowing God as our rock means that we have a firm foundation on which to build our faith. 1 Timothy 6:19 says that those who know God as their rock are “storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:19) What do you base your life on? Do you measure success by the amount of money you make? Do you count yourself “lucky” if you have a healthy family here on earth? Do you have it all if you have some who loves you? The only true firm foundation is God – when God is your foundation, no matter what your earthly circumstances, you’ve got a rock that will never change. He will always love you, no matter what.

God is our protection. “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3) What are you seeking refuge from in your life? Are you having a hard time with another individual? Are you being bullied at school? Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed with the daily grind. Wherever this life finds you, God can be your protection if you put your trust in Him. Does that mean when you become a Christian that you’re suddenly exempt from any problems in life? No, sorry to disappoint you, you’re actually more likely to encounter hardships and persecution when you live a Christ-filled life. What it does mean is that God is your protection through whatever you’re facing. Just as a rock protects the land from the water when it’s used in a jetty, or solid stones are used to build a fortress, God will protect you from whatever you fear. God will be your “strength and shield.” (Psalm 28: 7)

God is our strength. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Several years ago for my birthday, my friend Jess gifted me a mug inscribed with Philippians 4:13. The mug top sits on my desk to this day as a reminder that regardless of what the day brings, God is my strength. If you’re tired, if you wake up thinking you just can’t go on, call out to God. He will give you the strength you need to proceed. If you’re facing difficult decisions, or if you’re feeling emotionally and/or physically exhausted, God will sustain you in ways that you cannot even fathom (spoken from experience). Isaiah 40:29 says that “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Let’s be honest, some days it’s hard to get out of bed, isn’t it? Try starting the day by conversing with God and asking Him to be your strength. Think on God as your strength. He will not let you down.

Sometimes rocks aren’t pretty, and other times rocks can be beautiful. We aren’t Christians because we’re strong and we think we have it all together; we are Christians because we realize that we are weak and that we need a Saviour. Meditate on God as your rock. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you realize that God is your rock at the bottom. No matter where you’re at, if you put your trust in God, He will be your rock.

Originally published as “The Rock.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 17, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

Friday

18

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Watching Your Words

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The birds sing among the branches. Psalm 104:12 Watch your words | See more at hopereflected.com

Watching your words

If you follow along on our blog (www.hopereflected.com), then you know how much Wes and I love bird watching. From robins and blue jays to cardinals and mourning doves, there is something so soothing and therapeutic about watching God’s creations live their lives and interact in our yard. When I told him my column this week would be about the tongue, Wes commented about how so often we think of “the tongue” as something that gets us into trouble, when in reality, our tongues were created to bring glory to God. And not just our tongues, but the tongues of the birds out side as well. Birds sing to attract mates, birds call to protect their territory or alert others in their flock of food or danger. And sometimes, birds just sing. The Bible tells us in Psalm 66:4 that all the earth worships God and sings praises to Him.

What’s the first thing – in nature – that you hear when you wake up in the morning? Likely birds singing (or possibly dogs barking). If you’re into whale watching, it’s a fact that you’re most likely to see whales at their most active and vocal first thing in the morning. As part of God’s creation, we are also created to glorify Him with our lives and our voices – and that includes the words that leave our lips. The Westminster Catechism says that, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” That starts when we awake in the morning!

What prompted me to write about the power of the tongue this week was reading Psalm 141, where verse 3 says, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Many times throughout scripture, we are told of the perils of the tongue and how important it is to be mindful of our words and actions. You might think that guarding your tongue isn’t of much significance, but even Jesus “held His peace.” (Matthew 26:63). If Jesus knew the importance of guarding His tongue – especially right before He was crucified – we should also be mindful of His example.

Through scripture we read about the bad implications of the tongue, but we should also consider what the Bible says about the blessings that come when you guard your tongue and watch your words:

  1. You will gain understanding. “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28) Sometimes it can be so tempting to interrupt and get your two cents in before the person you’re conversing with finishes their thought. Consider how the quality of our conversations would improve if only we would take the time to listen to the thoughts of others before responding. As it says in Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” What you say reflects what’s in your heart. When you listen rather than speak, you gain understanding.
  2. You will have fewer regrets. “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23) Like turning jelly back into powder or putting an egg back in its shell after it’s been broken, once your words leave your lips, you can’t take them back. This is a lesson we are all constantly learning. Our words have consequences. You may have heard the quote, “Our words are free; it’s how we use them that may cost us.” How true it is! Just remember the next time you’re tempted that it’s not necessary to react to everything you notice.
  3. You will encourage others. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 15:4) Our words have the power to build others up, or to tear others down (Proverbs 15:1) – especially when we speak out of turn or talk about others behind their back. Proverbs 16:24 says that “gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Knowing this, why not use your words and your tongue to edify others?

Isaiah 55:12 says, “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” God’s creation, even the trees of the field, have their own way of speaking. Before you let those words roll off your tongue, consider who you’re directing the words at and the permanent impact that your words may have on the life of another.

Originally published as “Watching your words.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 10, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

Tuesday

15

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Encouragement | Psalm 139

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the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." (Psalm 139:23) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Sometimes, you have a bad day. Sometimes, you have a series of bad days. Sometimes, it seems like your bad days just won’t end!

When you’re feeling like the whole world is against you, or you feel like you just can’t do anything right, remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 139.

God knows when you sit down, and He knows when you rise. He understands all of your thoughts, even if you don’t say them aloud or share them with anyone. God is your compass, and He knows all your ways. He knows every word on your tongue before you even think them. There is no where — no height and no depth — we can ever go that God is not already there. God cares for each one us, and He cared for us even before we were born!

We serve a God Who is bigger than a bad day (or a bad week)! We will all face days that are less than desirable, and in the end, as long as our hearts are right with the One Who matters, that is what matters. So the next time you find yourself down, or hurting, ask God to search your heart, and remember that He knows you. He knows your thoughts. And He cares for you.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23)

Friday

11

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Hidden in Plain View

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"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 | See more at hopereflected.com

Hidden in plain view

Last week, I had a visit from my friend Rudy. We met last year, and since discovering our mutual Faith, Rudy has been a real encouragement to my heart. He has his own unique ministry, part of which includes taking the fronts of cards and photographs and putting them on wooden plaques to hang as art. Rudy gifted me a few of these plaques, including one with the name of JESUS painted between lines that reads “Some see Him; some don’t”. Besides being a conversation starter, Rudy’s gift is also thought provoking. While some of us accept Christ at a young age and live our lives trying to follow Him, others go their whole lives and either don’t realize – or refuse to acknowledge – that Christ is right in front of them. And why is that?

Perhaps you think all Christians are hypocritical. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience by going to church. Or maybe you think that Christians just can’t get along. Whatever you think, the fact is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, and we all sin. Yes, everyone! The only thing that makes Christians different is that we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts.

Whether or not you choose to accept it, Jesus is right in front of you. He knew about you even before you were born, and He gave His life so that you can have eternal life. You may not want to think about what happens when you die, or when your loved ones die, but Heaven and Hell are both very real places. What you choose to live for here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. So are you ready? And if you haven’t chosen to live for Christ, what have you got to lose?

Maybe you think you’ve already got it all together; perhaps you’re retired, you live in your dream home, and you drive a great car. Or, maybe you’re struggling, between jobs, and trying to make ends meet. Choosing to live for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that your life on earth is going to get any better or worse – in fact, now more than ever before, Christians are persecuted for what we believe, – however choosing a life for Christ means that you will always, always, have a built-in compass, a comforter, and a constant companion.

Christ is our compass.Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) You know that feeling when you’re lost, or when the GPS is slower than your car and you miss the turn off for your destination? When you choose to live for Christ, and you’re seeking Him daily, you don’t have to worry about getting lost. He’ll keep you on the right track, even if it means providing just enough light to take you to the next step. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

Christ is our comforter. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Wherever you are, and whatever you’re going through, Christ is the Great Comforter. Matthew 5:4 tells us that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall comforted.” There is no person or thing on this earth that can compare to the comfort that Christ provides.

Christ is our constant companion. “And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14) David said in Psalm 46 that God is “ever present” with us. No matter where you are – both physically and emotionally – God is with you. All you have to do is talk to Him. It might sound silly to some, but from my own experience, when you make a point to pray and converse with God, He hears you, and He will show you in amazing ways that He hears you.

Christ will never turn away anyone who turns to Him.

Originally published as “Hidden in plain view.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. August 3, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

Friday

28

July 2017

Hope Reflected | Through the storm

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"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.

Thursday

20

July 2017

Hope Reflected | Resentment

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In the face of resentment, focus on God | Hope Reflected See more at hopereflected.com

Resentment

The best navigation tool for our daily lives, the Bible is filled with several accounts that deal with resentment. As early as Eve, resentment has weaseled its way into many hearts throughout the years, including Job, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Saul… I could go.

The story of Joseph is a classic tale of resentment. Favoured by his father Jacob, all Joseph’s brothers resented him. It wasn’t anything Joseph did that caused these hard feelings, rather a reaction to their circumstances that caused Joseph’s brothers to have ill will against him. They were so bitter and resentful towards Joseph that they sold him, and told their father that he was dead. It’s a great example of how harbouring resentment can quickly get out of control if we don’t put ourselves in check.

Joseph’s brothers thought that by hurting him, they would cause Joseph to change his ways, and they also that hurting Joseph would somehow make themselves feel better and validated in their actions. And what happened? The exact opposite!

What I love about the account of Joseph is that no matter the difficulty or challenging circumstance (and he had several), Joseph refused to let resentment take root in his heart, and he continued to seek the Lord and to put Him first, no matter what. Joseph didn’t get angry or bitter with his brothers and he didn’t try to get revenge. In fact, he did quite the opposite.

While the Lord brought Joseph along a challenging – and ultimately an incredibly blessed – path, Joseph’s bitter brothers endured hardship after hardship, including a famine that brought them face to face with their younger brother once more.

When they were reunited and Joseph realized that it was his long lost brothers standing in front of him, do you know what he did? Rather than seek revenge, he showed his brothers love. He demonstrated the love of Christ by forgiving his brothers for every hurt they had caused them. And in turn, God brought them back together.

When someone wrongs you, or intentionally hurts you, rather than breed resentment by focusing on what they’ve done or how you feel, look above and put your focus on the Lord. God is in control, and He is well aware of every circumstance and challenge you’ll face in life.

In the face of resentment, when you choose God, there are many blessings.

God restores. “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10) It could be that someone’s hurt your heart, or maybe done something deliberately to get under your skin. Rather than resent them, pray for them as a first reaction. God hears our prayers, and nothing is impossible for Him! Sometimes the situation we think is impossible to fix is a none-issue in God’s eyes. Only God can heal the heart that’s broken and restore relationships – and He does, often exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think! (Eph. 3:20)

God renews. “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31) Even in our weakest moments, even in the times when we say to ourselves (and sometimes others) “I can’t believe he did that!” and we let bitterness or resentment creep into our hearts, the moment we turn those feelings over to God, He will renew our spirit. David said in Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” To put it in perspective, David wrote Psalm 51 after he slept with Bathsheba. Nathan had just called him out for his sin, and David was feeling convicted. See what he did there? Rather than getting defensive or caught up, he confessed and asked the Lord to renew his spirit. And God did. He’ll do the same for you and me.

God reveals. “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down.” (Psalm 146:8) When you find yourself challenged with feelings of resentment, ask the Lord to reveal any wrongdoing in your heart and also in the heart of whomever you may be feeling resentful towards. God has a way of revealing our wrongdoings and convicting our spirits; we just need to have a tender heart to hear His voice. God will bless a teachable spirit. (Proverbs 13:18)

C.S. Lewis said that “to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Praise the Lord for His forgiveness! Wherever you’re at, and whatever you’re going through, we serve a God Who is bigger than any problem or any resentment you may have.

Originally published as “Resentment.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. June 29, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

Friday

30

June 2017

Hope Reflected | Rest

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him Psalm 37:7 | Hope Reflected

Rest

The past week has been a rather frustrating one for me. Vestibular neuritis – also known as vertigo – has been providing me with all the feelings of dizziness, imbalance, headache, earache, and nausea, and as a result I’ve been spending a majority of my time horizontal (including as I write this). If you’ve ever had vertigo, you understand the sensation I’m writing about. And just when you start to feel like you’re getting over it, one sudden movement in the wrong direction sets you right back where you started.

Spending a week basically doing nothing but being still has afforded me with many hours to contemplate questions such as, “Why is this happening to me?” “What am I missing at work?” “Why does this have to happen right now?” “How long will this affect me?” and “What are you trying to tell me, God?” I asked Wes, my parents, and a couple of close friends the same questions, and interestingly enough, everyone said the same thing: “Maybe this is God’s way of telling you that you need to rest.”

Rest should be a natural part of our lives, but so often when we’re running through the motions of life, admittedly, we forget to take time to rest. Rest in each other’s company, rest in the company of those we love, rest in our home, rest in the miracles of God’s creation like the roses blooming in our front yard, or the birds nesting in the trees across our property. The Roman poet Ovid said, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.” We can’t give our best or properly serve if we don’t take time to rest.

This idea of rest brings to mind several Scripture references. It’s interesting to note that depending which translation of the Bible you read, sometimes rest is referred to as “wait”. To wait suggests that we need patience, and I’m not sure if that’s fitting, ironic, or both.

Here are ten Bible verses about rest that I hope will encourage and reassure you as you learn patience and seek true rest:

  1. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
  2. “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!” 1 Samuel 12:16
  3. “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way.” Psalm 37:7
  4. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
  5. “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:114
  6. “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4
  7. – 9. “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
  1. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Christ alone is able to give us rest in every area of our lives. As A.W. Tozer once said, “You can’t truly rest until every area in your life rests in God.” Once you’ve started, it’s so easy to keep running that perhaps sometimes we just need a reminder to rest (free lesson in patience included).

Originally published as “Rest.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. June 15, 2017: 7. Print. Web.