Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

relationships Archive



August 2021

Fighting daily

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me." (Psalm 56:1) Read more about fighting daily on hopereflected.com

Sometimes it feels as though everyone is against us

Hard feelings seem to be readily available, while harmony is in short supply. We don’t have to look far to find these feelings, even within ourselves.

David experienced a lot of pain in his own life, and while many of us are more familiar with the account of Saul’s pursuit of David, we often forget the grief that David bore when he was betrayed and chased away by someone in his very own family – his son, Absalom. Because of Absalom’s rebellion, David had to flee Jersualem, and the situation was so dire and hopeless that David sought refuge with his enemies.

“for man would swallow me up”

"We have all gone through times when it feels as though others are 'fighting daily' against us. The longer we let bitterness, contempt, and resentment continue, the harder they are to let go." Read more on hopereflected.com

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up;” David wrote in Psalm 56:1, “he fighting daily oppresseth me.” While perhaps not to the extent that David experienced, we have all gone through times when it feels as though others are “fighting daily” against us. The longer we let bitterness, contempt, and resentment continue, the harder they are to let go of. The struggle is as real today as it was then. David reiterated, “Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou Most High.” (v. 2).

When facing contempt, ask God for compassion

When times are challenging and the going is rough, when it seems as though everyone is “fighting daily” against us and we are experiencing pain, stress, and strife, how do we respond? Many turn inward, preferring to bottle up emotions rather than pour out their hearts. David’s first response was to ask God for help. “Be merciful unto me, O God:” (v. 1). When facing contempt, David asked for God’s compassion.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” David continues in Psalm 56:3. In life, guaranteed there are times that we will be afraid, that’s a sure thing. The key to getting through it is consciously choosing to trust in the Lord to bring us through fearful times. Spurgeon said that, “Faith brings forth praise. He who can trust will soon sing.” Somehow, even while being pursued by his son and his son’s army, David was courageous and praised the Lord. He purposed to put his focus and his trust in the One who is greater than any man, any army, or any challenge we may face. “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” (v. 4).

Faith brings forth praise. He who can trust will soon sing.

Charles Spurgeon

When people twist our words, act maliciously, and purposefully try to put us out, our response is so important. We can allow our challenges to foster bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment, or we can ask God for His mercy and help. Committing it to the Lord sometimes needs to be done repeatedly, multiple times a day, as we can all be forgetful people who find it hard to focus. As Tozer wrote, “Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything which is safe we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.”

Originally published as “Fighting daily.” Independent Plus. March 18, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



April 2016

Hope Reflected: The Importance of Faithfulness, Even in the Little Things

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Lamentations 3:23 the importance of faithfulness

One of my favourite passages in the Bible is Lamentations 3:22-23, in which the author says, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

God’s faithfulness is great.

Whenever I read this passage or hear the classic Thomas Chisholm hymn, “Great is Thy faithfulness”, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness. And I’m also reminded that we sometimes read those words or sing that hymn without truly taking in the meaning, and the value, of faithfulness.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, being “faithful” means to remain loyal and steadfast. To be loyal is to have “a strong feeling of support or allegiance”, and to be steadfast is to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering”. Those are words with impact, and faithfulness is an impacting virtue.

While faithfulness is important in every aspect of our lives, I can think of three areas where the virtue of faithfulness is especially significant: Relationally, professionally, and financially.

  1. Faithfulness is a fundamental foundation in relationships. Hebrews 13:4 says that “Marriage is to be held in honor among all…” When we think about being faithful in a relationship, quite often the first thought is sexually. That’s certainly an important key, however I think too often we don’t place enough value on emotional faithfulness. Especially in today’s society, it seems to be more commonplace for women and men to go outside the marriage to confide in female or male friends, or even co-workers. Adultery doesn’t just refer to sexuality. Proverbs 6:32 says, “A man who commits adultery with a woman lacks wisdom, whoever does it destroys his own life.” Men and women alike should protect the sanctity of their marriage covenant. Proverbs 31:11-12 says of the virtuous woman, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her so that he shall have no need of spoil.”
  2. Faithfulness is a fundamental foundation in your career. There’s the old adage that says “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Maybe you don’t have the benefit of being in a job that you “love”, so perhaps you think your position doesn’t matter. It does. Regardless of whether you’re working in a job to make ends meet, or if you love your career choice, Colossians 3:23 instructs us, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men…”. Whether you love where you’re at professionally or not, we should all be working for God’s glory. You might say, “But what about my boss?!” Well, the Bible tell us in Romans 13:1, “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Whether politically or professionally, no authority is in place without God’s plan being part of it. Rest in that, and do your best.
  3. Faithfulness is a fundamental foundation in your finances. Finances are always a touchy subject. Everybody has his or her own opinion about how to deal with their finances. But what does the Bible say? The Bible has a lot to say about our finances. Psalm 37:21 tells us, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives…”. As Christians, we are to be good stewards of all that God has blessed us with, and that means paying off debts as well as giving. Even as early as the book of Genesis (14:19-20), we are told that Abram tithed and gave the Lord a tenth of everything. In Proverbs 3:9-10 we are advised to “Honor the Lord with your wealth and the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” My Grama always reminded me that when she was young and newly married, she and my Grampa never bought what they couldn’t pay for upfront. It’s a good reminder that if there is something you want, don’t always be so quick to rely on your credit card. There’s reward in purchasing items outright and not owing anything. We should be faithful in our finances.

Faithfulness is a virtue that can be developed prayerfully and with good habits. Proverbs 28:20 says “A faithful man shall abound with blessings…”.


Originally published as “The Importance of Faithfulness, Even In the Little Things”. Minto Express. April 6, 2016: 5. Print.