Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

the overcoming life Archive



January 2022

When fear is holding you back

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"There is neither in heaven nor earth nor hell anything that we need fear when we are once right with God. Settle the centre, and the circumference is secure." (Charles Spurgeon) | Read "When fear holds you back" on hopereflected.com

Fear makes us do funny things

In John 9, Jesus miraculously restored the sight of a man who was blind from birth. If a member of your family were miraculously healed of a life-long ailment or disability, would you not rejoice? And yet, when questioned by the Pharisees about how their son could now see, the parents of this man said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.” (John 9:20-21). Rather than rejoice and profess the glory of God and the healing power of Christ, they were silent. Rather than share their incredible testimony, they stood still.

Fear can affect when and how we share our faith

We may think we’d react differently, but this response is sadly like many of us. We often allow the fear of others to affect when and how we share our faith. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” We get trapped when we’re afraid of others. We do or say things we ought not to. The Message paraphrase puts Proverbs 29:25 like this: “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.” When our testimony is tested, have we ever said, “I felt trapped!” “I was caught off-guard!” or “I was afraid of what they would think!” as an answer to why we didn’t speak up? Why do we care so much about the opinion of others, when we read right in scripture that, “whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe”?

We act foolishly when we let fear control us. Abraham is an example of this, when he asked his wife Sarah to lie for him in Genesis 12:12, because he was afraid of what others would do if he told the truth. When we choose fear over faith, the outcome is never good. Thankfully, Abraham checked his behavior and changed his ways, ultimately moving forward in his faith.

God can help us break out of the fear trap

When fear is holding us back, only God can help us break out of the trap. Calling on the name of Christ is the only way to go from fearful to fearless. When his parents fizzled out and the Pharisees questioned him, the man who Jesus healed spoke the truth. “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” (John 9:33). As a result, he was excommunicated. But what man meant for evil, God meant for good.

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (9:35). Jesus personally seeks us out. He finds us. When a child is afraid, he usually calls out for his mother or father to comfort. Will we call on Christ to come to us? Jesus relieves our fears when He finds us. When fear is holding us back, only God can help us move forward.

“There is neither in heaven nor earth nor hell anything that we need fear when we are once right with God. Settle the centre, and the circumference is secure.”

Charles Spurgeon

Originally published as “When fear is holding us back.” Independent Plus. August 12, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



December 2018

Do the Opposite | Thoughts on The Overcoming Life by D.L. Moody

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"Let us not grow weary in well doing" (Galatians 6:9) Thoughts on overcoming | See more at hopereflected.com

Do the opposite

To overcome sin, we need to head in the other direction

I’ve recently started reading D.L. Moody’s classic, The Overcoming Life. A guide for Christian living, the book covers several aspects of life in which we must overcome: Spiritual warfare, sin, etc. During the section on “internal foes,” Moody covers the enemy of self. He writes that, “’I’ is the centre of S-I-N. It is the medium through which Satan acts.”

He goes on to explain various internal struggles that each of us face – as relevant when he wrote the book in 1896 as they are today – from appetite and temper to envy and pride. Moody’s advice seems so obvious, and yet while reading, I found myself in the midst of a discovery.

To conquer our internal foes, we must do the opposite. Whatever is juxtaposed to our struggles, that is the thing we should do. When it comes to sin, we need to do the opposite. To overcome sin, we need to head in the other direction.

When we are tempted by pride, we need to be humble. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Someone once said that when you are wrong, you should admit it, and when you are right, you should be quiet. Maybe you are right. Perhaps someone else is getting the glory. In times when pride is your first instinct – and if we’re being honest, pride is the first instinct for each of us, because we’re human – it takes true character to put yourself in check and take the high road of humility. God will give you grace, guaranteed (James 4:6).

When you find yourself in want, purpose in your heart to give. Proverbs 11:25 says, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered also himself.” See also 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, which tell us that “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Greed can quickly overpower giving if we let it. It times when you find yourself in want of more, remember that nothing you have on this earth is truly yours, and you can’t take any of it with you (Job 1:21). As Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” What are you placing emphasis on in your life?

And how about jealousy? Each one of us are guilty of being green with envy. You may be familiar with quote, “Kill them with kindness.” Proverbs 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap coals of burning fire on his head.” (Proverbs 25:21-22). This is a truth that applies not just to those who treat you adversely, but to those of whom you’re jealous as well. Maybe it’s a co-worker, or perhaps a friend. It could even be someone in your own family. Just remember, you’ll never look good by trying to make someone else look bad. When jealousy strikes, try a dose of kindness instead.

Because we’re human, goodness isn’t an instinct that comes naturally. It’s only when we purpose to be the change that changes really happen. As Moody said, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.” Doing good is not always easy, but in due season you’ll reap, as long as you don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)

Originally published as “Do the opposite.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. October 11, 2018: 6. Print. Web.