Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

trust in the Lord Archive



August 2023

Exceeding Abundantly

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

When Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus became sick, Mary and Martha expected Jesus to intervene.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..." (Ephesians 3:20) | Read more on hopereflected.com

“Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” (John 11:3).

Mary and Martha asked Jesus to come to them. When we pray, we ought to pray specifically and expectantly. This kind of expectation in prayer can only come through relationship with Christ. Mary and Martha both had great reverence for Jesus, and a close relationship with Him. They wanted to share with him about their brother being sick and as a result they eagerly sent for Jesus to come to them. Because of their closeness to Christ, because they knew He cared for them, Mary and Martha longed to cast their cares on Him. They expected Him to move.

Thank God, His logic is much different than ours.

Like us, Mary and Martha were human, and therefore didn’t have a complete understanding of God’s timetable. They tried to expedite Jesus coming to them by sending news of their sick brother, thinking that Jesus would come and heal him, but they didn’t understand that Jesus had a greater plan than healing their brother (v. 4). Thank God, His logic is much different than ours. While our understanding is finite; His is infinite. His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). While Mary and Martha thought Jesus would heal their brother, He had greater plans of raising their brother from the dead. Jesus purposefully delayed His arrival, Mary and Martha had no choice but to wait. While we’re waiting, God is working.

When we don’t know how to pray

When word came that Jesus was near, we read how Mary and Martha expressed themselves. “Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.” (v. 20). Martha came to meet Jesus; she was ready again to earnestly enquire of Him. Mary, on the other hand, stayed in the house (probably because she was so consumed with grief). Martha had a lot to say, Mary didn’t, and Jesus was moved by both (v. 33). Even when we don’t know how to pray, and even when we cannot find the words, God hears our cries, and He knows every tear (Psalm 56:8). Mary and Martha both showed evidence of their faith in Christ, albeit in different ways. They both believed in Christ’s power.

“Even our trials are designed to bring glory to God.”

Hope Reflected

Mary and Martha were looking for Lazarus to be healed, and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. God always does exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), even in a literal life or death situation like that of Lazarus! As Matthew Henry wrote, “The afflictions of the saints are designed for the glory of God, that he may have opportunity of showing them favour; for the sweetest mercies, and the most effecting, are those which are occasioned by trouble.” What an encouragement to know that even our trials are designed to bring glory to God!

Originally published as “Exceeding abundantly.” Independent Plus. June 16, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



August 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Proverbs 4:26

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

proverbs about God directing our paths

“Ponder the path of thy feet, And let all your ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26

The book of Proverbs is full of great advice, which still resonates thousands of years after its original publication. Proverbs 4:26, which says, “Ponder the path of thy feet, And let all your ways be established,” is a statement which may seem simple, but contains some very practical advice.

You’ve heard the saying, “Your actions speak louder than words.” The first part of Proverbs 4:26 is a timely reminder to us that we should consider our ways before we act.

The second part of Proverbs 4:26, “And let all your ways be established,” is saying that we should make sure our actions are set, fixed, acceptable, even habitual. The decisions that we make should be reflective of our Faith. The direction in which we choose to take our life should be honouring to the Lord.

If you’re worried about the path before you not being clear or not knowing what way God wants you to go, remember these verses:

  • “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.” Psalm 143:8
  • “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

When in doubt, get into God’s Word.



August 2016

Monday Encouragement: John 14:27

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

hope reflected john 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

The beginning of a new week is an opportune time to consider the peace that comes with knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.

In John 14:27, we understand God’s peace is given to us as a gift. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:”. God’s peace can’t be had apart from His presence. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? There is no true peace apart from God.

“not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” If we limit ourselves to the gratification of earthly pleasures, we’ll sell ourselves short of all the blessings available to us through a personal relationship with the Lord. Don’t be deceived by what the world praises as good and successful; true goodness and true success — true peace, — can only be found in Jesus Christ.

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” There are many verses throughout the Bible which encourage us to be strong in heart. Take Joshua 1:9, or Isaiah 41:10 as examples. When our heart rests in the Lord and we have His peace, He will provide us with the strength and the courage to face whatever is before us.

Wherever you’re at this Monday morning, claim it: Peace is yours if you’ll trust in the Lord, and He will provide for every area of your life if you’ll let Him! Find your strength and courage in Him.