Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

trusting God Archive

Sunday

17

November 2019

Be strong and of a good courage

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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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.

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Monday

12

August 2019

Trusting Christ in Every Circumstance

Written by , Posted in Christian Living

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"For I am the LORD, I change not." (Malachi 3:6) | Trusting Christ in every circumstance | Read more at hopereflected.com

Because He never changes, we can trust Christ in every circumstance

We can trust Christ in every circumstance because He never changes. “For I am the LORD, I change not,” we read in Malachi 3:6. The writer of Hebrews also encourages us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). Nothing on this earth stays the same, things are always changing, and that includes your circumstances and the situations you find yourself living through. Prayer is a big part of trusting God in every circumstance. C.S. Lewis once said that, “prayer doesn’t change God; it changes us.” What a comforting thought to remember. Even when every thing around us seems to be changing, God never does.

We can trust Christ because of His character

Trusting Christ in every circumstance is also possible because of His character. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” We know from the Bible that God is omniscient (He knows everything), omnipresent (He is always with us), and omnipotent (He is all-powerful), and He is strong, He is trustworthy, He is our fortress, our rock, and our deliverer. In Psalm 18, David calls on God’s attributes for his help, and this is often a portion of Scripture that I recall to mind for encouragement and as a reminder of who God really is. Even in our best moments, our character cannot compare to the character of God.

Finding our confidence in Christ

It’s because of His character that we can be confident in Him, which is another component of trusting Christ in every circumstance. Too often, we rely on our finite understanding when it comes to making decisions and navigating through life. We’d save ourselves so much heartache if we truly learned to live verses like Proverbs 3:5-6, “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.” When you really stop and consider, it seems silly that we would rest in our own limited understanding when we can trust the Creator of the universe. Psalm 37 encourages us to trust Christ in every circumstance by fretting not, delighting in Him, committing our way to Him, and resting in Him. Psalm 37 also details the results of trusting Christ in every circumstance: “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5) In every circumstance, He shall bring it to pass.

Where is your hope, and where is your confidence? Christ’s grace is sufficient, and His mercy is abundant. What playbook are you following as you walk through this life? As C.S. Lewis said, “There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take His advice.”

Originally published as “Trusting Christ in Every Circumstance.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. April 25, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Monday

13

February 2017

Your Consolation Brought Me Joy | Encouragement from Psalm 94:19

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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psalm 94:19 encouragement your consolation brought me joy

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19

A new week brings with it new challenges: School assignments that are due, big meetings at work, extracurricular activities every night, personal responsibilities. The list is endless; there’s always something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to help.

Sometimes we can get so caught up in our circumstances, and just running, that we get overwhelmed. According to Matthew Henry’s commentary, Psalm 94 was written during a time of great persecution within the church. Yet, the Psalmist penned, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” (Psalm 94:19)

Even in the midst of adversity and anxiety, God provides encouragement and support. We can get so caught up in trying to control our own circumstances and lives that we forget the simple strength of “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) You can’t be comforted or consoled when you’re running and being “busy”.

Slow down, soul, and let God’s consolation bring you joy. When anxiety is great with you, — and even when it’s not — let God refresh your spirit and renew your strength.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19

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Wednesday

8

February 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Trusting God

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

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trusting God

“Worrying is assuming that God doesn’t know what He’s doing.”

How many times has someone told you, “Don’t worry!” Two of the easiest words to say, am I right? The truth is though, that when we worry, we make the assumption that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. We let ourselves believe that we’re in full control. Quite often, we get so focused on our circumstances and controlling things, that we lose sight of trusting God and the fact that God’s in control.

David had it right in Psalm 62:8 when he said, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8) We are commanded to trust God at all times. Not sometimes, not occasionally, not just when everything’s going the way we think it ought it to; we are to trust God at all times.

Consider this: We serve a God Who can be trusted at all times. That truth alone should put our hearts at ease! Trusting God should be as much an encouragement to our hearts as it is a challenge.

 

 

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