Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

wednesday wisdom Archive

Wednesday

7

February 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | Don’t Confuse Complacency with Contentment

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Wednesday Wisdom: Don't confuse complacency with contentment. | See more at hopereflected.com

Wednesday Wisdom: Don’t confuse complacency with contentment

Complacency is rooted in pride, self, and idleness, while contentment is rooted in gratitude, thanksgiving, and active faith.

Complacency says, “Wow, look at everything I’ve accomplished,” while contentment says, “Thank you for all that you’ve blessed me with.”

Complacency fools you with conceit, while contentment fills you with humility.

Complacency tells you to stay where you are, while contentment encourages you to grow in your faith.

The book of Proverbs explains complacency vs. contentment in several verses:

  • “For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:32-33)
  • “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)
  • “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (Proverbs 13:4)

Complacent people tend to be more slothful and sluggish; they’re of the mindset that they don’t have to work hard or strive to be better because they think they’re already the best, that they’ve already “arrived”. Content people are thankful for where they are, but they understand and appreciate the value in working diligently and in continuing to grow.

It’s easy to fall into the rut of complacency, but learning contentment is the only way to grow and move forward.

Don’t confuse complacency with contentment.

 

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Wednesday

24

January 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

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"Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11) Make it a habit to hide God's Word in your heart | Read more at hopereflected.com

Wednesday Wisdom: Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart

You’ve likely heard the saying, “What goes in must come out” or “garbage in, garbage out”. What’s in your heart will show in your life. Do you have low self confidence? You’ll likely seek out others who are the same and who try to put you down to build themselves up. Is there bitterness in your heart? You and those around you can probably taste it in your words. Is there love in your heart? You’ll give that to others in the way that you treat them.

What’s in your heart will show in your life. That’s why it’s important to fill your heart with God’s truth, wisdom, love, and peace!

The book of Psalms is filled with wisdom, and Psalm 119 — in addition to being the longest chapter in the Bible — is filled with the insight of a person who despite living through a world of difficulties, finds joy and “delight” in following the Lord.

Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

A practical way to follow the Lord is to commit His Word (the Bible) to memory. I’m not suggesting you memorize the entire Bible (though some have!), I’m suggesting you start simple and memorize some of the verses that have impacted your life.

What Bible verses encourage you? What Bible verses comfort you? What Bible verses remind you what is right? Start with the Bible verses that speak the most to you, and commit them to memory, one at a time.

Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a week. Maybe you’ll memorize one verse a month. A great way to start is to write a couple of verses down on a sticky note, or an index card. Post it on your computer screen, or carry it in your purse. Make it a habit to hide God’s Word in your heart. After all, what’s in your heart will show in your life.

What is a favourite Bible verse that you’ve memorized?

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Wednesday

17

January 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | The Workshop of Character is everyday life

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"Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won." (Maltbie Babcock) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won.” (Maltbie Babcock)

An American writer most well-known for his hymn, “This is My Father’s World,” Maltbie Babcock said that the workshop of character is everyday life. I first wrote about Babcock’s quote in my column about volunteering, however this quote rings true in every area of life.

There’s a reason more people go to the gym during the months of January and February.

There’s a reason Genesis is one of the most-read books in the Bible.

People often start off the new year with a resolution that they’re going to lose weight, exercise more, read the Bible through in a year, eat healthier, so on and so forth. So many people fail at their resolutions because they don’t practice them long enough to turn them into habits. To develop good character, you must practice good habits.

Good habits don’t happen on one day of the year, they’re practiced each and every day. The same goes for our character. It’s not how we “act” on Sundays, or what we do to get recognized, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Our character is who we are when no one’s watching. Aristotle once said that excellence is not an act but a habit, and the same can be said of our character. Your words are not your character; your actions are your character.

You may be familiar with the saying, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

The workshop of character is everyday life.

“Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won.” (Maltbie Babcock)

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Wednesday

8

November 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | It Costs Nothing to Be Kind

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Always be kind. | See more hopereflected.com

“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Proverbs 11:17

It costs nothing to be kind. Even on our bad days, our sad days, and yes, even on our mad days, it costs nothing to extend the gift of kindness to another.

In the New International Version, Proverbs 11:17 says that “those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” In the New King James Version, the verse reads, “the merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

The merciful man.

Kindness and mercy. When you show kindness to another, in a way, you’re showing them mercy. Mercy is defined as not getting something you deserve, and when it’s put like that, we could almost interpret that Proverbs 11:17 is instructing us to show kindness even to those people who don’t deserve it. What a challenge!

“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Proverbs 11:17

 

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Wednesday

25

October 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy

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"If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." Encouragement when you're busy. | Hope Reflected

“If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

Attributed to several sources over the years, we’ve all heard the quote, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” I most recently read it in one of Charles Stanley’s devotionals, and it stuck with me. There are several posts I’ve written about learning to live slowly,  learning moderation, and the culture of slowness. Slowing down has to be one of the hardest challenges of our lives here on earth!

Between our professional and personal lives, many of us struggle with being “busy”. The danger that lies therein is not having time for the most important things in life. When was the last time that you skipped your devotions because you were too rushed in the morning? What about not being able to properly serve at church because of “other” commitments? What about not praying because you don’t have time?

We don’t just have too much on the go; no, most of the time we just don’t have our priorities in the correct order. Tozer once said that “Anything that keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.” How do we battle “busy” and get our priorities straight? Maybe it means waking up earlier in the morning, or perhaps learning the art of saying, “No”. Both apply in my life!

We’re told in Proverbs 21:5 that “the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” To be hasty means that you’re hurried, you’re in a rush. When we’re busy, we each need to learn how to apply Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” We can’t be still if we’re rushing around being “busy”!

“If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

 

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Wednesday

11

October 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Waiting on the Lord

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Waiting on the LORD. | See more at hopereflected.com

“Waiting on the Lord is never wasted time.” Charles Stanley

It may be difficult, it may be a challenge, but you can rest assured that waiting on the Lord is never wasted time.

Several times throughout Scripture, we read about the blessings that come when we choose to wait on the Lord.

  • “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
  • “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your hear; wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)
  • “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:34)

We know that God blesses those who choose to wait for Him. Don’t let settling for the “good” get in the way of God’s best for your life! “All things work together for good to those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

“Waiting on the Lord is never wasted time.” Charles Stanley

 

 

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Wednesday

20

September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Nourish to Flourish

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"You have to nourish if you want to flourish." Wednesday Wisdom | See more at hopereflected.com

“You have to nourish if you want to flourish.”

Self care is something that many of us aren’t good at. Think of all the competing priorities! From work and family to church and volunteering, sometimes it can be difficult to find — nay, take — time to rest yourself and to be still.

Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” Think about that. Providing nourishment for ourselves is about more than just the food that we put into our bodies. We also need to provide nourishment for our souls, through God’s Word, and through prayer, and we can’t do that if we are taking time to be still. Be still.

When I’m running all day, and my mind is running too, that’s when I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and feelings. Isn’t it true? Any time we find ourselves anxious or worrying, I can pretty much guarantee it’s because we’re spending more time focused on our problems than on our Saviour. It is crucial to take time each day to retrain our focus on the Lord and His goodness. When we do this, we are promised God’s perfect peace. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

In all areas of your life, if you want flourish, you’ve got to nourish. Jesus Christ is the living bread; it is only through Him that we can find nourishment for our souls! “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51)

What are you putting into your body, soul, and mind? What are you doing to nourish your spirit? Remember to take time to rest each day. And remember, what you choose to focus on can have a huge impact on your life. Feed yourself with the right things!

“You have to nourish if you want to flourish.”

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Wednesday

13

September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Invest in something that contributes to your growth

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Invest in something that contributes to your growth. God's Word is a great place to start! | See more at hopereflected.com

Invest in something that contributes to your growth.

Ever find yourself talking or thinking negatively about your own body? Or spending time with people who are less than encouraging? Reading or watching things that aren’t uplifting or edifying?

We need to stop pouring energy into things that defeat our spirit, and start spending time investing in things that contribute to our growth.

A great place to start investing is in God’s Word. We often take for granted the treasures found within the Bible! Take a look at God’s will for your life by taking the time to dig into God’s Word!

Here are three incredible ways that God uses the Bible to help us grow:

  • The Bible will teach you: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Encouraging, edifying, and filled with wisdom, God’s Word is given to teach us. You can’t grow if you don’t learn, so why not spend some time equipping yourself for God’s will in your life?
  • The Bible will give you peace: Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” There is no peace like the peace that God provides. In Philippians 4:7 we’re reminded that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • The Bible will encourage you: Keep in mind Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Do not be discouraged! Encouragement is the opposite of discouragement, and throughout God’s Word, we are commanded to encourage one another: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) One way that the Bible will encourage you is through the testimony of other Christians who’ve gone on before you! Consider the earthly ministries of Ruth, David, Moses, Noah, Esther, Naomi, and countless others! The Bible is filled with the testimonies of other real life Believers who have gone through this life before us. We can read about their challenges, their triumphs, and ultimately be encouraged by their lives.

Invest in something that contributes to your growth. The Bible is a great place to start!

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Wednesday

6

September 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Faith Reassures You

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Stress tells you that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God's perfect timing. | See more at hopereflected.com

“Stress tells you that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s perfect timing.”

A friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook the other day, and it reminded me of the importance of keeping our focus on God and His perfect timing — even when we feel like He can’t hear us. Isn’t it true? So often, we go to the Lord in prayer seeking an instant answer to a prayer request, or so confident in our own plan, when really, we ought to rest in Him and wait patiently for His perfect timing rather than rushing.

Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” When we make a conscious effort to keep our focus on God, we strengthen our faith. Here are 10 encouraging Bible verses for when you’re feeling stressed or if you need reassurance of God’s faithfulness.

  • “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)
  • “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)
  • “Cast all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

These are just 10 Bible verses for when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, worried. The Bible is filled with so many encouraging and uplifting verses. Dig into God’s Word and let faith reassure you. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him!

“Stress tells you that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s perfect timing.”

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Wednesday

30

August 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | God Won’t Forget You

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God won't forget you or forsake you (Luke 12:6) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

It’s easy to get discouraged; all you have to do is turn on the news! Sometimes in the midst of trying or difficult circumstances, the first place our mind wanders is into negative waters, and it can be hard to pull yourself back. The thing to remember is that God knows. God won’t forget you and He won’t forsake you. He’s aware of what you’re going through, and He is with you.

David said in Psalm 139: 17-18, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”

When you’re feeling down or discouraged, consider this: God’s thoughts toward you are more in number than the sand. You are not insignificant; you are precious to Him!

God won’t forget you and He won’t forsake you.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

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