Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

worry Archive



January 2024

“In the multitude of my thoughts”

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In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19) | Read more about it on hopereflected.com

“In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)

Every day, our thoughts are more than we can count, and how many of them are to our benefit instead of burdening us down?

Depending on the day, of course, your answer may vary.

What is common however, is that we all have a multitude of thoughts, whether for good or bad.

Albert Barnes wrote of our thoughts, “How many are vain and frivolous; how many are skeptical; how many are polluted and polluting!” Sometimes the very thoughts we try to mute are the very ones we mull around the most.

When your mind is racing

As if it weren’t hard enough to keep our thoughts under control on a good day, how much more difficult does this become when we’re walking through trying times! To keep our focus anywhere other than our problems requires a great deal of perseverance.

Our thoughts are plenty and have a tendency to wander. David described this as “the multitude of my thoughts,” (Psalm 94:19). The word “multitude” here is the same word used to describe the great multitudes of people that followed Jesus in the Gospels, and describes an abundance, a great number, or a large crowd.

David wrote Psalm 94 during a time of intense persecution against his people. He wrote these words of comfort not just for himself, but for those who were experiencing tribulation alongside him. He encouraged his people to keep their focus on God. When he was experiencing all of these anxious and perplexing thoughts, David said of God that, “thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19).

What are God’s comforts?

So, what are God’s comforts and how can we allow His comforts to delight our souls when we are downtrodden with the multitude of our thoughts?

Spurgeon said in his sermon “Comforted and Comforting” that “God is the God of all comfort; — not merely of some comfort, but of all comfort. If you need every kind of comfort that was ever given to men, God has it in reserve, and he will give it to you. If there are any comforts to be found by God’s people in sickness, in prison, in want, in depression, the God of all comfort will deal them out to you according as you have need of them.”

the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Whatever our thoughts may be centred around — health, food for the table, financial uncertainties, recession, depression, unrest in the world — God is, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”

Whatever the condition, God has the comfort. Reassurance for anxiety; hope for depression; faith for doubts; benevolence for selfishness.

In the multitude of our thoughts, we must allow Him room to work.

As we cannot get warm without making an effort to do so by putting on more clothes, nestling under a blanket, or standing by a fire, so we cannot be comforted if we do not seek out the very One which will provide us comfort.

Originally published as “’In the multitude of my thoughts’.” Independent Plus. September 1, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



November 2022

Even the birds

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Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? Luke 12:24 | Read more at hopereflected.com

God’s hand is in every detail

We’ve all seen the incredible display of hundreds or thousands of birds flitting about together, flying in a specially-choreographed formation across the sky. This is called a murmuration, and is thought to be the result of birds flying together to keep warm, conserve energy, and nest in large groups to keep safe. While some may argue that these instincts are given by nature, we understand that these exhibitions of the vertebrate kind are nothing short of God’s creation, as He said in the beginning that birds “may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” (Gen. 1:20).

Where’s your focus?

During His earthly ministry, when a human murmuration – an “innumerable multitude”, a crowd so large that they were stepping on one another (Luke 12:1) – were gathered together to hear Jesus teach, Jesus, directly after sharing with everyone the parable of the rich fool, shared specifically with the disciples the importance of not being anxious or worrying. While we may ponder how the two topics are connected, the answer is simple. When we lay up treasures for ourselves, when we strive to do things on our own, we are bound to be anxious and worried, because we’re focusing on the wrong things.  

“Our focus, where we’re investing, is of utmost importance.”

Hope Reflected

“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” (Luke 12:24). Our focus, where we’re investing, is of utmost importance. When we focus on the unrest and upheaval around us, of course we are bound to be anxious and worried.

When we focus on God and the fact that none of what is happening right now is a surprise to Him, and that He is still very much in control, we remember that His hand is in every detail, even the birds. The Bible tells us that every bird in the sky knows the hand of the Lord (Job 12:9) and that eagles soar at God’s command and build their nests on high (Job 39:27).

Comfort and safety near the Lord

The picture we see painted by the Psalmist in Psalm 84:3, “Yes, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.” Even the smallest of creatures finds comfort and safety near the Lord. In the midst of dark hours these little birds sought refuge and rest close to Him.

Can the same be said of us, that the Lord’s presence is the place where we find comfort and safety, where we seek refuge and rest? MacLaren in his expositions wrote that, “These words not only may hearten us with confidence that our desires will be satisfied if they are set upon Him, but they point us to the one way by which they are so.”

Because God knows even the birds of the sky, because He calls them His (Psalm 50:11), we can rest assured that God also knows all the details of what is happening both on The Hill and He knows the desires within each one of our hearts.

Originally published as “Even the birds.” Independent Plus. March 3, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



March 2022

Worry is wicked, not wise

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. (Oswald Chambers) Read more about worry on hopereflected.com

A full-fledged fire

Twice in the first seven verses of Psalm 37 we are told to “Fret not”. According to Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the Hebrew for this actually means to burn, to be kindled, or to be inflamed. Isn’t that what it feels like when we worry? Our worry starts out small, as a single flame, and once we’ve considered every angle and hypothetical outcome of our situation, we’ve got a full-fledged fire on our hands that can’t be put out.

Worry is a great form of pride

When we worry, we tell God that we don’t trust that He’s going to look after us. Worry is a great form of pride. We think we know better than God, or at least we think that by thinking and overthinking we’ll somehow come up with a better solution than God, or that we’ll discover some angle that He’s never considered or didn’t think of before. It sounds silly when you read it, doesn’t it? But that’s what worry is.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” David wrote in Psalm 34:4. To win the battle of worry, it’s imperative that we seek the Lord and not our own solution. We cannot trust the Lord and worry at the same time, it’s just not possible. The only way to be delivered from worry is to seek after the Lord.

We must put ourselves in check and put our hope in God – not in what we want to happen. When we’re looking forward to what we want to happen more than what God wants for us, worry is inevitable. When we rest in our circumstances rather than in Christ, discouragement will follow. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 43:5).

Winning over worry

Winning over worry requires us to give God our problems. Pride tells us that we can do it all on our own. Society tells us that we can find our own solutions if we just believe in ourselves, because we are enough. This is so wrong. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:2). When we carry our burdens instead of casting them on God, we will be weighed down, tired, and subject to making poor decisions.

“Fussing always ends in sin.”

Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers wrote that, “Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realise His own ideas; He was “out” to realise God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.” Worry is wicked, not wise, and it can wreck our lives.

Originally published as “Wicked, not wise.” Independent Plus. November 4, 2021: 5. Print. Web.