GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: June 13, 2024

Making a Difference

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. (William James, 19th-20th century American philosopher)

Some people live their lives thinking that they have something to offer their community and they do so with confidence that they are making a difference. Others of a more timid nature may live and work in the same community but have no sense of importance or significance. If we were to encourage the second group to realize their valued contribution, we would all benefit.

Encourage those who are timid… For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Timothy 1:7)

Stop & Think: June 12, 2024

Obedience

Obedience is the pathway to freedom. (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Bible teacher and public speaker)

There may be nothing harder to learn in life than obedience. We all have our own desires, opinions, and ways to do things, and it is difficult to follow instructions that do not fit into our personal preferences. Authorities who recognize the value of structure and order strive to maintain a balance of appropriate education and instruction to foster willing obedience.

Young people who obey the law are wise…Whoever obeys the law is joyful. (Proverbs 28:7; 29:18)… Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22)

Stop & Think: June 11, 2024

Moving Forward

You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals. (George Patton, WW II U. S. general)

This might be a good reminder as you strive to advance in your career. The more you succeed in the arts, sports, entertainment, or in your chosen field, the more likely you will be challenged by other ambitious co-workers. Some may actively oppose your advancement; others may simply intimidate you by their own competitive success. Keep pressing on alone, if necessary.

Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)

Stop & Think: June 10, 2024

Today

Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present. (Bill Keane, American cartoonist)

Sounds like a cartoon caption, doesn’t it? But, maybe there’s more to it than we see at first. It’s true that we can’t relive the past; it’s all over. And we can only hope, plan, and pray about the future. That’s why today—right now—is the most important time in our lives. On the basis of what we’ve learned in the past and our hopes for the future, we make the most of every day.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Matthew 6:34; Hebrews 13:8)

Stop & Think: June 9, 2024

Awareness and Acceptance

Awareness means you know I’m here. Acceptance means you’re glad to see me. (Teenager with autism)

Too often people with good physical and mental health just don’t see the struggling person with a disability. We tend to avoid those with handicaps because we don’t know what to say. A simple smile and cheerful “Hello” will let them know they’re seen and appreciated  for who they are. What’s even more encouraging is a gracious acceptance of others, no matter their abilities.

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. (Romans 15:7)

Stop & Think: June 8, 2024

Success

Success is not how high you have climbed, but how many people you have helped on your way. (Gladys Deloe, writer)

We hear stories of ambitious workers who are climbing the corporate ladder and are ruthless in their treatment of those on the ladder below them. Their goal is to reach the top at any cost, and that sometimes means that family, friends, and co-workers may be overlooked and hurt. Deloe’s view of success would benefit the one near the top as well as those who need help on their climb.

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important… We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. (Galatians 6:3; Romans 15:2)

Stop & Think: June 7, 2024

Expectations

If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it’s an idiot. (Albert Einstein, renowned scientist)

We sometimes make judgments about others before we really know them. As a result, our expectations may hinder their growth. Like the fish that doesn’t live up to what others think he should be able to do, we see ourselves as a failure. We will do much better if we help someone find his or her natural gifting and facilitate their growth to a wholesome and productive life.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. (Romans 12:6a)

Stop & Think: June 6, 2024

Satisfaction

Your satisfaction is what you have, divided by what you want. (Arthur C. Brooks, author)

On the same subject, Brooks also says, “Satisfaction comes not from chasing bigger and bigger things, but paying attention to smaller and smaller things.” It would be helpful, wouldn’t it, if we could want less? Our expectations would then be fewer. Rather than “bigger or more,” let’s think quality and satisfaction. With lower expectations, we will find contentment more easily.

Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. (Proverbs 30:8)

Stop & Think: June 5, 2024

Reputation

You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. (Henry Ford, early car manufacturer)

That’s a good reminder for this election year. Candidates are renowned for making big promises. If you don’t know the person who’s making the claim, you may have to do some study to discover their past record. Others have served the public for years and their careers are well known. As we evaluate, we should try to determine if their reputation confirms their rhetoric.

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold… A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. (Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1)

Stop & Think: June 4, 2024

Words

Well done is better than well said. (Benjamin Franklin)

Actions speak louder than words, they say. And that is clearly what Franklin said so many years ago. In an election year, we are inundated with speeches, blogs, mailings, and live stream videos without end. There is a lot to hear, but the voters’ question should not be what do you plan to do, but what did you do on this or that issue. Actions do indeed speak louder than words.

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:18)

Stop & Think: June 3, 2024

Feelings

We induce feelings by our actions; we do not wait for our feelings to induce actions. (Alfred Heller, dentist, author)

Heller’s observation is in contrast to the common attitude today. “Follow your feelings” is often the advice given to someone who is debating an important decision about job, home, or relationship. The better advice is to use past experience, common sense, and trusted counsel in making important decisions. Then, your feelings will confirm or caution what you’ve decided.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Stop & Think: June 2, 2024

The Perfect Day

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days. (John Keats, 19th century English poet)

What is a perfect day? The weather is just right, the skies are clear, the breeze is gentle; perhaps that’s your perfect day. Others would prefer cold temperatures, snow, and skiing. Actually, there are probably very few of us who experience many really perfect days. Joy and contentment don’t result from external factors. When one’s heart is right with God—that makes days perfect.

So let it (faith) grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:4)