Surrounded by the Problems

SURROUNDED BY THE PROBLEMS-Karina's Thought

 

Hello my dear readers, I begin this post with a question, how strong we remain endure when we are facing and overcoming the problem?  Maybe the answer will goes to: “Well, if the problem that we face is not a big problem and just one problem, we will remain strong. Okay then. One more question, what if we are facing huge problems, it comes insistently and we are bestead in it, we could keep strong? My post this evening is based on my friend’s story those years ago was in the very hard season in her lives. She was wedged in the middle of the crush of some problems at once.  Her husband’s business had a collapse, heavily indebted, and to pay the debts they were forced to sell their house and had to move to another smaller house than before. They had a serious financial problem and due consideration of age, her husband quite difficult to get a new job while it is impossible to make a new business. Not just stop there, one of their sons stated by doctor had a blood abnormality disease called Thalassemia and need special treatment, and it means need big cost for therapy. A few days ago she sent me an email telling that her situation now is starting getting better. One thing that makes me thrilled is, through her email she said: “Karin, last year we were besieged by the huge problems. We couldn’t go forward or even go backward from these problems.  At the time we absolutely didn’t know what we have to do. We just knew one thing, we were in the darkest tunnel but we know and we believe outside of the tunnel there is still a light of the sun, and at the end of the tunnel we do believe that there is a light of hope from God. As you always said to us, don’t be afraid, be strong, God really love us and He will never leave us alone, right? Now God’s love has proven in our lives. He never leaves us alone. Now God is bringing us into the journey toward the triumphant…”

My beloved friends, related with my friend’s story, I love to take an example from a story in the book of 2 Chronicles that is from King Jehoshaphat. Let’s see what happens at that time. At that time the Judah’s people was experiencing a very complicated situation. They squeezed and threatened destroyed with the coming threat of the descendants of Moab and Ammon also from an army of Meunites.

After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. (2 Chronicles 20:1 NIV)

It obviously was not an easy situation, because obviously their strength is not balanced in the face of such magnitude attack. In a state of frantic and scared, then Jehoshaphat was inviting all Israel to seek the Lord, fasting and crying out to God (Verse 3-12) and soon God answered their help request. Through Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, God exclaimed:

Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (Verse 15 KJV)

And that’s what happened. Hard to believe but when God has to intervene, none of the larger problem than God was able to defeat His power.

Like my friend, the same thing might be happen to us today. Perhaps not in the form of troops attack at once, but various difficult conditions, complicated situation, a major threat; a tight squeeze may suddenly appear in front of us, where logic is not absolutely in favor to us to overcome it. But look at the God’s great and comforting promise. God says that we don’t have to fear even if the situation did not favor us. Why? If we read verse 15 carefully we will find the reason. The threats problems in life can be united attack us as well as attacking of a large combined army but once again don’t be afraid because not our battle but God’s battle.

Now let’s take a look to the other example in the book of Exodus 23. Once again we got the shooting God’s voice:

For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. (Exodus 23:23 KJV)

The Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and so forth are describing the giants who are ready to hit and knock us down just by one hit. Logically we will definitely lose hit from every side. But God said that it is not our battle but His battle. God sent His angels to walk in the front. We will still facing “the giants” but God said that He will cut them off. This is God’s promise of inclusion and rescue to us.

My dear readers, when we surrounded by the huge problems and pressured us from all side, what shall we do? Let’s for a moment take a look to the verse 22:

But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries

This is the first thing that we should to do. Obey His voice and do everything God wants. There are two option that given to us:  

the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:27-28 NKJV)

God also said: “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28 NKJV) The God’s word will help us in dealing with various problems, protect us, strengthen, and provide the best solutions to all the problems we face. There are wonderful promises in the God’s word, there is an assurance, and there is immense power that can make us remain firm without losing the joy and happiness though we are surrounded by a series of huge problems.

The second important thing that we should to do is, as I always said to my friend, don’t be afraid!  When the Israelites were in a tight squeeze because in front of them was a vast ocean while at the back there was the army of Pharaoh were ready to destroy, we can see how God himself then save them by way of parting of the sea into two parts so that the Israelites could walk across the sea. Moses said:

“Do not be afraid. Standstill, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

(Exodus 14:13 NKJV)

Don’t be afraid, standstill and see the Lord’s salvation. These are the key point in order to break away from the crush of problems and the wedged situations. Why we don’t need to be afraid? Please don’t forget that God has promised to each of His children who always obedient and convicted that He will never leave us though should go through great difficulties like a deluge that ready to drown us or like a fire that ready to burn down us.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you… (Isaiah 43:2-3a NKJV)

God many times stated His inclusion, upkeep and help to us. Many times too God urged us to not be afraid. Like through this verse:

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

Also through this verse:

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

My brother and sister in Christ, in our lives will always come times when we have to deal with problems that sometimes could be so many and big like a giant who united attack us from any direction at once. There are certain times we are experiencing the hard season like my friend. We definitely cannot eschew from it all. That is a part of our life journey. But allow me to encourage one thing to all of us: Please remember that God has promised a help to His children who always faithful and obedient to His word and always do what is become His will. He himself will wage war and He will bring us into the victory. That’s why we don’t have to be afraid about everything in this life. We may surrounded by the problems but one thing for sure is we also surrounded by God’s angels who always help and guard us in all our ways

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

(Psalm 91:11 NIV)

If any among us are facing the “Moabites”, “Ammonites”, “Amorites”, “Hittites”,” Perizzites”, and so on,  let’s still stand strong, don’t  back down, don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid. The situation may be extremely hard for the moment, but remember that above all else we have God with a supreme authority. Is God himself, not us who will be fighting against it all. Listen to Him, obey His Word and do what he wants, maintain our faith and relationship with God every day, then we don’t necessary lose the joy and peace despite being surrounded by a variety of problems. Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: panoramio.com

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD (Guest Post)

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

Hello my beloved readers, this evening gladly I am tell all of you that starting from now, every week of fourth I will feature a guest writer in my blog. Why I am doing this? I simply want there is a different color and writing style on my post and open the chance widely to those who have longing to share their thought, devotional, poems, or everything that could encourage and make our spiritual growing more. This time I am so honored my sister in Christ, Sella Irene at sellairene.wordpress.com become my first guest writer. She discuss about an important thing in Christian lives, listening God’s voice.  Really great to ponder which voice we will listen. Whether we tend more often just listen our voice than His voice? And how far we remain obey do anything that has spoken by Him? My dear friends please enjoy reading this.

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

 

The Lord thundered in the heavens.

The Most High uttered His voice.

 

He sends out His word, and melts the hoarfrost.

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.

He sends out His commandment, and His word runs very swiftly.

 

Watch it…!

He sounds off His mighty voice…!

 

 The Lord roars from Zion.

He utters His voice from Jerusalem;

Then the pastures dried up, the top of Carmel withers, the heavens and earth quake.

 

The Lord’s voice is powerful and splendor.

The Lord’s voice whirls the oaks.

Makes Lebanon dance like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

 

The Lord’s voice flashes forth flames of fire.

The Lord’s voice rends the desert; the desert of Kadesh!

He makes the wilderness tremble, and the hinds to calve.

 

When The Almighty lift up His voice,

All creation bow down worship Him.

 

Hi flock….

Listen to and follow the voice of the Shepherd!

 

“GIVE IT ALL !”

God hath spoken once, Twice have I heard this, That power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth lovingkindness; For thou renderest to every man according to his work. (Psalms 62:11-12 ASV)

 

More than six years ago, I didn’t know exactly when it start and what causes it, I had temperature difference allergies. When my body got room temperature changes, for example, moved from hot outside air into the air-conditioned room or vice versa, then my skin would itch. It did not always, but often enough. And it was very disturbing. Even the itch can arise simply because something trivial, for example when I woke up in the middle of the night to urinate which requires remove the blanket and went out of bed to go to the toilet. Such temperature changes can make my allergy relapsed. Eventually almost every day I was taking anti-allergy medication. Over the years I took the medicine, and it seems became a main needed that should always available in my bag wherever and whenever I go.

One day, a friend of mine who may had been wrong eat something, suddenly her body and face itched and got small bumps. Then I offered her my anti-allergy medication. The itch was reduced after she drank it. Because she knew I still had it, then she asked for another pill for drunk later. Of course I did not mind. I immediately opened the bag and pulled out the drug.

But just as I was about to cut the package to take one pill that I will give her, heard very clearly a straightforward and firmly words in my heart: “GIVE IT ALL !”  I was stunned. Instantly my hands stopped while holding the scissors. My Spirit was chatching that it was God’s voice spoke to my heart. I was thinking fast, “What if I give half of the number of pills? Or may I leave one or two pills only for myself? Not a matter of price, but the medicine my needs. What if tonight I am itching and cannot sleep?” Like lightning, flashed one more words in my heart: “YOU TRUST ME ?!”  All conversation lasted only a few seconds. With two sentences as clear as that, it would be foolish if I denied. I did not hear audibly, but my heart and Spirit caught it very clear. Without thinking again, soon I gave all the medicine to my friend.

On the way home, I told to my husband. I am grateful to have a husband who have loyal heart to God and support me. He encouraged me to believe that God going to perform a miracle and heal me. We also agreed to trust God, and went home without buying the medicine again.

The event occurred about two and a half years ago. Since that day, somehow, my allergy never came again until now! I am free. I know the Father in Heaven has healed me. God has initiated healed me by asking me to did a faith act, which gave the whole of my medicine. And as the answer of my obedience, God lifted my illness. Lord decreed, the Lord also responsible to solve it.

Thankfully when I heard and recognized His voice, I soon learn to obey and trust Him. If that day I did not listen and did not recognize the voice of my Great Shepherd, or if I heard and recognized the voice but did not obey, I would lose the opportunity to receive a miracle.

 

LISTEN AND DO IT

 

“OBEDIENCE MEANS IMMEDIATELY DOING IN AGREEMENT WITH GOD AND DO NOT ARGUES WITH HIM.”

 

The Bible records the various miracles and wonders that God has done. Many of which occur instantaneously without the role of the recipient miracle. At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4:40)

But not the least that should be preceded by acts of obedience:

Ten lepers healed because obeying Jesus’s command to show themselves to the priests. Along the way, a miracle happened! When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke17:14)

Naaman, a commander of the king of Syria who suffers from leprosy, came to Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (2 Kings 5:10) Although previously he was offended and angry because but eventually Naaman did it. So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. (2Kings 5:14)

Simon has worked hard all night catching fish, but did not get results. As he returned to the shore, Jesus went up the boat, sat down and began teaching the crowds who overrun Him. Done with the teaching, Jesus told Simon to shove off into the deep and let down his nets. Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. (Luke 5:5-6) Since then Simon followed Jesus and became His disciples, and then Jesus gave him the name of Peter.

Keep the heart remain in the holiness is the main key to listen the GOD's voiceThere are so many examples in the Bible of people who receive a miracle by doing God’s command. Therefore, it is very important to have a sense of hearing God’s voice. God has many ways to speak to us. Through the text in the Bible we read every day, by prophecy, preaching God’s servant, dreams, specific events, and even through the simple daily things, and others. The limit is very clear: God certainly will not give orders that are contrary to His word.

In the tussle and prayer, sometimes we waited for an answer that might actually has been available in front of us, but we do not respond to anything. Maybe we do not hear when God speaks, because we are too busy thinking and lamented. Also we may in fact hear the God’s voice, but we do not recognize the voice. We did not know whether it was the voice of God or our own voice. Or, we may also know that the Lord has said, but we are indecisive and too scared to move.

 

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,(Psalm 95:7)

 

God is the good Shepherd. Wherever our Shepherd takes us, merely is to provide the best provision and protection. When we read the entire Psalm 23, it is clearly written that the Shepherd always maintaining and guiding to a quiet place. Our Shepherd always protected so that we will be safe even in the valley of the shadow of death. Not only that, our Shepherd will also bring us safely to the Father’s home.

To be able to follow His leading, we must be sensitive and recognize the voice of the Shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27) How can we hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd? Through build a relationship with Him. Just like building a relationship with someone, the more we closely with that person then we will get to know his personality. We know the habits, characteristics, and manner of speech. We recognize his voice when he called or calling. Even if the more intense make interaction, then only with certain expressions and without saying a word, we can capture his heart.  It is similar with building a relationship with God. If we continue to worship, pray, read, contemplate, and do His word, the more we mature in spiritually and know God. That means that it is easier for us to hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd and obey.

“WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP, THERE IS NO TRUST. WITHOUT TRUST,

 THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE.”

 

Build a relationship always requires commitment and time. Jesus also has the commitment and time to have fellowship with the Father in heaven every day. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.(Mark 1:35) If Jesus felt that fellowship with the Father is very important, especially for us. We need it most!

Today… No matter our circumstances, and whatever answers of the prayer are we waiting, if we hear the voice of the Great Shepherd, immediately follow His mighty voice. Let us obedient and do what has been spoken. Then the power of God’s word it will work in us and change our lives. The miracle certainly happened!

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. (Psalm 103:20)

 

AMEN

 

By Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

www.sellairene.wordpress.com

 

Keep The spirit Up!

KEEP THE SPIRIT UP- Karina's Thought

 

Day by day I am more realized that the spirit plays an important role in our lives. I am more realized that no matter how smart we are and how high our expertise, without having a great spirit we couldn’t do so much things. We also often think that high intelligence and high education is something absolutely needed to reach a success. However, actually this fact is not entirely true. I have met many business comrades who didn’t have very high education but they could reach a great success. A few days ago once again I met a new business friend. What makes me surprised and amazed is, she is younger than me and you know, she told me that she just graduated from senior high school but she has been successful in the business world and successful develop some companies. “The biggest asset that I have is praise to the Lord almighty, He gives me a big spirit and I always try to keep my fire of spirit never dimmed. Indeed, I am always surrounded by many smart, skilled, and experienced people in their respective fields who always support me. But if I myself don’t have a great spirit to achieve what I want, so I will get nothing. If we have spirit, then we will be doing many things. By keep the spirit up, I could learn many things and it could make me remain stand firm especially when I have face the hard times” She said without any overbearing impression.

I am not saying that I am disagreeing with education, intellectuality, and intelligence. I know both of them are important too. But what I want to convey is we don’t have to forget the factor of spirit in our lives. High intelligence and education is not an assurance that we could successfully reach what we want if not accompanied by high spirit to try reach what we expect. As my new business friends said that she always tried to make her fire of spirit never dimmed, it means we should always have a spirit in live our life. God also really love and appreciate if we are as His children have a great spirit.

I remembered a God’s word in 2 Chronicles 15. At that time, Asa, a king who led the Nation of Judah wanted to make reformation. Before he did, he visited by Azarya the son of Oded who apparently was given a special mandate directly from God to the king Asa. One of God’s messages it turned out is about the spirit,

But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.

(Chronicles 15:7 NASB)

Let’s pay attention to the word “For your work shall be rewarded” This is God’s promise to those have a great spirit and strong mental. Thankfully king Asa heard the message and he successfully did thorough reformation to the nation of Judah. The Bible noted the significant outcome of his effort.

There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign. (2 Chronicles 15:19 NIV)

Now, I love to take another bible figure as an example. Let’s briefly take a look to the story of Caleb. Caleb was one of twelve people who were given the task by Moses to spy out the Promise Land, Canaan. At the time, Caleb was 40 years old and we all know the end of the story. The Israelites successfully entered the Promise Land 45 years later and Caleb was 85 year old. There is one Caleb’s remark that can describe how great his spirit although his age was already quite old,

I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. (Joshua 14:11 NIV)

Here we can see although Caleb’s age was been quite old but he still had a great spirit to assist Moses brought The Israelites went into the Promise Land. What a great example that by always has a great spirit will be able to reach a great success and give us a great outcome. Caleb didn’t become downhearted at all even though he should to wait for 45 years.

My beloved readers, we all know that our lives are not always filled by convenience and comfort. There are times we are in a situation which is fraught with difficulties, suffering and troubles. But Solomon said:

The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble… (Proverbs 18:14 AMP)

Spirit is able to give us strength to endure sufferings and heavy burden. But what we can do if we don’t have spirit? People who have broken spirit tend to be difficult to get up. The longer it is allowed, the harder to recover.  We have to know that the spirit is like a fuel that will drive us remains step forward. Whatever work that we do, whether it is large or small if we do will vigorously we can finish it all with the best results. I personally have experienced it. Without a great spirit, I couldn’t be able to run a big responsibility on my shoulder in working.  Don’t ever dream to achieve something big if not accompanied by a great spirit. Problems may come and hit us repeatedly, but if we have a high morale to face it all, it will give a big difference in obtaining the final outcome. We have to always remember that God has promised always be with us whatever we go. As He said:

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.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

 He also has declared that He is the Faithful God,

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

(Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)

And because God is faithful, it means He never leaves us, He promised:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

God wants us to always live in His plan, where He will guide and accompany us in every step of our lives to reap what has been provided by Him. So, if we already know how beautiful God’s promises to us, why should we be downhearted in facing of various problems, sufferings and trials? We should to always have a great spirit to face any problems and trials just because it all will strengthen us to remain endure passing through the hard times.

My dear friends, this evening allow me to encourage all of us to continue keep the fire of our spirit not going to be dimmed. Let the fire stay burning and flared. Whatever problems we face today, let’s face and finish it with a great spirit. There is no reason at all for us to not keep the spirit up. When we face so many hard problems people around us might stay away from us or even leave us, but please remember one thing that we are not alone. We have God who always be with us, loves us, and give us strength.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

 Fully trust in His promises because He said:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise… (2Peter 3:9a NIV)

 Feel His kindness, love, inclusion and continue to hold it with faith. It will make our heart still have a true joy, happiness, and the cheerful lives. From there we will be able to remain upbeat and positive, full of enthusiasm in doing what we want to achieve and in resolving all of our problems. Spirit drives us to get a great achievement. Keep our spirit up! Amen.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)

 

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: imghoot.com

While You Wait

Karina Susanto:

What God has promised to you? Do you trust Him to fulfill that promise? What a great question to all of us to ponder!

Originally posted on Deeper Roots:

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Psalm 130:6

I sat in the doctor’s office and grew more frustrated every minute I waited past my appointment time. “Why do they schedule me for 2:00 if they’re not going to call me back before 3:00?” I fumed in my head. I had things to do, important things, yet there I sat seething inside and  impatiently flipping through a 3-year old issue of People magazine. After I was finally called back, it was another 45-minute wait in a lovely paper gown before the doctor breezed into the room. I am a pretty patient person most of the time, but long drawn out waits really do me in. Whether we’re waiting for an appointment, for a…

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Do Good

DO GOOD- Karina's Thought

 

Once upon a time, in the cold morning, a young woman cries in the front of the old homeless man who had died at the corner of the sidewalk. “Why are you crying, mam?  Are you his family?” Someone asked. The women replied, “No, He is not my family. I don’t even really know who he is” “If so, why you look so sad?” The women replied again, “Yesterday morning, I saw him lying down here. Somehow, my heart was moved and has a plan to buy him a food and drink after I go back from the office. What makes me sad and deeply regret is, I put off my plan and just did it this morning. But it turns out this morning he was passing away. I deeply regret why I put off the chance to do something good while there is an opportunity to do so.”

My beloved friends, here we talk about do good. There are six things that should to bear in our heart and mind in doing good.

Why we should to do good? Every religion has always taught its followers to do good. But there is something different with us as Christian. What is the difference? First, let’s have a look to 3 John 1:11,

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

This verse affirmed that for the Christians do good is not just a moral instigation and not just something mandatory to be done, also not as a way to get salvation or so we can live in Our Father’s home in heave but rather as a Christian identity. Do good is a faith expression and a proof that we fulfill the God’s law, reflect the God’s love, we were created to do good in accordance to that has outlined by God.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.(Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 NIV)

When we should to do good? Paul was advising the Galatians,

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Galatians 6:10 NASB)

My beloved friends, we must realize one thing that our life in this world is very limited. We really don’t know how long we will live in this world. We don’t even know until how old we live. We are grateful if we are given longevity by God, it is God’s great blessing. But still we are not able to determine how long we live. God will determine. We live in this world only stay, as it is written in 1 Peter 1:17,

…conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

We don’t have to wait the right time and the right place to do good. While there is opportunity to do good, let’s do it. We shouldn’t be like a young woman in the story above who put off the opportunity to do good and finally she got deep regret. We should not miss the opportunity that has been given by God to do good. The opportunity to do good is an opportunity to please and glorify Him, to change our lives and the lives of those who got our help. To do good is a great commission from God.

To whom we should do good? First we have do good start from our household of faith then to all those who in need and deserve.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. (Proverbs 3:27 NASB)

To do good also not consider the race, religion, social status, gender, and so on. The second foremost commandment said,

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’(Matthew 22:39 NASB)

What the purpose we do good? We have to realize that do good to others is not for a personal interest such as want to be appreciated, or be respected and without expecting to get anything back. We should to do good with full of merciful.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend them without expecting to get anything back… Be merciful, just as you Father is merciful (Luke 6:35, 36 NIV)

Where we should do good? Anywhere as long we have opportunity to do good, whether in the office, church, in our family, or in neighborhood around us. Anywhere!  Just because everything we do is only for God.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

How we do good? There are so many ways to do good. We could start with these things such as: give big attention, affection, and patience hear someone sharing their problems. Encourage and pray to those who have affliction and suffering. We also could give support in the form of funds to those in need, if we be able.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40 NIV)

My beloved friends, have we done something good for other in our lives? Have we utilized opportunity that has been given by God to do good? This evening allow me to encourage all of us to make “Do good” as our lifestyle. Don’t be weary in doing good anywhere, anytime, and to anyone who needs our helping hand for the time comes we will reap the harvest of what we have done.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Don’t eliminate our identity as the followers of Christ. Don’t put off the opportunity to do good because it may not happen again. Let’s use the opportunity that has been given by God to glorify His name, radiate His great love to the world through to do good to others. Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

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Get up and Eat!

GET UP AND EAT- KARINA'S THOUGHT

 

Hello dear readers. In my previous post titled “Never give up”, we’ve learned something from the story of Elijah. We have learned although we could successful overcome big problems, we also could stumble to the small problems and it makes us depressed and want to give up. With God Elijah was successful defeated the 450 Baal’s prophet but it turns out Elijah was really scared when Jezebel threatened him. He depressed and wanted to die. (1 Kings 19:4 NIV)

Well, in this post I want to continue the Elijah’s story. Let’s look further what happened after he came to broom bush and prayed. Let’s have a look what the God’s answer of his prayer. After Elijah prayed, he lay down under the bush and fell asleep, and then an angel came touched him and said: “Get up and eat.”(1 Kings 19:5 NIV) Here there are two important words. This is God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer. This is what God wants so that Elijah can return to the path as God wants.

 “Get and up and eat” I ponder deeply to these words and we can get two important and valuable lessons. Let’s focus on the first word, Get up. In other word we can say wake up! Arise! In our lives, when we face so many hard problems and failed to overcome it all, sometime we feel so tired and difficult to rise again. We feel too tired to start again from the beginning. Even worse we tend to hide behind our tiredness; we are frustrated, depressed, and shy away from the realities of life that should be faced. No hope and no desire to rise again. Verily, God doesn’t want it happens to us. God does want us remain strong to face any kind of problems that always exist and when we failed, God doesn’t want us drowned in failure. God always want us to get up again! Not so easy! I really know it. But we have to remember that with God’s inclusion we will able to rise again. God will strengthen us to get up facing every problem. As He said:

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.”(Joshua 1:9 NIV)

 God even promises will uphold us in His right hand. He said:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

Life will not always be easy; problems will always be there and there times we have to fall and experience a failure. But it does not mean we should give up. As long as God is still with us, as long as we remain live in the shade of His glory, we have to stay eager to get up and go fight.  What The Lord said to Elijah also applies to us. God does not want us to be discouraged or lose hope when faced with pressure or failure. He wants us to always remember that His love and faithfulness upon us will make Himself always be with us forever.

Now let’s take a look to the second word. Eat! After Elijah did a great job defeating 450 prophets of Baal, he got extremely tiredness. His psychical and spiritual energy drained away so he didn’t have reserves power to face Jezebel’s threat. Then God asked him to eat!

He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank… (1 Kings 19:6 NIV)

But what happens after that? Elijah was lying again. It could mean that the food wasn’t enough to recover his energy and then what happened next was:

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7 NIV)

Elijah was eating again, and through the food he was able to walk again. Not simply walk for short distance but he was able to take 40 days and night until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

What kind of valuable lesson from this part? Here we talk not just about the real food that we need to recover our energy, but here we are more talking about the needs of spiritual food. After we could to get up again, we also need the spiritual food which can make us strong and able to walk back to face all the problems of life. Jesus said:

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God “(Matthew 4:4 NIV)

…that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV)

It is a very important message. We could eat anything to make us full physically. but if we let our spiritual hungry and thirsty, then we will easily infiltrated by fear, anxiety, easy to depressed, making us easy to give up, even make us forget that God is really cares and is always with us. We are not only need food to alive, to stay strong and to get back on our feet, but we also need food for our soul and spirit. Not only our body could sick, but our spiritual also get sick if doesn’t get good and enough nutrition. Therefore we need to continue to equip ourselves with God’s word, which will be able to strengthen us when we want to rise from failure and facing the life’s problems. God’s word is a nutrition source that will never run out. God’s word is the very best nutrient because it already contained all the needed aspects for our spiritual health and growth.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

God’s word also guides and directs us when we walk in the dark path and don’t know which way should to go.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

Now we come to the last thing. This is my personal thought based on the Elijah’s story. After we successful get up again and fill our soul and spirit with the good spiritual food, we need one more important thing. Courage to step up! Elijah will never get to the Horeb if he didn’t dare to move. If he only get up and eat but without move, he will not get anywhere. It is also the same for us. We must have the courage to tread to face all the problems and challenges of life. We must have the courage to step up make a big change in our lives and achieve what we hoped. When God asked Joshua to continue The Moses leadership to brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, God said to Joshua: “…Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.”(Joshua 1:2-3 NIV) The underlined word means Joshua should to make a step, because if Joshua didn’t move, then he will not stepping on anything. Without stepped up he will not get the God’s promise.

My beloved readers, the process of our lives will continue to run and during the journey we will have so many problems and challenges. We may be facing a lot of failures. We may be so tired, frustrated, depressed, and loss of hope. This evening allow me to encourage all of us to remember these three things. The first, Get up! God doesn’t want us to be discouraged and loss of hope. God wants us to get up again, and again! God really cares to us and He will always strengthen and help us to rise again! As he promised to us He will uphold us with His own righteous right hand! And when we fall, He promises:

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:24 NKJV)

We will never successful to overcome our problems unless we are willing to get up to make something better. Don’t be afraid to get up again. We are not alone. There is God who always be with us.

The second thing is eat! Let’s constantly fill our soul and spirit with God’s word as the best spiritual nutritious food. Don’t let our spiritual starving and thirst just because it will make our spiritual get sick. By maintaining our personal relationship with God through our prayer, quiet time, reading, pondering God’s word every day, and do it in our daily lives will strengthen and make our spiritual lives healthy.

The last thing, don’t ever be afraid and doubt to step up! We have God who always be with us and He always watches over the way where we steps. He will never make us stumble.

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121: 3-4 NLT)

Let us vigorously step up to reach what has been promised by God. Without stepping we will not be able to make any change for the better future. Please remember God will never leave us of forsake us, as He promises:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV) Amen!

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: sothl.com

 

Never Give Up!

NEVER GIVE UP - Karina's Thought

 

There are so many things that could inspire me to write something. My post this evening inspired by a true story of a pedestrian named Edward Payson Weston. He did several trips by walk in the several years and the longest traveling he did was in 1909. At the age of 70, he was walking along the 4000 miles from New York to San Francisco in a hundred days. It was a very remarkable achievement! A feat that may not be able rivaled by us who younger than him and of course it was a hard adventure! I strongly believe Weston experienced so many hard problems during his trip. In an interview he said: “There are times when my legs felt very sick. I almost gave up and stop this trip. The biggest problem that almost made me give up not feeling tired, not too very long distances up to 4000 miles, nor the blistering heat  that grilling me, but instead of the sands that goes into the shoe makes me hard to kept walking. “

I am thinking about the journey of our life in this world.  Our journey will be same with Weston’s journey. Often times we have to take a long, hard, and tiring journey. And in the journey we will face so many “stones”. We will face so many problems and obstacles, ranging from the little problems until the very hard one. Each of them has its own difficulties and at the one time we might come to a condition where we begin to tired, feel lost hope and wants to give up. Not just the severe problems that can make us give up but a small problem can make us lose the fighting spirit and prefer to wave the white flag. Like Weston who almost gave up because only grain of the sands in his shoes, similarly to us. We often defeated by the problems that may be relatively small compared to the pile of big problems that we’ve ever faced and won before. We often could successfully face the big stones, yet in fact we often stumbled with small pebbles but sharp enough to weaken us. Related with this issue, I remember the story of Elijah. We all know very well who Elijah is. He was one of the great prophets. Elijah referred as “the prophet of fire”, the prophets who brought down fire from Heaven and brilliantly defeated 450 Baal’s prophet. (1 Kings 18:20-40 NIV) He successfully proved that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel is the true God. With unwavering faith he prayed:

“Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command” (Verse 36)

In another chance, he was also successfully brought down the rain through his prayer so he also called as “The rain prophet”

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:17-18 NIV)

Here we see that Elijah was a prophet who had an extraordinary firmness of faith. But, as James said, Elijah was still a human being who has weaknesses and limitations like us. We could see this thing when Elijah was threatened by Jezebel.

So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” (1 Kings 19:2 NIV)

Logically, if Elijah was successful defeat 450 the Baal’s prophet, Jezebel’s threat wasn’t enough to make him afraid. But the fact was, Jezebel’s threat was quite effective to make Elijah afraid! Elijah was so scared, loss of hope, and depressed. Here we see an anticlimax. After he proved the God’s power which was significantly came down through him, it turns out his soul depressed by Jezebel’s threat. His depression escalated and then He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4 NIV)  Jezebel’s threat actually not comparable with the power of hundreds Baal’s prophets. Jezebel’s threat was a small pebble but precisely because of it Elijah stumbled, weakens him, and even wants to die.

When I really ponder this story, I got an important lesson. Through Elijah we can learn that when we are able and successfully overcome the big problems, we have to be careful with the small problems and don’t underestimate it. Please remember, devil never stop trying to break our faith with many ways. If the devil didn’t  succeed destroying our faith through the big problems, then he will use other ways. Devil will do anything and use anything to tear down our faith, make us despair, give up, and always trying to blow out the light of our hope. Satan can make us so depressed and immediately forget about how Great God’s power and care to us and has been set us free from the big problems in the previous time. Moreover, as a human being who has weaknesses, we have to be careful and realize that devil can use our weaknesses to destroy our faith.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matthew 26:41 NIV)

In our lives we also often experience occurrence as experienced by Elijah. There are times the pressures repeatedly hit us, turns starting from the easy to hard pressure or even simultaneously hit us and it makes us getting tired and discouraged to keep fighting. Hope becomes faint, success looks getting far, and we begin to thinking to give up because no longer feel there is a hope. We might have problems in family, career, business, financial, or health problem. It all could make us depressed, scare, disappointed, and eventually could make us want to give up. The question is should we give up like Elijah who lifted up the pessimistic prayer? The answer is, No! We shouldn’t give up! Because why? Just because, praise to the Lord we have an outstanding Father’s figure who really cares. He doesn’t want us to end up like that. God will never be silent and stand idly to see us wracked by difficulties. Jesus, His only son who has been given to us was a real proof how He is the God who really cares and loves us. If for our eternal salvation God is so concerned, why we have to doubt about His caring to the life problems that hit us? Obviously God wants us always living in hope. It is written in Hebrews: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NIV) Yes! God is faithful to His promises. He never breaks His promises. As long as we always have hope in Him, there is no problem that cannot be solved because God is the source of hope for us.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Romans 15:13 NLT)

Indeed, if we rely on our own limited strength, it will be so difficult. But please don’t forget that we have God who the source of strength.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NIV)

My beloved readers, There are times we successfully jump over the big stones but we even stumbled by a small pebbles’ attack but quite sharp to weaken us. There are times we even stumbled into a situation that is actually simpler than the hard faith struggle that we have won, but successful make us afraid, depressed, and want to give up. This evening let me encourage all of us, no matter how small or big our problems, no matter just pebbles or big stones that we face, never give up!  God will always give us the way out and not matter big or small our problems and trials will not more than of our strength, as God’s word said:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

Don’t ever to be afraid and dismayed! Because we have God who has unlimited power and He will strengthen and help us to overcome every problem.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

Keep stand firm in hope with the power of Holy Spirit and keep the light of our hope still shining.  If previously we already feel His help and experience the God’s power and miracles overcoming any of our problems, it means God will remain help us in the future. He never changes now and forever and He is the faithful God. Amen.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

(Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)

Karina – Living by faith

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