Jephthah, From zero to be Hero

JEPHTHAH FROM ZERO TO BE HERO -Karina's Thought

 

Few days ago I took time to meet my new office staff in Singapore named Zahra. She is from India then move to Singapore to get a better future. I am interested and impressed by her life background. Openly and shamelessly she tells her life bitterness. When she was 22 year old she should know a bad fact. She was an unwanted child to be born. She was born as a result of the adultery. Her parents many times tried to have an abortion yet always failed. As an unwanted child she never gets a proper affection, even handed out to one of her mother’s relatives.  That situation gives rise to hatred and rancor to her parents. But Thank you to God, the good news was she bring her bitterness to God and God enabled, strengthen, and move her heart to forgive them, even God amazingly use her in a ministry at her church in India.

My beloved readers, after I heard her touching testimony, my mind soon drifted to the one biblical figure named Jephthah that experienced the similar thing.  Jephthah’s story was written in Judges 11. Jephthah was “From zero to hero” From nothing to be something. He was born as an illegitimate child, the result of adultery relationship with a harlot. The Jephthah’s story begins with a very contrast fact.

Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah. (Judges 11:1)

Jephthah portrayed as a man that have two life’s side. On the one side he pictured as illegitimate child of a whore and rejected by his society, but on the other side he considered as  mighty man. The author of Hebrew even classifies Jephthah as a hero of faith in line with David, Samuel, Gideon, Samson, and Barak.

… For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:  who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:32-34)

As an unwanted and illegitimate child, he then expelled by his parents. “…You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” (Judges 11:2)

Then Jephthah who had been born in the unpleasant conditions must also bear the burden of which is not due to his fault. He wasted; bear hatred whole families and even his own nation as a result of his father’s deeds that should not be inflicted on him. What happens next? Because of all that, Jephthah then fled from his families, went to the land of Tob, and joined to the raider gangs. This is the life he should  bear as a result of his father’s sins. Life is so bitter, but nevertheless he continued to live.

The story continues. At one time, there was an attack against Israel carried out by the Ammonites. The Israelites was threatened and frightened. Apparently this fear makes the elders of Gilead no longer had embarrassed to pick Jephthah and asked him to become their commander to fight the Ammonites.

“Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?”  Said Jephthah to the elders of Gilead.(Judges 11:7)

My dear friends,  there are many valuable  and important things we can learn from Jephthah’s story . Let’s see the first thing. It is about forgiveness.Though Jephthah had hated and expelled from his father’s house, Jephthah was a figure who had Magnanimity. He was a figure that full of forgiveness and didn’t hold grudges. He didn’t  intend at all to take revenge to the elders of Gilead who hate and reject him;  although Jephthah could, he didn’t  take advantage of the situation to hit back them. Jephthah was already implementing what has been commanded by God:

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself… (Leviticus 19:18)

The Bible noted clearly what he did at the time: Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them… (Judges 11:11)

One question to ponder, if one day people who have hurt and hate us come to apologize for everything they did and ask us for help, what would we do to them? Take revenge and hit them back? Could we act like Jephthah with open arms we accept them with love and forgiveness and help them?  I really realize forgive someone that has been hurt us so bad is a difficult thing to do. But today let’s learn from Jephthah as a figure that have full forgiveness and as God also commanded us:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

do not let the sun go down on your wrath, (Ephesians 4:26b)

 The second thing we can learn is, let’s put our focus on the underline words below,

“If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the Lord delivers them to me, shall I be your head” (Judges 11: 9)

This shows us that although Jepthah was living in the tough world and full of evil, he still had a good relationship with God and He had faith in God. He didn’t say “if I defeat the Ammonites…” but he said “if the Lord delivers them to me…” He realized that if he managed to defeat the Ammonites it all not because of his own strength and ability but it all just because God gives victory to him. Also, though his life was filled with a myriad of pain and suffering, He was a figure who completely surrenders to God. Jephthah continues to rely on God incessantly. Jephthah brought the entire case to the presence of God.

and Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord in Mizpah. (Judges 11:11)

This teaches us one thing, no matter how hard our lives, no matter how big our problems, no matter how big suffering should to bear and it all makes us worry and fear, we have to always totally surrender and rely on God. God’s word said:

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

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)

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.

(Psalm 145:18-19)

The third, through the story of Jephthah we could see that God didn’t see the good and bad of someone life background for His work. Jephthah who was born with a bad background has received God’s grace in abundance. Even the God’s Spirit came upon him.

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah… (Judges 11:29)

God doesn’t look at whoever we are, where we came from, and how is our past.  Jephthah’s Bitterness can be transformed by God when he brought his case before the Lord. Though he lives among the raider gangs even become a leader, but the Lord chose him to be a war commander of Israel.  Here we could learn that a wasted and unwanted people will not forever waste and not appreciated. God can choose anyone no matter who they are for His Kingdom work. God’s word said:

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

 The fourth thing, I found an interesting thing from Jephthah’story. Despite he was in very taugh and hard situation, Yefta was able to explore and found his potential.What kind of potential? The leadership! He said:

“If you take me back home to fight against the people of Ammon, and the Lord delivers them to me, shall I be your head?” (Judges 11: 9)

It was true Jephthah was a leader of raider gangs but God even use his leadership ability become a war commander against the Ammonites. I personally learn something, although we have dark background, rejected, and experienced many bitterness of life, God still bless us a potential and gift to develop ourselves to become someone usefull for others. I do believe at the time Jephthah realized his potential and ability as a head. If not, he will not confidently say: “Shall I be your head. No matter who we are, God has given each of us grace, gift, and self-potential that can be developed, as written in Romans 12:6-8:

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

My beloved brother and sister in Christ, this evening allow me to encourage all of us to learn from Jephthah’s life.  Let us learn to become a person who always forgive those who may have been hurt and hate us. Let us always rely on God and cast all worries, problems, trials before the Lord. Let’s more realize that God can use anyone for his work. God can use someone who have dark background of life to declare His glory and mightiness. Never stop to explore our sel-potensial because the Lord has blessed us with talents and abilities that can be used by God to do good for others. Let’s always remember that God can change anyone “From zero to be Hero”, “From nothing to be something” Amen

 

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: google image

Bible verses source: Biblegateway

 

IN THE SHADOW OF GOD (Guest Post)

Walking in the shadow of God

Bezalel is an unpopular name and only mentioned few times on the Bible. He didn’t divide the sea as Moses did (Exodus 14:21-22), he didn’t stop and make the sun and the moon stand still as Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14) and he didn’t bring a dead boy to life like Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24). His name is not even written in the witnesses of faith as Bible recorded in Hebrew 11. But God used this ‘ordinary man’ to lead the entire gifted artisans who were working in order to build the tabernacle and all the furnishings inside which God has commanded Moses.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “see, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. (Exodus 31:1-2 NKJV)

Was Bezalel that great until God chose him?? No, because God Himself has given Bezalel all kind of skill that he needed: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.” (Exodus 31:3-5 NKJV)

So, why did God choose Bezalel? And who is Bezalel actually?

 

THE DESCENDANT OF THE RIGHTEOUS

Bezalel is Hur’s grandson. Hur was a faithful follower of God. He was together with Aaron held Moses hand up so Israelites can win over Amelekites in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8-13). What does that mean? Hur was a considerate and obedience man to his leader. He supported his leader’s vision and he loved his people.

In addition, Hur, Bezalel’s grandfather was the man who Moses has trusted to be in charge of everything happened while Moses was on the top of mountain to meet God for 40 days and 40 nights. And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them.”(Exodus 24:14 NKJV)

It was not an easy issue for Moses to trust someone. Hur was not living mischievously. He was a righteous man and fear of God.

What is the relevance between Bezalel and Hur who lived righteously?

HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS:

If we are the righteous… if we have applied the value of Kingdom of Heaven in our life… it means that we are INVESTING God’s blessings and favor for our future offspring. Be joyful for our descendants will be used by God and become a blessing.

The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7 NKJV)

Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 25:12-13 NKJV)

Was Bezalel blessed by God because he was merely from a righteous ancestor? Of course not. What will happen if we are not the descendant of the righteous? No problem. God will bless and use anyone who give their life and follow Him with whole heart. Let’s start to build our family in God’s way.

 

A RIGHTEOUS LIFE

The meaning of Bezalel is “in the shadow of God”. Those who dwell in the shadow of God will be there in the place where God is. They love to stay in God’s presence and covered by God’s protection. God paid Bezalel favor not simply because he came from a righteous family, but because he lived in righteous way. Bezalel drew his life near to God. He dwell in God’s shadow. He built strong relationship with God, so he knew God.

That is the reason why Bezalel did the exact things as God has commanded him, though to set up the tabernacle and to build all the instruments were difficult because the shape and size should be precise according to God. “And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding to know how to do all manner of work to the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the Lord has commanded.” (Exodus 36:1 NKJV) To did all he need total obedience to God.

Only those who obey and dwell close to God can do exactly the will of God.

 

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, if today any of us who feel that we are “ordinary” based on the world view (Even we think about ourselves too), have nothing, and unaccounted, do not be discourage. 

Bezalel was an ordinary man but he diligently sought God, built his life in God. Be like Bezalel, let’s start to build our relationship with God every time, walking together with the Holy Spirit and abide in His Words. If we always live in “the shadow of God”, there will be a time that God will lift us up. He will give us a bigger responsibility when we ready to do it with Him. Holy Spirit will equip us with all we need to do His jobs. He will help us to explore our talents. He will add even multiply our talents so we can be used by God according to His will. On the other hand, don’t be proud of ourselves if today God has blessed and used our lives. Everything is only by His grace! All in our life is God’s work!

As how great God has anointed and used Bezalel, God will use everyone who is available. God can lift a shepherd become a king (David); God called a fisherman and used him to be a fisher of men (Peter) ; God changed a ploughman became a powerful prophet (Elijah). God also capable of turning and using a tax collector to become a follower of Christ (Zaccheus), also a man who fought against the Lord eventually became a radical apostle (Paul) and a lot more to mention.

God is willing and able to transform, use, and equip everyone without exception, including you and me. God is not looking for ABILITIES, He is looking for the AVAILABILITY.

“God choose us not because “WHO WE ARE”, but because “WHAT GOD HAS DONE” within our lives. So there is no reason for us to boast about ourselves”

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36 NKJV)

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image Source: Google Images

The Anchor of Hope

ANCHOR OF HOPE - Karina's Thought

 

Hello everyone! Glad and be grateful I could come back again with my new post. On the first week of this New Year, I got a lot of questions from my friends about what is my prediction for this year, especially in the business and finance field. Some of them shows their pessimistic in carrying out this year; they assume this year will not be better than previous. They even filled with anxiety in facing this year. “I didn’t dare to put hope too much, or even I didn’t have hope at all for this year. I think could be surviving day by day is more than enough” Said one of my friend pessimistically.

My beloved friends, on my first post of this year I longs to talk about hope. In this today world that full of problems, affliction, and trials, there are many people losing hope in their life. For me, personally, this is horrible. I am not saying that I am definitely could do anything and will surely success in every field this year, but if until know I could work well it just because I have hope. I always put my hope on everything I do. I hope could get a better achievement in working. I also have a hope to be a better mother of my son; I hope could be a better wife for my husband. And also I hope could be a better daughter to my parents that has been entrust me to manage everything they build before. The point is because of hope I am able to keep moving. I found many people because they lose of hope, their lives like a programmable robot which is doesn’t have a soul; there is no longing in their heart to get a better future, and they don’t have dreams, goals, and vision to be achieved. They become people who are lazy to pursue a better future.

What the God’s word says about this thing?  Paul, on his letter to the Corinthians was conveying clearly an important thing about hope. At that time he cited a script from the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 25: 4. He said: For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?  Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. (1 Corinthians 9:9-10)

What does the meaning of the verses above? Let’s ponder together. Let us focus on the word: “That who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” After I deeply reflect on these words, I conclude one important thing. We have to do everything in hope! Whatever we working on, we have to always put hope on it. This is an important message that will be able to make us continue to have dreams, goals and, vision in our lives, not just survive from day after day without any hope at all in our hearts. Don’t expect we have fire of spirit without hope. Without hope we wouldn’t be able to be diligent and get the best results. Hope will be able to help us be faithful and committed both where we work, in our profession or everything we strive in this world.

Now the question is, when we already have a hope, where we have to put our hope? I also found many people today even though they have hope but they put their hope at the wrong place. They put hope on human’s strength, power, wealth, and other worldly things. It will definitely doesn’t work and will be in vain. As good as any humans still have weaknesses. No matter how powerful someone is, there is always someone more powerful. No matter how rich someone is, there is still someone richer. So where is the right place to put our hope? Well, has been clearly written in the Bible where we have to put our hope. Let’s take a look to the Holy Bible.

I pray that God, the source of hope… (Romans 15:13)

This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. (1Timothy 1:1)

These verses vividly show us where we should to put our hope in this life. There is only one in this world that can be our hope; He is God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is source of hope and through Jesus Christ He gives us hope. Therefore, let’s remember don’t put our hope to others, let us put our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ who already sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father in Heaven. Hoping in Jesus is like sure and steadfast anchor,

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. (Hebrews 6:19)

Oh, what a wonderful fact! We have hope as sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, an anchor that can’t slip and can’t break down under whoever steps on it. The powerful and safe anchor that we have is named the anchor of hope!  If I likens our life is like a ship, we have Christ Jesus the solid rock that can be a strong and safe mooring for the anchor to hold and the ship of our life will remain strong and will be not tottering aimlessly.

My beloved readers, what about us now? Whether we are included to those who are seeing this New Year with pessimistic like some of my friends and we look this year as a dark and gloomy year? This evening allow me to encourage all of us to enlighten our view, mind and lives with the light of hope. If we feel everything we do will be in vain, let us immediately put hope above all that we do and put it on the right place. Immediately direct our view and mind to Jesus who gives us hope and as a Highest Priest. Hold fast our hope without wavering as written in the bible,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

I am fully realized that our lives ahead will not be easy or will be even more difficult than before. There are always problems; trials, challenge, uncertain situation, and we might feel insecure with our future, once again please allow me to encourage all of us to remember these:

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety. (Job 11:18)

We have to totally trust that once we put our hope on God, then we will not disappointed because hope doesn’t disappoint and we will secure because there is hope. If so far we feel what we are doing seems confiscate our lives in vain, immediately pray and ask to God to shows where the point of the problem. Allow God to speak and tell us His plan while continuing to nurture our hope in obedience. Although we see this year will fraught with difficulty and seemed to close all possibilities to hope, let’s keep tightly hold hope in Christ and keep rejoicing in hope, for the Bible has been clearly states that,

 Dear my friends, in undergoing this new year, Let’s keep walking in faith and hope, always put our hope on Jesus Christ the source of hope and who gives us hope, anchored our anchor of hope to Jesus the solid rock while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13) Amen

Karina –Living by faith

Image source: mudpreacher.org

 

Come! Celebrate with Me

 

COME CELEBRATE WITH ME- Karina's Thought

Hello my dear friends,  a few more days we will together celebrate the birth of Jesus. We might getting busier with Christmas preparation such as buying gifts for our loved ones, planned a Christmas party and inviting  our beloved family and friends, or even make a plan for a wonderful holiday trip. All will seem so exciting and fun. Okay, I hope and pray you will enjoy your Christmas seasons.  Yesterday my beloved best friend from Japan, Kimiko, was sending me something that really touched my heart and it makes me ponder deeply in this Christmas seasons. Right now I would love to share it with all of you. Let’s ponder together. Here it is…

 

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated. During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer. It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration. Family and friends get together and have lots of fun, but they don’t know the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, beautifully wrapped gifts. It was so touching they put a manger in the corner as a part of decoration, yet it was just a manger, they didn’t know the true meaning why I was there more two thousand years ago. Even worse, do you want to know something? I wasn’t invited to the party. I was the guest of honor and they didn’t remember to send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside they closed the door in my face and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn’t surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. The same as it was two thousand years ago the innkeepers close their door for me.  Since I wasn’t invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time. To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, yelling: “Santa…!, Santa…!” as if the party were in his honor! At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and finally I just had to leave. I walked out the door. It was no surprise that no one even noticed that I had gone. Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and nobody remembers me.

Someone once told me, “Well, it’s because you are not around like most people are, so how can we give you a present?” You know my answer to that one? “Then give gifts of food and clothing to the poor, give help to those who need it. Go visit the lonely! Any gift you give a needy fellow man, I’ll count it as if you gave it to me personally.” (Matthew 25:34-40)

I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life. I would like that you recognize the fact that more than two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart. I want to share something with you. As many didn’t invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, and a spectacular party. It might not happen this year, but I’m sending out the invitations now. I hope you’ll want to come. There is going to be room for billions, for everyone who wants to come! Some really famous old timers and celebrities are going to be there and I’ll reserve you a seat of honor right with them. And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11). I’m still making the final arrangements.

So hold on to your hat because when everything is ready, I’m going to spring it as a big surprise! Many people are going to be left out in the cold because they didn’t answer my invitation. Let me know right away if you’d like to come. I’ll reserve a place for you and write your name in large golden letters in my great big Guest Book!

See you soon. I Love you!

 Your beloved friend forever and ever,Jesus.

Question to ponder: have we personally opened the door of our heart and invited Jesus to come? On the day of His birth where we put Jesus in our lives? Whether as an honored guest, or even we totally forget about him and we just busy with our gifts and party? Will we come and join to His gracious party as His great guest? Are we ready for His invitation?

My beloved readers, this post will be my last post this year. I will come back next year. I, my husband, and our little son Andrew say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” to all of you. You all so precious for us and we are so blessed to have you all. Thank you for your support to my blog. God bless you.

Heaven inspiration

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: Imgarcade.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOMEONE CARES

SOMEONE CARES -Karina's thought

 

In this life, when we are experiencing the struggles that caused by so much big problems, sometimes we feel that God is not as concerned with our problems and struggles. We feel that He left us facing the struggle alone.  A few weeks ago one of my good friends from Thailand shared her life problems and there were many questions: “God why you let this happen? Why did you leave me to face all of this alone?  Where are you, God?” When I am under pressure of the hard problems, does that mean God was sound asleep and unguarded to keep me? Where is God when the load of problems was so heavy pressing my life?

I remembered a story of a missionary, George Lacy. George Lacy was a public school teacher when he and his wife Minnie, decided to take their vocational skills to the mission field. In 1903, they and their five children journeyed to Saltillo, Mexico to organize and operate a school for girls, the Madero Institute. Joy turned to sorrow in December, 1904, when a daughter fell ill with Scarlet fever. She died so quickly and doctors weren’t able to diagnose her illness. Shortly after that, a son also died. In the midst of their sadness and desperation Mrs. Lacy, by the train brought the three oldest children back to Arkansas. But it turns out the sorrow still whack them. Before Mrs. Lacy arrived home, their three remaining children also died because of the fever. In the Lacy’s letter to the Foreign Mission Board, he was describing and uttering the deepest sorrow and despair. In his letter, he wrote: “Sometimes it seems more than we can bear”

Maybe this time there are people around us or even ourselves are experiencing the same problem as George lacy and my friend experienced and we feels seems more than we can bear. We cry out to God with many questions, sometimes even in frustration and anger. When the answers of why and why aren’t apparent, we often feels like He isn’t there, or isn’t listening. We feel that we are alone and in the midst of solitude we ask where God’s position in the midst of our struggles is. These questions does not arise only in us, but some biblical figures were had the same question. David, for an example, let’s see what he said: “Why do You stand afar of, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble” (Psalm 10:1) “don’t be silent to me…” (Psalm 28:1)  “give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide yourself…” (Psalm 55:1)

In the today’s world that fraught with hardship led many people begin to lose of direction, begin to doubt the God’s existence and His ability to bring us out from the dark season. Then quickly we conclude that God is no longer love and cares to His children. Is it true that God doesn’t care anymore? Is it true that God is not be able to lift us up out from the troubles? The answer is no! God is able! There is nothing impossible before Him and He can do any miracles to those who believe in Him. God actually always cares and never remiss in caring us. The Bible clearly says:

Behold, He who keeps Israel. Shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4)

What is the proof that God still cares and loves us? Truthfully, there are so many proofs that God really loves us and still care to each of His children. I take one proof that became the biggest proof of His cares and loves. It is written in the book of John,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Because of our sin Jesus willing to died on the cross to redeem all of our sins. This was the greatest work of God for us as a proof that He really cares and loves us. I think there is no one in this world willing to die solely to save us from our sins. But Jesus did it! Why He did it all?  Just Because He cares. Why He cares?  He cares because He really loves us! Then do we still thinking that God doesn’t care?!

Let’s back to the George Lacy’s story. They finally decided to return to Mexico, a place where they experienced the deepest sorrow and despair. After forty-six years in Mexico, their mission ended up and their noble work made so many children have touched the love of Christ. The same love that was able sustains them when they were in the deepest trials.  I am pondering one thing. Why they were able to get through the big storms of life and were able to continue their mission for more than 40 years? The answer is, it wasn’t purely of their own strength. It was because God cares and loves them and it was the proof of God’s promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

My beloved friends, this evening let me encourage all of us when we are in the midst of hard season, when we are pressured with so much big problems, when we have to bear so much sorrow , and it all seems more than we can bear, let’s us stop thinking that God doesn’t loves us and doesn’t cares anymore. Actually, God is still there watching and protecting us. He is not silent, though the sound of His voice may be hard to discern and the touch of His hand may not be easily felt. He longs to continue to bless us, even promising position as heirs of the Kingdom to all the people who love Him as written:

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5)

We must know and realize that in God there is hope that never goes out and He will strengthen us if we hope in God.

Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.(Psalm 31:24)

God’s promises will not be in vain. God will never break His promises. Trust it earnestly.

My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. (Psalm 89:34)

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)

Any hard problems and trials may come but please believe that God will never leave us and He still cares because He really loves us. Was written in the bible that:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

(Psalm 55:22)

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.  My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:6-8)

 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”(Deuteronomy 31: 8)

My dear friend, I will end this post with an encouraging song that really encourage, strengthen, comfort me, and always remind me that there is someone cares to us. God still cares to us. My beloved foster sister Sandra sung this beautiful song and I love to share with all of you this evening. I hope and pray that this song could encourage and bless all of us. Amen.

SOMEONE CARES

Someone cares and always will
the world forgets you but god loves you still
you cannot go beyond His love no matter what your guilty of
He always loves you, he really loves you

He knows your pain and all your loneliness
His watchful eyes know every path you’ve made
you cannot go beyond His love no matter what your guilty of
He will do miracle for you right here, right now

His love is tender to mend a broken heart
cast down your worries and He will set you free
He’s more than able to make your life anew
someone cares, Jesus cares for you

Karina – Living by faith

Related article: The Lord is there by  The True Light

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IN THE ETERNITY (Guest Post)

Thousands years have passed

Tirelessly the earth rotates

The sun shines from the east then walks to the west

The wind blows from the south then whirl to the north

 

Water flows along the river and flocked into the sea

Then fly into the sky and jump down to wet the ground

 

From age to age all recurring… as if it never ending…

 

One generation comes… another generation away

The new life comes… another life must go away

 

Earth indeed rotating millions times

But our life clock rotates only once

And no one knows when it will stop

 

Later when the life clock is no longer ticking

The dust will fused into the earth where it was taken

The human Spirit comes home to God in the eternity

 

Nothing efforts that can be grasped

There is no perishable thing that can be sustained

 

Life under the sun is just a piece of time that too jiffy

Thousands years are nothing compared to eternity

 

If eventually all will vanish and meaningless

Shall we merely pursue what is ultimately in vain and useless??

 *****

 

“ALL HUMAN EFFORTS UNDER THE SUN THAT HAS DONE WITHOUT FEAR OF GOD IS A VANITY OF VANITIES.” (Sella Irene – Beautiful Words)

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgement, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. (Philipians 1:21-22a NIV)

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

https://sellairene.wordpress.com

Image source: Google Images

The Desert Process

THE DESERT PROCESS - Karina's Thought

 

I am surely believed that there is no one in this world wants live in misery. There is no one in this world, no matter what their religion deliberately pray to God so their live full with suffering.  We always expect as could as possible our live will free of problems that could make us suffered.  It is very reasonable. But we also have to know that problems and trials are a part of our lives. There is a season our lives will a lot of hard problems and trials.  The question is why should there be a problem in our lives? Why our lives aren’t free from problems so we could really enjoy the life? My dear friends, in my personal lives I look that the problems have important meaning. I mean is, I give a simple illustration like this, if we never sick we will have tendency to not appreciate the importance of maintaining a good health. Precisely because we know that get sick is unpleasant thing then we will know how to thankful and appreciate when we are in healthy condition. We will never appreciate a success if we never fail. Through failures we will know how beautiful a success. Another illustration,  there is nothing special when we drink a water every day but water will be so special and precious if we found the water and drink it when we are really thirsty. We would know how nice “a sip of water in the oasis” when are already feel how painful a sunburn in the desert.

My beloved readers, I analogize the desert, a very unpleasant place as hard season in our lives which a lot of problems, trials, and tribulations and as a place to test us. In my personal lives, I look and feel that there is a time God allows His children get into “the desert” with the excruciating sand and painful sunburn. Being in the desert requires a hard work and more struggles. We are confronted by the challenge, a difficult situation, or even we have to face a failure. A  Situations where we will know that   human power, wealth, and intelligence are no longer have a meaning. During that time we should begin to aware that the only ways to survive in entirely rely on the Lord. There are so many great bible figures that had experienced times in the desert before they were incredibly used by God. Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, David, Paul, and other Jesus’ disciples, even Jesus Himself had to experience a hard time in the wilderness for a process.

Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)

The Israelites also had to pass through the desert for 40 years before they entered to the promise land.

Perhaps there are question arise in our minds, actually what for God allows His children get into “the desert” What is His purpose? Does God wants torture His children? Of course not! Actually God allows us get into the desert in order that we don’t become arrogant, He doesn’t want us have a wrong heart attitude, He wants us not lulled, spoiled and weak. When God permits us have a hard time with so many big problems, we forged to have strong spiritual muscles and learn to cling to God, learn and realize that every greatness we have is nothing, and later when we get out from the desert we will more able to appreciate life and the owner of this lives. God told:

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

Not only allow us to get into the desert, there is a time God chose to keep silent when we are in the hard times. Why God keep silent? I remembered Rick Warren has said: “…If God is silent in your life right now; it’s a test of faith” Once again when God chose to keep silent doesn’t  mean He intends to let us to suffer or doesn’t  care about all our problems but He wants our faith grows significantly through a test. Without passing through the test in” the desert” we will become a weak Christians, easily to be arrogant, easily seduced by the world temptation and become a spoiled person because we would never know what the suffering is. It is important to us to be tested and trained to have a firm faith and really know that relying on God in every step of our lives is the very best way to passing through the experience in the desert. We will succeed or not will depend on how we behave. Do we remain steadfast or we even become fainthearted and our strength become small and weak.

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (Proverb 24:10)

My beloved friends, maybe this time there are people around us that we love currently in “The desert” facing very hard tests, or maybe even ourselves also have the same situation. I really know that undergoing the test in” the desert” is not easy, very unpleasant, and it might be very painful. But this evening let me tell you one important thing; Even though God allows us to be in the desert to experience many of hard tests, please remember that we will never be left by God to face all of it alone. He promised that although in the hardest times He will keep up us as He kept His own eyes; He’ll always with us and will not forsake us.

“He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)

And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31: 8)

We also will always be surrounded and ministered by angels like when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wild beasts.

And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:13)

 Although God as if silent but actually he will never careless and He remain watching over us, He will never slumber and the God’s angel will encamp around us as Psalmist said:

Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4)

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.( Psalm 34:7)

Testing process in the desert also will drain our energy and will make us weak and fall but God will uphold us with His hand.

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

And eventually, we will end the journey of “The desert test” beautifully as James reminds us:

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

Therefore this evening allow me to encourage all of us to don’t give up and don’t despair. Being in “The desert” is a process of spiritual maturation, make us strong and have unwavering faith. Any such of hard problems and trials may come to us but we have to remember and believe that:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Let’s continue to rely on the power of God in facing of the huge problems; do not rely on our own strengths, keep maintain our faith so we will end the good fight and finished the race as Paul said:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7) Amen

Going through our own deserts can make us like little flowers that spring up suddenly in the desert-signs of hope. Elouise

Karina – Living by faith

All Bible verses from New King James Version

Thank you very much to beloved blog and sister in Christ Elouise at https://tellingthetruth1993.wordpress.com/  for the quote.

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