Archive | November 2013

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd -Karina's Thought

A few days ago I went to make a visit of condolence the wife of my manager who suddenly passed away. According of his story, it all happened so fast, his wife only complained of headaches and breathless, and a few hours later she passed away. I know this is a very hard for him and his children. Losing someone they love is a very sad thing, especially when occur abruptly.

There is one thing that makes me so touched and amazed. He did not show a deeply sadness. He remained strong, calm and smile to each person who attended the mourning service. Even when he gave a speech, he cites a Bible verse of Psalm:The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”(Psalm 23:1)

This verse spoke directly to my heart and makes me ponder. How far we apply this verse in our daily lives? How far we are able to believing it when we experience pain or suffering? David expresses it short but concise, and very clear. He said that whatever happens, he will never lack. Is it because of his strength, his prowess, ability and endurance? Not at all!  David knew that his strength as a human being is very limited. At certain situations, as good as the human ability will no longer be able to do anything. David could say that he will not be lack because realizing the existence of God as a good shepherd of his life. No more and no less.

Let’s dive deeper to the next verses in Psalm 23. We can see and will feel the greatness of God in His role as the Good Shepherd in our lives, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3) This verse feels so comfort and comforting us. These verses came from David who has so many problems in his life. Many times he faced threats, being chased and eliminated from his own people, many times he faced a life-threatening situation, but he could put his entire life and entrusted to the God’s care. David said it all when he is not in having fun, but his faith is enough to give a sense of calm for believing in God as a good shepherd for him. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Verse 4)  Beside believe that God always with him, David has strongly faith that God also prepare everything that he need. Not only has enough but overflowed.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Verse 5)

Both in quiet and difficult times, David realized that God will always be with him, so that he could say: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Verse 6) Very marvelous! It might be easy for us to say these things when we’re in good condition, but how far we can still believing it when the problems are being repeatedly hit us? Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)  Such was the figure of the Shepherd who always protects us as His sheep.  Trouble could come over our lives, but God promises us to still have a life. Not only life but living in all its fullness. Not lack yet in fullness? Yes, right! Although the problems are present in our lives, God promises that His providence could give strength, give relief, protection, give hope, and that’s all He provides not only sufficient but abundantly.

My manager was able to experience how God gave him strength in his difficult times, and he realized that there is no reason for him to be disappointed to God and blame Him. He certainly sad and loses but he also realized though he lost his beloved wife, he believes God still preserve his life and did not show a conclusion that God is not fair. He realized and believes that his wife had gone into the peaceful kingdom which full of joy, where there is no crying and no more suffering again as often we experience in this world. His wife has been in the eternal God’s providence in heaven.

My lovely friends, when we have a situation full of suffering, could we continue to believe that we will never lack the strength? Can we believe that God’s presence will always give reassurance and relief in a heavy burden? When there are events that occur beyond our control, could we rely on unlimited God’s power or we are still busy hanging on our own strength or another human being who have limitation? In any difficult situation, remember that God never leaves us. He will never lose by anything. He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)  These verses show us what a close and beautiful relationship between God as the shepherd and us as His sheep. If we truly comprehend the meaning of these verses and put in the bottom of our heart and minds, why do we have to worry with all the trials and suffering that might happen in our lives?

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) There are no problems that He could not overcome. Believe that God will not remain silent when we really need his touch. Therefore, do not be discouraged, but always be thankful. Make our relationship with God still close and closer day by day, experience God’s presence and providence personally, until at the some point we can say with full confidence as David said, “THE LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”  Amen.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Karina

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Psalm 23 by http://secretangelps911.wordpress.com

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Persistent All The Time

Proverb 8 17 - Karina's Thought - Sue Nash

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverb 8:17

This post was inspired by blog post from my dear sweet sister in Christ Sue Nash who wrote a beautiful poem based on Proverb 8:17 “Before the sunrise – I will seek you “ But I am not truly wrote this post based on her poem. This is just another thought of its verse.

When my mother asked what one of the keys to success in business, my mother replied,” Persistence! Many successful entrepreneurs in the world besides they have a good vision and mission, great business strategies, they also have the perseverance in running the business. However, unfortunately, many of them also fail in their business just because they are not persistent and easy to give up. They are just as excited and determined at the beginning of building a business. Once they are confronted by many problems and obstacles, they did not perseveringly confront all of that.”

I am contemplating on my mother’s statement. I am thinking about the Christians’ life. Many Christians in the early days following the Lord seemed so eager and passionate in the Lord. But as time goes by, their spirit began to fade. Previously they are so diligently serve God but are now beginning to slack. Who previously so diligently take meditating every day, now already much been absent. When they are facing so many problems and trials, they are not persisted but instead they began to slack off. They still have the misconception that being a follower of Christ will be free from problems. Actually, God does not want this thing happens in our spiritual lives

The Holy Bible advises to us, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) We have lost our first love for the Lord as happened in the Ephesians’ church.”… You have forsaken the love you had at first.”(Revelation 2:4) Without perseverance, anything we do will never bring maximum results.

Persevering is a strong determination (unwavering) to be serious in doing any task. Persevering also means focused, consistent and not easily give up on what we’re doing. The Bible noted: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36) Only the people who always are persevere will bear fruit and enjoy the rewards. Luke 8:15 said, But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

We all really longs that the promises of God fulfilled in our lives, but it would be difficult to be realized if we do not have perseverance. Perseverance in prayer and in doing that all God wants in our lives. So persistence is the most important element to get the success. Especially in this era, almost everyone wants everything instantly. Want to get success quickly, but do not want to work hard, want to succeed, but do not want to strive.

How persistence can be formed? James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1: 2-3)  Through testing we can learn to persevere. That is why sometimes God allows problems happen in our lives in order that we have the perseverance. Persistence also can be formed through the practice. Persistence that does not happen in an instant but needs to be trained from the small matters. How we can persevere in the face of big problems, if we are not persistent facing a small problem.

My dear lovely readers, how about us? How big our persistence? Do we want to be successful in all aspects of our lives? Start by seeking God’s wisdom perseveringly. Ponder the God’s word every day, do it and obey. For whoever finds wisdom, get a life and God will deign to us. “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.” (Proverb 8:35) Have we meditate and do the word of God with persistent so that we get the blessing and His love?

O Lord, teach us to persevere love and obey Your word in life and our lives. Amen

“If we endure we will also reign with him…..” 2 Timothy 2:12

Karina

Photo by Sue Nash   http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com/

Waiting for His Answer

Waiting for His answer - Karina's Thought

There is an old story of faithful mother who had been praying for 28 years for her son to come to faith in Christ. Year after year her son was rebellious. He abused drugs, was in and out of jail, and showed no sign of ever knowing Christ. The days and years dragged on with absolutely no indication that there was anything different in the man’s life. Then one day, 28 years after his mother first prayed for him, this man, and this man came to saving faith in Christ. Today this man, Terry Williams, uses his testimony to help other prison inmates find their way to a relationship with the only one who can save:  Jesus Christ! What if this mother had given up? What if she decided it was not important enough to keep praying each and every day? What a difference this mother made in hear steadfast prayer due to her undying love for her son. Today her son is making an external difference for other in prison. This was all due to prayer, even though she had to wait.

This story shows how persistent a mother praying for her son. Not just persistence in prayer but also illustrates patience in waiting the answer from God. This evening I would like to talk about waiting for God’s answer of our prayer. This is often becomes a problem when we pray and waiting for the answer from God.  When we talk about waiting for God’s answer it mean we talk about God’s timing. When we talk about God’s timing, we will be faced by something which is seemingly not clear and uncertain, will make us impatient, raised doubts in our heart, and finally we will draw conclusion that God not hear and answer our prayer.

Actually, God expect us to wait patiently on his perfect timing. Let we dive into the some scriptures in the Bible. Let we see what they said. First, we look in Hebrews 10:36, “For you has need of patience, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise” This verse clearly said that if we have to patient and doing God’s will we will receive His promise.  Next, let’s take a look to Psalm 37.  This chapter is a great Psalm to read when we are seeking the desires of our heart with realization that it may take some time.

“Rest before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not worry when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Verse 7)

“I was young and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Verse 25)

“Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it” (Verse 34)

Sometimes the desires of our heart need time. They do not happen overnight.  We tend to treat God like a vending machine when once we insert the coin, choose what we desire, and then we can got what we want very soon.  God is most often at work when He appears to be the most silent. Let’s take a look for awhile to the book of Daniel. Even though Daniel had to wait for 24 days before his prayer was answered, God had actually answered his prayer that very day that he prayed. Don’t think that since God does not immediately reveal to us His answer, that He has not answered it and has not answered it right way. Daniel had his prayer answered the very same day of his request but it took time for God’s sovereign timing for it to reach him and it did at exactly the right time, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Daniel 10:12)

My dear readers, maybe this time we’re struggling with severe problems and had been praying for so long but there is no answer from God and we begin to falter. Based on many story in the Bible and based on a bit my experience, this evening I encourage all of us  to remember one thing that God actually hear any prayers we say even He already knows what we are going to pray before we pray. Every prayer with strong faith, humility, with a pure heart, according to His will and not oppose with God’s commandments will answered by God and whatever His answer, it is the best for us. Like the story of mother above, we just need persistence and patience. Remember our timetable is not God’s timetable. God will answer our prayer in His time.

How long? Three weeks like Daniel? More than two years as I pray for my fiancé to open his heart to receive God as his personal savior? 25 years like Abraham waited to have a child? Or 28 years like that mother?   We just don’t know. What we know is only continue to persevere and be patient, always rely on the God’s power and wisdom. Keep faith and do not waver. Truly understand God’s will and purpose. Always live in the Divine righteousness. Submit all control of our lives to God through the Holy Spirit and His Word.  The answer of a prayer is a mystery that only God knows when that prayer would be answered. We do not have the ability to unveil the secrets of the Divine. We just know that:” He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Amen.

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: Google Images

One Woman

One Woman - Karina's Thought - Heavenly Raindrops

Today, in the middle of my busyness, my sister in Christ, Sue Nash gave me a surprise. She wrote a poem based on my post “Woman of Faith” series. It is been honor for me and this evening I would like to share this spiritual and inspirational poem to all of my lovely reader.  My sister Sue, Thank you very much for your kindness. Love you so much. 

One Woman

One woman obeyed
To bear a child in her mistress’ place.
Sarah dared to reconsider
For the son of promise, it wasn’t too late.

(Genesis 18:14)

One woman refused
To come before the king as he wished.
Esther dared to approach
For such a time as this.

(Esther 4:16)

One woman bragged
To the childless wife and teased.
Hannah dared to believe
For a son to dedicate as priest.

(1 Samuel 1:11)

One woman decided
To stay behind with those she knew.
Ruth dared to choose
For Naomi’s God to be hers, too.

(Ruth 1:16-17)

One woman rejoiced;
To have a child at her age was a thrill.
Her cousin Mary dared to receive,
“May your word to me be fulfilled.”

(Luke 1:38)

One woman complained
To serve their Guest all alone.
Her sister Mary dared to prioritize
For the one thing that mattered most.

(Luke 10:39-42)

One woman grieved
To see her Son crucified.
Mary Magdalene dared to declare
For His disciples to come see that He’s alive.

(Luke 24:9-10)

by Sue Nash/2013

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