Archive | August 2015

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

 

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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

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

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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