Archive | October 2015

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.

Image source: http://www.classifiedadsites.org

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

HATRED (Guest Post)

GOD, help me to forgive

In a ministry of prayer, I saw a young man. At first glance his physical and looks are fine. But when he prayed, he burst into tears. It was apparent how much he wants freed from the extremely heavy burden which has endured. What is that? Hatred!

All originated from an event with someone who really hurt him. Since then grows hatred in his heart. He thought that all will be fine. He thought his hatred will fade gradually as time goes by. But the opposite happened. Increasingly the hatred was getting bigger and rooted, until it turns into bitterness.

When he knew that hatred has destroyed himself, he decided to forgive in order to gain liberation and relief. But he was powerless to do it. No matter how he wants to forgive, he cannot! His mind was aware that he had to forgive, and he was willing to forgive, but his heart refused. Hatred has transformed into a bitter heart. Hatred is so bad! But thank God, that young man was coming to the right place that is in the presence of God who able to liberate him.

 

At first we are satisfied when can vent anger and hatred to someone. We feel that they deserve to be hated. Their deeds and words are very painful. They might be a traitor, cheater, liar, thief, braggart, and so on. But if we do not immediately make a decision to forgive, then hatred will have a place to plant roots in our hearts. Finally we ourselves were harmed.

 

A SNAKE IN THE GRASS

Hatred robs joy, steals a peace, destroys a friendship, and disunites the family. Many good things are lost when our hearts are filled with hatred.

 

HATRED ALIENATE US FROM GOD

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20 NKJV)

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15 NKJV)

 

HATRED IS A SIN! We cannot approach the very presence of God if our hearts are filled with hatred.

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV)

 

HATRED MAKES OUR PRAYERS HINDERED.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2 NKJV)

 

HATRED HARM OURSELVES.

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2 :11 NKJV)

 

HATRED IS LIKE A SNAKE IN THE GRASS. Every day we live with him and close to him, but secretly he will destroy us from within. An external enemy is easier to watch out and fought. But the enemy that comes from within is very dangerous! Therefore, do not give place to the hatred.

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 NKJV)

 

PERFECT LOVE

DAVID had a reason to hate their parents and siblings because they had forgotten him  when Samuel comes to selecting and anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 16: 1-13). David also had a reason to hate and revenge on Saul who continued hunt to kill him though he was not guilty.

JOSEPH also had reason to hate and revenge on his older brothers who has harmed then sold him into slavery (Genesis 37: 18-28).

BUT DAVID AND JOSEPH are the ones who choose to forgive when they have a reason to hate. David did not kill Saul even though the opportunity was opened widely in front of him (1 Samuel 24: 1-16). Joseph precisely accommodates and maintains his brothers who ask for his help during the famine (Genesis 45-47). David and Joseph chose to love when they have a chance for revenge. Whereof they got the power to do it all?  All of it just from God’s loves alone.

looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:15 NKJV)

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10: 12 NKJV)

THE OPPOSITE OF HATE IS LOVE. Not human love, but perfect love of God that is at work within us. Jesus is the perfect example of love. Jesus could punish and condemn those who despised and tormented him. But in his omnipotence to do everything, Jesus chose to say: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34a NKJV) That is the love of God.

 

HOLY SPIRIT

Forgiving is not easy. But the forgiving is not an option, but a necessity.

Forgiving is not an option but a necessity. Oh… but it is so difficult. Yes, right. But if God has commended, He will gives us a strength to do it. God gives us the Holy Spirit as a magical helper in all circumstances. No one can change the human hearts except the Holy Spirit. As long as we are willing to open our hearts and allow Him, the Holy Spirit will helps us to love and forgive beyond the limit of our ability. Therefore constantly build a relationship and intimate with the Holy Spirit is very important.

“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 5:5 NKJV)

At the moment we feel the anger and hurt, immediately cried out and surrender to God before hatred become deeper and cultivating bitter roots.

 

LIFESTYLE

For how long we have to forgive? Until we return to the Father’s house. Peter had asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV)

And this is what God wants us to do:

Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:13 NKJV)

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV)

Just as we were always requires forgiveness from the Father each time we make a mistake, so we must always forgive those who have wronged us. As a sinner who has been redeemed by Christ and become children of the Loving Father, let’s make a forgiving as our lifestyle. Not by our strength but by God’s power and love.

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 NKJV)

Let God the Father in Heaven bestow love and mercy for us all so we can live in harmony with His word. His perfect love is able to heel and restore everything. Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

https://sellairene.wordpress.com

Original Image from Google Images

Woman of Faith – Ruth

 

WOMAN OF FAITH-RUTH-KARINA'S THOUGHT

Hello my dear friends!  It’s me again. How are you? I Hope everything is okay with you all. I am so glad and be grateful could come back again to blogging after for one month totally out of blogging for holiday. I really miss read your great and wonderful posts. I will try to visit and read all of your posts as soon as I can.

This post is my other series of “Woman of Faith” Quite been long time I longs to write a post based on the book of Ruth. Beside many other woman bible figures, Ruth is one of my favorite figures.  After I took study and ponder, I got many valuable lessons from her story and this post talks about the most important thing we could learn from Ruth.

Let’s briefly look to Ruth’s background. Ruth is a woman of Moabites. The Moabites was born from the sex relationship between Lot and two of his daughter.  The one was gave birth the Moabites and the other one was Amon. It means Ruth was coming from the sinner background.

Ruth’s story began when The Israel hit by the long famine. Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem, Judah, with his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion decided went to Moab for a living. Then Mahlon took wives Ruth and Chilion took wives Orpah.  After ten years lived in Moab, Elimelech and his two sons died, so Naomi just with her two daughters-in-law. With consideration there was no longer can be done in the land of Moab, Naomi chooses and decided to go back to the land of Judah and she asked Orpah and Ruth return to the Moab. (Ruth 1:8-9) Eventually Orpah was choosing to go back to her people but Ruth expressly refused. She chose to keep stay with Naomi. She said:

“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”(Ruth 1:16 NKJV)

My beloved readers, here we learn one important thing from Ruth and become a substance in the Christian living. Actually after her husband died she has full right to leave Naomi and could married with other man in her homeland, Moab. But Ruth insisted to remain follow Naomi to the land of Judah. This wasn’t an easy choice because at that time, the future of a woman depends on her husband. And Ruth’s future depends on her status as a widow or someone’s wife. Here Ruth made a step of faith. She chose leave her traditions, culture, her god in Moab, showed her faith and faithfulness to the God that recently she knew through Naomi’s family, and she dared to bet her own future just for the sake to accompany Naomi back to the Bethlehem. Well, before I continue, I want to ask one thing, please for awhile place ourselves in the Ruth’s position. Do we dare risking our future to go and live at a place that has different culture and we even really don’t know what we can do there for life, without any planning, we don’t have anyone we know, we don’t even know what will be happen there, and there is no assurance at all that we will get the better future?  Are we? Ruth dared to do it. She dared to leave her own land went to Judah that in fact was the enemy of her people, while if she decided to go back to the Moab she might live comfortably and without any difficulties. This was a great faith step of Ruth. She chose to believe and act on her faith in God. Ruth believes God has a plan even though she hasn’t seen it. Ruth was heading into the dark tunnel but she believes there is a sun above the tunnel although she did not see it. Her faith could make her believe that at the end of tunnel she will see the light.

What is the result of Rut’s faith step? After she passed through quite difficult and hard lives, finally Ruth reaps the fruit of her great faith. Ruth met Boaz. This was another phase of Ruth live. It turns out the figure of Ruth shines brightly in Bethlehem. Although she came from Moab, Ruth became an honorable woman figure and it wasn’t only recognized by Boaz but also by the people of Bethlehem. Boaz said:

And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:11 NKJV)

Ruth and Boaz got married. This was a final result of her great faith step. Her lives restored incredibly. Her great faith step led her to God’s blessings that continually flowed in her lives and we all are know that from their offspring then David was born, until Jesus Christ later.

What is the important thing that can be applied from Ruth’s story? In one phase of my personal life, I was applying Ruth’s step of faith. Before I formally replace my parents in the company a few years ago, my parents gave me two options. The options was, I build my own business or take over their position. After asking God’s guidance and  consider many things then I chose the second option. Still remember in my mind when my parents officially handed over the reins of leadership of the company to me.  Although actually I had been prepared to replace them, but when the time comes, to be honest I was scared. I am haunted by fears and doubts. Lead and controlling many companies weren’t an easy thing. I learned and mastered everything about business only from what I have learned in the college but it all just a theory and not necessarily will be same as reality. Realized that I wasn’t in good situation then my mother gave me a simple advice. She said, “Learn from Ruth’s story. Compare her situation with your situation”

I am pondered so deep. Yes! Indeed, Ruth’s situation at the time was so different with me. My situation was much, much better than her. She didn’t have anything and had to move and lived among the nation that became her enemy. She didn’t even know what should to do for live there. Compared with me, God blessed me with good knowledge and ability; I am not alone because I am surrounded by those who experts in their field, I really know what should to do to run my parents company because I have “A master handbook” of the company. I also have many place to ask. My parents, my husband, and the most important thing is, I have God who surely lead and help me.My mother than said again, “Ruth could be a success and became a virtuous woman because she had a great step of faith. You have to do the same thing, you have to see everything by faith, walking and living by faith. Like Ruth, completely trust in God! Just maintain your faith in God so you could walk confidently despite everything in the front of you seem indistinct.”

My beloved readers, today let’s take time for a moment to reflect and re-examine the quality of our faith. How is our attitude in facing tomorrow, next week, next month, even our next future? Whether today or tomorrow we can sleep in peace and joy without any worries about what will go on later?  Whether we still could sleep wakeless in the night while there are still so many burdens of unresolved problems? How big our faith overcoming our fear and anxiety about all of things that hasn’t seen? How far we believe that God will always sustain us as it is written in Psalms,

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. (Psalm 3:5 NKJV)

Where we put our faith? If only a lip service we say we have faith but when the problems come to hit us, we become shaky and scared or we are worried if what we expect never comes and we begin to doubt with God’s inclusion in our life? Or otherwise our faith completely strongly embedded and rooted in the deepest of our heart and become a substance of everything we do?

Today, let’s learn from Ruth’s story. Her unwavering step of faith to the God who recently she knew made her life full of hope and didn’t make her afraid about the future in the land of Judah. Although she lived long before the New Testament but she had applying what is written in the book of Hebrews,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

(Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)

Although Ruth came from a pagan background in Moab, once she met the God of Israel, she became a living testimonial to Him by faith. Ruth is the great example That God rewards faith and faithfullness:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)

From Ruth we also learn that how God can change a life and take it in a direction He has foreordained, and we see Him working out His perfect plan in Ruth’s life, as He does with all His Children.

Let us always  nurture and strengthen our faith by continue to maintain our personal relationship with God, read and ponder God’s word every day, and do it in our lives  as Paul said:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16 NKJV)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(Romans 10:17 NKJV)

Let’s make sure that faith lead us in the middle of each side of life, because the righteous live by faith. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38 NKJV) Not just a lip service but also accompanied by work just because faith without work is dead. (James 2: 17, 20, 26 NKJV) Amen.

Other articles about Ruth’s life that could be learn:

What should we learn from the life of Ruth?”

“Why was Ruth so loyal to Naomi?”

“Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions?”

All articles was written by Michael at Altruistico.wordpress.com

Karina – Living by faith

Image credit: pinterest.com