Tag Archive | burden

THE NEW SEASON 2 : “THE HARD SEASON” (guest post)

In the previous article (The New Season – click here) we understand that life is a journey through season after season. Each season has its own joy and sorrow. We can predict certain seasons so that we can prepare ourselves, such as schooling, working, getting married, having children, and so on. But in the span of the season common to almost everyone, there is a time of unpredictable seasons that suddenly come and force us to make new plans, even urging us to take a new path that we never imagined. It would be nice if the season unpredictable it is a promotion. But often the unpredictable season is precisely a hard season that dims the light of hope and obscures the future. Somehow, suddenly everything moves beyond reason and control, insistently, without any logical reason. That’s what happened to Job. He had to face the hard season in the greatest scale ever experienced by a human being.

Job wasn’t a fictional character. He was a northern Arabian who was estimated to live around the time of Abraham or even before. The story of Job takes place in “the land of Us” (Job 1: 1) which later became Edom’s territory, located in the southeast part of the Dead Sea or north of Arabia. There is no clue to the history of Israel or the Law of Moses so as to suggest that the story of Job happened before the time of Moses (before 1500 BC). The Bible itself confirms Job’s existence, one of them in Ezek 14:13-14 NIV “Son of man,….. even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

How deep God’s wisdom, which gives the story of Job in His Word to us. Specifically, as a book that writes the sufferings of the righteous, the honest, the fear of God, and away from evil, The book of Job does not literally answer man’s greatest question throughout the century about “Why do the righteous suffer?”, but in this book God gives us guidance on “how the righteous respond to suffering”.

The graph of Job’s life was like a man standing on top of a mountain and suddenly swooping down to the lowest bottom of a cliff. From being the richest man in the eastern region of the time, suddenly became the one who almost lost everything in the blink of an eye. From a respected man, suddenly his life was filled with pain and suffering, even blasphemy from his wife. In the midst of the great burden that must be borne, he must face a long debate with his friends, until God revealed himself and revealed his faults. Job 42: 1-6 is Job’s response to God’s rebuke. This passage is a conclusion of the hard season experienced by Job, as well as the opening key to a new phase with a broader horizon of looking at life with a true heart and the personal recognition of God.

Here are four of Job’s statements:

GOD IS POWERFUL AND SOVEREIGN

“I know that you can do all things; …” (Job 42:2a NIV).

Earlier, in chapters 38-39 God told Job that He is the God who created the universe and in His omniscience He sustains and nourishes everything in this universe perfectly. In Job 46:2, Job declares his confession that God is powerful and sovereign to do everything He wills. Everything means all things, without limitation, without exception, including manifesting His will in human life. Man has no right to question and challenge his decisions.

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? (Isaiah 45:9 NIV)

GOD’ PLAN CAN NOT BE THWARTED

“I know that…. no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2b NIV)

God always has a plan in doing things. There are special intentions and goals when God allows a hard season to happen. When God allows Satan to tempt Job, God knows the end result. God not only sees the time range when an event is in progress. In His omniscience He has looked to the future and God uses all aspects to realize His plan. Satan, man, natural factor, anyone and anything, can not thwart God’s plan!

GOD’S PLANS ARE TOO MIRACULOUS TO BE UNDERSTAND

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. (Job 42:3)

When we read the previous chapters of the Book of Job, we find that Job has spoken of God and his bitter suffering. In chapter 42: 3, Job cites the Lord’s question in chapter 38: 2: ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?”. Then honestly Job acknowledged that he has spoken without knowledge (without true understanding) about things too miraculous for him to understand.

Without true knowledge and understanding, a godly and fear to God, we can be misunderstand and even blame God. If our attitudes toward God are not true, then we can’t grasp God’s purpose and plan behind what God is permitting in our lives.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! (Romans 11:33 AMP)

God’s plan is very mysterious and too magical for human being. Man with all its limitations, it is impossible to understand the great God. The more we measure God from our own point of view, then we will be further from the true understanding of the miraculous and beautiful of God’s plans.

GOD SHALL BE KNOWN PERSONALLY

You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!  I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said,  and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (Job 42:4-6 NLT)

Once again Job quotes the question of the Lord ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ From Job 38: 3b. Then Job answered the Lord with a confession that he has not known God personally. He only knew God from what people told him. Then he took away all his words that he had spoken and repented humbly before the Lord. His repentant and confession was the turning point of his life.

A true knowledge of God can’t be obtained simply by hearing about God from people. WE HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT GOD FROM GOD HIMSELF. God is too big, too great, and too powerful, far beyond all human understanding. We will not be able to know God properly, UNLESS GOD TALKS AND REVEALS HIMSELF to us.

Where and how do we hear God speak of Himself to us? From the Bible which is the word of God. Since the Bible is the word of God, the Bible can’t be read only as an information. The Word of God must be accepted, meditated, believed and lived in a personal relationship with God intensely.

Suffering is painful, but it is often the most effective way to change the human heart. Often we feel right and know God, until suffering reveals the hidden side of us. Our moral piety and moral integrity will be meaningless as we begin to realize who we really are before God that He is so great and we are only mortal dust that can’t live without Him.

REFLECTION

What season are you currently experiencing? Joy or a hard season? A friend advises me on what to do first when we have a hard season: self-correction. Have we done things that don’t pleasing to God, whether we unconsciously hurt people around us, whether we have made a mistake in managing our lives? Self-correction isn’t only to the what we have done but also to the inside of our heart and mind. It’s all about faith! If there’s a little piece of doubt to God, it would be a big problem with our relationship with God. Learning from Job, after he realized and confessed his mistake, God restored and blessed his life. Repentance is the door to restoration and humility always precedes honor.

The hard season is never easy to get through. What we must always remember is that God never leaves His children. God who from the beginning didn’t intend to harm Job, is God who also never intended to harm us. Let’s pray not only to ask for His help, but also to give thanks for His decision to allow us through difficult times, because God must have a beautiful plan that He wants to realize in our lives through His way. Keep rejoice within the suffering. Stop focusing on our hard times because it will hinder us to have joy. Let’s focus on God because there is always joy in the Lord. When we see the roses, don’t think and asking why God put the thorns on the rose but be grateful God put the rose on the thorns. Moreover, we’ve to remember that joy/rejoice in the Lord is our strength. With rejoicing in the Lord then there will be strength to overcome our problems and difficulties.

“… Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

 In addition to the blessings we can enjoy in the world, every hard season that we go through with God will also produce divine character and abundant spiritual fruit. And the end is that we know God more personally, which is more valuable than all the pleasures of the world.

My dear reader, the hard season often comes suddenly. But it doesn’t mean we can’t prepare ourselves at all. The wisest way is to build our lives on a solid foundation that is the word of God. Don’t treat God’s word only as a story or an information but treat it as our conversation with God. Understanding, believe with all heart, ponder, and response it with our deeds.

I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:47-48 NIV)

If we make the Word of God as the guide of life and do it faithfully, then we not only don’t easily waver during the hard seasons, but also gain the wisdom and guidance to pass through. “Nun Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119: 105 NIV) As long as we go through that hard season in His own way, at the end of the season we will find the beauty of God’s plan fulfilled in our lives.

“Like a rose and thorns. Don’t focus on the thorns but let’s focus on the roses. Be grateful God put the rose on the thorns. Stop thinking and asking why God put thorns on the rose” (Karina Lam – Living by faith)

Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images

 

LEAVE YOUR “BIG BAG” (Guest Post)

leave-your-big-bag

I really love big size bag. Hand bag, tote bag, sling bag, or whatever it is I really love it as long they are big and have pouch “everywhere”. Well, I don’t even know when and how this fashion formed. Also don’t know the reason why! Maybe because of big size so I could bring much stuff or even I think I need to carry many things so need a big bag. I really just don’t know! The fact is this is a habit that very hard to be left.

A few weeks ago I suddenly really want to buy a new bag. Captured in my mind a formal, elegant and medium-sized bag would be very cool! But you know what happened? Ah…Again..! It’s not big enough, couldn’t, and I am afraid it would not be enough! Though initially I am interested with a medium bag my mind always filled with couldn’t, not big enough, and so on! And guys you could guess what happen next! Back to the habit! Big size bag stick on my hand!

Well, I really know carrying big bag with lots of stuff is the same like carrying a heavy load on the shoulder.  So often my shoulders feel so sore, stiff, and finally made my head dizzy! Friends, I always try hard to reduce the stuff to carry but I always difficult to decide which one I shouldn’t take it in the bag. It seems all stuff is important! But you know, in fact I scarcely didn’t need that damn stuffs.

 

UNNECESSARY BURDENS

Through the simple experience, the Holy Spirit teaches me an allegory, that quite often we bear unnecessarily burdens.  Sometimes unconsciously we did it for years. We become very familiar so that the burden stick strong in our soul, they shape our character and the way we thinking. It is so difficult to let it go. Increasingly the burden pressing and ensnare us. Make us unable to fully enjoy the joy and freedom in Christ, and make our steps become so hard and slow.

Burden could be anything. Could come in from life problems, but also could be made by ourselves. Examples:

-Pursuing achievement just for the sake of recognition of others

-Desire wants to get rich very quick

-Over perfectionist for the sake people couldn’t see our shortcomings.

-Trying hard to buy something far beyond the ability in order could be welcome in the certain social community.

-Manipulate our real situation because of shame or prestige

-Fear, anxiety, trauma, revenge, anger, disappointment, etc

-And the kinds of thing that do not grow our spiritual maturity, doesn’t bear the fruit of Spirit, doesn’t build godly character, doesn’t arouse hope and faith, and not make us dependent on God.

Whatever it is, all the things that hinder our walk with Christ are burden. Burden made us tired and weak. But there is good news.

 

INVITATION FROM JESUS

Jesus invites us through His Word:

COME TO ME, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST.(Matthew 11:28 NKJV)

HOW THE WAY?

TAKE MY YOKE upon youand LEARN FROM ME, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30 NKJV)

Come to Jesus! Let Him take our burdens and replace it with the God’s yoke. What is that? Willingness to life along and in tune with God by always aligning ourselves with God’s word. As long as we always live in obedience to God’s word and doing His call, it means the same we bear the God’s yoke.

Jesus promised that His yoke is easy and light. It is true! Because the fact is, we would not bear the yoke alone. Jesus carries it together with us.

But as light as any, bear the Lord’s yoke isn’t automatically change us as easy as blinking our eyes become immune to the pressures of life. We still have problems. We could still worry, disappoint, fear, arrogant, greedy, and the other negative emotional. That is why Jesus the Lord not only says “Take My yoke” but He also says: LEARN FROM ME”

We must learn from Jesus. But there is no instant learning. Every learning is always takes the process, and every process always takes time. Learning always involves two parties, teacher and student. We are as students need to open ourselves to be taught by Jesus as our Master. All that will be successful if we always obey and have the willingness to not give up in any God’s shaping. Then, what should we learn??

 

GENTLENESS AND HUMILITY

Jesus specifically said about for I am gentle and lowly in heart”.Jesus is the perfect example in gentleness and humility. He who is the King of kings had to let Himself be born in the flesh even to death on the Cross. In Hebrews 2:5-9 we read that to immediately Jesus made a little lower than the angels, which incidentally are His creatures.

In the three times of temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus actually had the opportunity to prove His power but He was not provoked by the Devil. Jesus chose to submit to the Word of the Father, then He said, “It is written …”.Jesus put the word of God above all else.

Similarly, when the Lord Jesus on the Cross. Indeed, He has the power to liberate Himself and repay those who persecute Him. But Jesus knew the Father’s will that He should die on the Cross and He chose to be obedient and faithful in fulfilling the Father’s will. That’s all the evidence gentleness and humility of Jesus.

Gentleness and humility will take us on walks toward the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Only the gentle and humble man that can submit and obey, so it can be more easily shaped and transformed by God.

But again, all of them require obedience and continuous processes. Don’t give up, the Holy Spirit will enable us to go through all the processes.

 

LEAVE YOUR BURDEN AND SIN

“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses , let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 AMP)

There are many things could be a burden: health, financial, family relationships, spouse, career, and even ideals, all can be a problem and burden! It is normal we think about life problem. It means we are not indifferent. It is indicate we have responsibility. But do not let the thought drag us to the negative feelings that actually makes our soul depressed.

Leave our burdens by bring all the problems in prayer with faith and surrender all to God. The power of God is real and God’s help is always on time, even in ways that never occurred to us. There is a way out for all the problems in God.

On the other hand, don’t carry the “big size bag” filled with unnecessary things that could be a burden. Don’t fill our lives with self-desires, envy, angry, bitterness, worry, arrogance, and many useless things and sin. Do not open the door for sin because sin will ensnare us so we can’t run to reach the goals from the Lord.

If we always keep our steps day by day in harmony with God’s Word and faithful in the process to be meek and humble like Jesus, so we are freed from unnecessary burden.

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to change and shape our hearts, so that we are increasingly able to give the true response in all circumstances. Thus our souls will get joy and peace and we could more focus on doing God’s will.

God who commands us to do His will is God who have full of responsibility. He provides help, the certainty future with full of hope, and give assurance will be always going fine. The Holy Spirit will enable us to bear everything.

I pray this song lyric of HE WILL CARRY YOU could be a blessing for all of us. Amen.

 HE WILL CARRY YOU

There is no problem too big God cannot solve it

There is no mountain too tall God cannot move it

There is no storm too dark God cannot calm it

There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it

 

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my brother that He will carry you

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders

I know my sister that He will carry you

 

He said, “Come on to me all who are weary

And I will give you rest”

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images (edit with pixlr)

Fly Like an Eagle

Fly Like an Eagle-Karina's Thought

A few days ago I received a package from my parents in Hong Kong. And when I opened it, I am somewhat stunned and surprised. A large photo of an eagle! On its photo was written: “Fly Like an Eagle” and below was written a bible verse:

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31)

After I put it on the wall of my workroom, I like being hypnotized; I stared deep into the photo and my mind drifted away. I was a bit shocked and immediately aware when my husband suddenly hugged on my shoulder. Then he asked,” Princess, there is something wrong in that photo? Or there is something on your mind?” I smiled and said, “Yes, there is something on my mind”

Talk about an eagle, eagle is fascinating fowl. Have wide wings. Even the widest ever measured was as wide as 2.5 meters (8 feet). Eagles were Famous for its endurance when he flew. Although needed the considerable energy for flapping wings at first, but once he flew, an eagle only put out very low energy. The research results stated that the eagles only take an average of 2 minutes to beat their wings in every hour of flight time. Eagles can fly long without flapping their wings. Eagles can fly to hover in the air (gliding) or fly off (soaring) by utilizing the thermal air / heat that rises on the open mainland. By doing so, he only requires very low energy to be able to fly longer. Not only that, eagles can travel an average distance of 75 to 125 miles. That is the secret of eagles’ power which is capable of flying very high. Eagles will never be tired because he did not have to use much energy to be able to fly for a long time and a long distance.

But, do not think that when the baby eagles are born then they already were so. Eagles are a fragile beast when they were a child so their parent will usually bring them to stay in high peak and train them to fly. The parent would drop the young eagles down and let them screaming before finally practicing flapping their wings. When the young eagles start flapping their wings, their parent was ready to help when they are going to weak and fall and they will rise up and fly became more powerful eagle.

I am thinking deeper. When we are in problems that come repeatedly, we can feel our strength declining both physical and mentally. The weakening of our strength will only make us more helpless in the face of problems that we have. But God’s Word teaches us, that the key to obtain the strength in dealing with various problems is waiting upon the Lord. Waiting upon the Lord means that we continue to hope in the Lord, directing the eyes of our hearts to God, praying to God, reading and meditating on the God’s word, obedient to His commandments and uphold our faith and hope to the God. By keeping our fellowship with God, we will be in a condition that is always waiting on the Lord. The existing problems should not hinder us to still come to worship Him. We must still following God whatever is happening.

When we let go of our hope in God, we will increasingly lose the strength to walk forward. Physical strength and mind that we have is not enough to deal with the entire burden, because we have a limit in our ability. God wants us to be as strong and brave like an eagle. He wants us to continue to train our wings of faith to face and through any life challenges. Winds and storms in our lives will force us to fly and like the parent eagle who keeps an eye on their child learning to fly, God will watching over and will help us so we not be allowed to fall.

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

When we come to God and always waiting for Him, we will get the new strength. New strength that God has given will enable us to rise to undergo what is in the front of us. God will give us a new spirit, a new wisdom, a new joy, a new hope, so that we can stand up straight in running this life. Like an eagle who never tired by the time he flew, so it is with us who waiting on the Lord. We will never feel tired because God has given us new strength. We can deal with no matter how hard. We can get out from the various problems. We can undergo existing hardships. We did not even realize that so many miraculous things that we have been through, because God has given us the strength to through it all.

My dear friends, what about us now? Whether we are currently in weak condition, physically and mentally? Do we have so many burdens which slowly but sure undermined our strength and faith?  Are we losing of hope and everything looks like so hard to be lived? This time I would like to encourage you with wonderful Bible verses:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I ask one question. Are there people around us like family or friends who could say like God says in the verse above? Is there anyone who could guarantee by saying: ….And I will give you rest”? No nothing at all. So through these powerful verses we all know and be reminded where we should to go when we are weary and burdened and where we should put our hope.

I am not saying that our lives would become so easy. We will still have problems ahead but we must face it. No mater we like or not, our life still must go on.  Let us continue to direct our hearts and minds to God only. Keep waiting on the God, maintain our relationship with God so that our fellowship with Him getting close and closer day by day. His loving hand is always open for us comes to Him. Continue to train our wings of faith and He will give us a new strength so we can have power and fly high tirelessly like an eagle. Amen.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: Google Images

Related content: http://faithrises.com/2014/05/21/fly-like-an-eagle/

(The image on this post is not original as it was sent by my parents. All the text in the original image was written in Mandarin language)

Hold Me Tight

Hold me tight

Jesus says to all who are burdened worried, tired, and downhearted,

“Come to Me, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:4)

´Then come to Me. Remain Me.

Trust Me, Keep your eyes on Me

Cast your cares upon Me.

Take me as your guide.

Hold tight to the help,

The hope,

The faith you have in Me.

For I will give you rest,

 if you will only hold Me tight and don’t let go…!

Ken Philcer

Photo credit: freewebs.com

My Prayer

prayer hand

My dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Now I am in troubles, weak and really afraid. There are so many burden and pressure I had.

But right now, in my tears, I would not ask You why, I just want to say thank you have been bless me abundantly though I am under pressure. I really don’t know what is behind all of this.  I just know that you have a purpose upon me through this affliction. I know and believe You still be with me hold my hand tightly. You never forsake me and Your light of love will keep on glowing illuminate my path.  Jesus Christ, I am grateful for you loving kindness.

I would not ask You how. But I want to say it is a part of Your plans. Your plans are not mine. I believe Your plans are very best and its derived from Your Divine righteousness. I believe there is something amazing will happens behind all of my burden and pressure. Within Your plans I will found the way to deal with.

I would not ask You when. But I want to say, patiently I will waiting for You give me the right time and it will come to set me free and  at that time once again You shows me How great You are. How deep Your love to me.

Dear Father in Heaven,

I am grateful for the whole thing that happened to me. From it all I learn to always remember that I am not alone. I have You who always walk beside me. Your gentle smile makes me feel strong, make me bold to face all of this pressure and makes my burden lighter. Thank you, Lord. Only to Thee I trust and surrender the whole of my life as Your word said to me:

“He gives strength to the wear and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)” Amen.

Karina

Photo credit: google images

Evening Prayer

Jesus my Lord, thank you because you are always be there in my life

When I lost my way, do not know where I had to stride over, when my eyes began to blur, I was weary and burdened, desperate and were let down.  I get You always be my side.

You are my consolation place, a place where I was pouring my entire affliction. Thou see any cried and put my tears in Your wineskins.

When people reject me, not even You refuse me.  Though I was sinned to You, when I was come to you with a broken heart and shattered, You are not look at me with contempt even with lovingly You open Your hand and hugged me so tight.

Oh Jesus my Lord, You are so good, thank you so much because your unfailing love is infinite and interminable. Your protection and consolation always strengthen me in carrying out this tough day.

Although Your way out do not always comes immediately, I believe everything that happened to me just solely for my own good. For you who teaches me to put my faith and trust on You.

Thank you Jesus my Lord, thank you for any problems and hardship that You allow get into my life. I realized and more understand that I must be closer to Thee. It makes me not always rely on my own strength and wisdom. Only to you alone I handed all of the matters. Amen

Karina

Make Me Remember

Dear Father in Heaven,

 Make me remember, when the world seems cold and dreary and I know not where to turn for comfort, that there is always one spot bright and cheerful in the Sanctuary.

When I am in desolation of spirit, when all who are dear to me have passed away like summer flowers and none are left to love me and care for me, whisper to my troubled soul that there is one Friend who dies not, one who’s Love never changes Jesus on the altar.

When sorrow thickens and crushes me with their burden, when I look in vain for comfort, let me remember Your words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28). Amen.

 Karina