Tag Archive | hope

Candle of Hope

Once upon a time, there are four shining candles in a room. They are red, green, blue, and white candle. As time goes by, they are slowly begun to melt down. In the quiet night, was heard their talks.

 The white candle said, “I am a peace.  But unfortunately more and more people are not able to keep me even longer to appreciate the meaning of Peace. Therefore, I’d better just turn myself off” So little by little the blue candle goes out.

The green candle then said, “I am faith. But like the white candle, I also have the same fate. This time, there are many people don’t have faith anymore. Though they claim to have me, but sadly they place me at the bottommost of their lives. Not infrequently they sacrifice me solely for their own interests. It’s useless for me to keep light up. I will follow the blue candle!” Slowly the green candle dimmed and finally disappears.

With the sad and pessimistic feeling the blue candle also said, “I’m a love. But lately I often ask to myself, if love is still there? I feel people no longer look at me and think I’m useful. Today, the world is full with hatred. People hate each other. Love in human being is already fading. So I think there’s no point I am keep shining.” Soon, the light of blue candle goes off too.

There is one remaining candle that still shinning, the red candle and the room is getting darker. Suddenly, there is a little girl get into the room and she immediately fears because of the dark room. “Oh no… what is going on with you, candles? I am afraid of darkness. You must keep shine up and brighten this room!”  She begins to crying.

Then the fourth candle cried out, “Hey, dear little girl! Don’t be afraid! I am still here for you. As long I still there and light up, we can light on the other candles. I’m a candle of hope! Please take me and let’s light on the dead candles. Let’s light up this room so you will not be afraid again!”

The story of four candles above was told by mother when my father was in critical condition because of bad heart attack. She tried to strengthen me because I was a bit shock and down. This story gives us the message that what never dies in our heart is HOPE. Although Peace, Faith and Love are often dry, lost and dead in our lives, but Hope is still able to liven up many other important things in our lives.  My mom said, “Don’t ever despair because there is always hope as long we put our hope on the right place.”

My beloved readers, as human being who has weaknesses, I honestly say, I had a few moments losing my hope when I had to face how critical my father’s condition at that time. One of the team doctors said to me that the possibility to recover is only around 25%. It was so hard for me. I really wasn’t ready at all to lose my dad. Beside Father in Heaven, my father is everything to me. That’s why I said to the doctors to do anything for my father. If necessary, hired the best cardiac specialist in this world, I don’t care about the cost. My mother once again said, “Yes you could do anything for daddy! But, don’t forget one important thing, everything you do will be in vain if you not put hope on what you have to do”  My dear friends, to be honest, I feel slapped by my mom’s words. Then she excerpt one bible verse from 1 Corinthians 9,

… This is written that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. (1 Corinthians 9:10)

This verse has a meaning that we have do everything in hope. What my mom said was true. I can definitely do everything for my father’s healing, but it all will be useless if I don’t have a hope. Then my mom reaffirmed, “We must put great hopes on what we do. But please put our hope on the right place. Don’t put hope on the doctors and its medical equipment, but we must place our hope in God. Because it is written in the bible:

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalms 62:5)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

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

 These verses vividly show us where we should to put our hope in this life. There is only one in this world that can be our hope; He is God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is source of hope and through Jesus Christ He gives us hope.

My dad finally made it through a critical period after surgery. It can be happen not only because of the sophistication of medical technology today, also not just because of the greatness of the doctors to handle, but it all could be happen because God’s loving hand touched my father through the doctors and I was immediately back to the core, put my hope on God alone. Once we put our hope on God, then we will not disappointed because hope doesn’t disappoint and we will secure because there is hope and we will find the rest in God because our hope is come from God.

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

My dear friends, if this time any of us are in a dark room like a little girl in my mom’s story, we are afraid losing of someone we love like I was afraid losing my father, We are desperate because got a dead end for all the problems of our lives, this evening please allow me to let you know that there is always hope in our lives. There is always “A candle of hope” that could be able to brighten our dark lives. Immediately direct our view and mind to Jesus who gives us hope and as a Highest Priest. It’s our duty to keep up the candle still shining brightly. Let’s hold fast our hope in God without wavering as it says in Hebrew 10:23,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Let’s do everything for the best but don’t put our hope to humans,

Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they? (Isaiah 2:22)

 Put hope of what we do in the Lord Jesus Christ who already sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father in Heaven. Amen.

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)

Karina – Living by faith

The story is based on a “four candles” poem

Image by poetic of expression

THE NEW SEASON (Guest Post)

Hello, dear readers. Now I am just stopping by to give a short note to this guest post. This time, with all of my respect, I would like to thank you for all of your prayers to me and my father. Though my father hasn’t totally recovered, we are grateful to God almighty his health condition is getting better. And for me personally, Right now I get into a new season of life. My father’s doctor team had given serious warning and ultimatum that starting from now, my father should resign and totally quit from all of his business activities. It means me (as his single daughter) and my mom should take over all of my father’s activities. This will be a hard season of my life. There will be a huge burden on my shoulder should to bear. But, as Sister Sella said in this post that there is too much proof of God’s promises when we are in the midst of hard season. I strongly believe God will not let me walk alone. His loving hand will always hold me tight to go through this season.

Dear readers, Thank you for your prayer and support. I am so sorry still couldn’t active visit and read your awesome posts. I do promise will be come back again. God bless you All.

(Karina Lam)

 

Life is a journey of time to go through season after season.

Every season is a new season because we don’t know what will happen in the future.

Kids are living in a child season. When they are growing up, they will enter the seasons that are no longer dominated by “their world” itself, but began to be burdened with different needs and responsibilities.

For the newlyweds, it will certainly have different season when in the later they have child, son-in-law, and grandchild. All was going along with the journey of human cycle.

THE UNPREDICTABLE SEASON

All of the seasons we have talked above are the common season and almost experienced by everyone. We even could make a prediction when the season will come up. We are able to make approximate calculation and prepare ourselves as best as we can do. We could make physically and mentally preparing, and even make financial planning. But how perfectly our preparations and planning, we still don’t know what will be happen in the upcoming season.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

A shocking thing could be happen! The unpredictable season could suddenly come up and we are forced to change the plan, and even deflecting our lives direction. It would be so nice if it’s a beautiful season but often it’s unpleasant, hard to bear, and we definitely cannot run away from the reality. There’s no other choice! We have to go through until the new season comes again!

But don’t be terrified and discouraged, because we have the holy promise from God:

“Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NKJV)

That is God’s promise to His children. People who really put trust in God will not allow walking alone. When “tough season” is coming, His presence is always MORE THAN ENOUGH for us.

GOD ALWAYS BE THERE

The Holy Bible has recorded the proofs of God’s involvement among His chosen people!

The Israelites was passing through the various seasons. At the first time they enjoyed the privileges in Egypt during the Joseph’s reign. All they needs was guaranteed very well until the situation changed drastically. The new season was coming, and brought Israelites into the slavery.

In the midst of suffering was coming a glimmer of hope for freedom. They stepped out of Egypt to the Promise Land. But apparently to heading there they had to experience “The desert season” for the long enough period of time, which is 40 years. And when the Promise Land was emblazoned in the front of their eyes, they weren’t immediately being able to live comfortably. They had to snatch it through one war to another war.

All seasons that they must experience was hard and requires a sacrifice. BUT SEE, THE PRESENT OF GOD IS ALWAYS REAL IN EVERY SEASON!!!

  • The existence of Joseph in Egypt is the proof that God is the Omniscient God who has prepared everything to preserve His people from the famine, long before it happened. (source: Genesis 50:20 ; Psalms 105:16-17)
  • The ten plagues on Pharaoh and on Egypt are the manifestation of God’s power to deliver His people. (source: Exodus 7:1-5)
  • The land of Goshen in which the Israelites dwelled has been spared from the plagues is a proof that God is the defender and protector of His people. (source: Exodus 8:22)
  • The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire are the manifestation of the existence of God in the desert. (source: Exodus 13:22)
  • Manna from the heaven and water that came out from the rock are a proof that God always take care of the life of His people. (source: Exodus 16:35 ; Exodus 17:6)
  • The collapse of the walls of Jericho and the victory of Israel in any war are a proof of God’s help and defense. (source: Joshua 6 ; Hebrews 11:32-34)
  • Untill this day God is always there and reveal Himself through prophets, apostles, pastors, and through miracles.

Too much proofs of God’s presence in the midst of the hard season that we must go through. All of that are proof that God is always be there and real in the life of His children from era to era, from season to season until the end of time!

“… I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the  close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” (Matthew 28:20b AMP)

Let’s us holding on to the God’s promises and learning to put our trust in the Lord to anything that He allows happen to us, although we don’t understand His decision.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)

By the depth of His wisdom, God establishes and governs every season of our lives. Every season is a process that we must go through. We cannot choose or reject it, because God has a purpose in every process. All of that is to shape us to be more like Him to do His will according His grand design. We must obey and surrender to all God’s guidance. We must be willing to shaped and to transformed by God.

Each season has its own peculiarities. We cannot live in a new season in a way that we use in the season has passed. We must be willing to change everything that needs to be changed: habits, mindsets, perspectives, and ways of working, the pattern of relations, financial management, and so on.

When we go through every season in obedience and trust in the Lord, and do our part by diligently and grateful, then at the end of the season we will reap the results of the “exercise” we have been through. Namely the “muscles of faith” becomes stronger, the purity of heart, more to be holy, the way of our thinking be renewed, increasing in the knowledge of God, and spiritual maturity. And the most important is we will have an intimate and strong relationship with the Holy Spirit more than before, so that we are ready to entering a new season, whatever it is! Ecclesiastes wrote profound reflection on it.

“The end of a thing is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8a NKJV)

BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME

There is no easy process for the flesh. But the end of the result is the God’s glory will more shine on our lives. We will reap the fruit of the seed that we have sowed along the season.

  • After a long trip and full of struggle in the wilderness, finally Israel obtained the Promised Land. (source: Acts 13:17-19)
  • After sold as a slave and put into the prison, finally Joseph became governor over Egypt and even be a blessing to the nations. (source: Acts 7:9-10)
  • After losing all his children and all his wealth, finally Job got the double blessing from God. (source: Job 42:10)
  • Abraham, David, Noah, and people of faith, finally completing the God’s calling in their lives because they walked with the Lord in every season of their lives. (source: Hebrews 11)

So it is with you and me. If we always walk with the Holy Spirit in every season of our lives, then at the end the great grand design of God to us will revealed. Indeed, we do not know how the end of this season or how the next season to come. But God will not let us walk alone. Be patient and persevere in prayer. Everything must be beautiful in its time.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV)

“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14 AMP)

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images

Note: Dear readers, just because of Karina still focus on her daddy’s health, so by Karina’s permission this post uploaded be myself (Sella Irene). And for this time comment and like are disabled. Thank you 🙂

 

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)

The Anchor of Hope

ANCHOR OF HOPE - Karina's Thought

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karina –Living by faith

Image source: mudpreacher.org

 

A Living Letter of Christ

A LIVING LETTER OF CHRIST2-Karina's Thought

 

Last week I got a surprise! My father in Hong Kong sent me a letter. I felt a bit strange. Not as usually he wrote a letter. Beside talk several things, it is written at the end of his letter, “I am so sure you will have a question why I sent you a letter. My dear, may this letter become a reminder.  I strongly believe  you still remember  one thing  that related  with the letter “

My mind immediately drifted away to many years ago when I was teen. Yes of course I always remember about a letter. At the time, I just had a problem with my parents and starting to moving forward and letting go my bad past.  My parents gave me words that later on will totally change my life. “ You are a letter of Christ” still strong remembered in my mind what he said, “World can be knows  about God through how we live our life.  We are are a letter or book of Christ who represent God’s character and His righteousness. If our way of life is right, then the truth of God will shine from us. Otherwise if we claim to be followers of Christ but our lives contrary to what God wants, then we just become a stumbling block and scorn before others. We are an open letter of Christ who could be so obvious seen and read by people around us. Therefore, we have to be a testimony that can reflects a figure of Christ through our attitude and deeds”

As a God’s child we actually are a letter that fraught of Christ’s writing, not written by an ink but with the God’s spirit, and written directly in our heart. As Paul wrote epistles to the Corinthians,

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

(2 Corinthians 3:3)

A letter written by God’s spirit

I once read an article said that in 1991, nine pieces letters of Mark Twain the author of Tom Sawyer to his daughter sold for US$ 33.000. A piece of his daily letter could be sold for US$ 1,200 to 1,500. We may not have Mark Twain’s letter but in fact we have a set of priceless letters than Mark Twain’s letter and we are the letter itself that written not by an ink but with the Holy Spirit and also not written on the ordinary papers but direct on our heart. We are not just a daily letter; we are the special and priceless letter that contains magnificent stories about Jesus Christ.

A letter that brings the light

Besides reflecting a figure of Christ, as a letter of Christ, we are also a letter that can bring the light to the world as just Christ is the light of the world. As follower of Christ, we are called to be a light that brightens the “hidden corner” and brings many people to enter into the God’s glory.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.(Matthew 5:14 -16 NIV)

A letter that be a witnesses

We are also should to be witnesses of Christ to the whole world as it says in the book of Acts,

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

This is Jesus’ last message before He ascended to the Heaven. He describes in detail the steps that we have to do to be a witness. The initial step is in Jerusalem first, that refers to the environment or the city where we live. Then from there we move to the larger scope that is the whole of Judea, talk about the nation or state, and Samaria, describing other nations outside of Christian from there finally we reach the final stage, namely to the ends of the earth.

A letter that brings love and hope

For God loves us, every aspect and side of our lives it is proper to be a paper that used by God’s pen strokes to proclaim His greatest love to this world. So that people will read and know how great God’s love to us until He willing to gave His only son poured His blood on the cross.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Today, there are so many people around us lost their hope.  As a letter of Christ we have to show that if we life in God, there is always hope no matter how difficult our lives today. As written in The Holy Bible,

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5 NIV)

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:19 NIV)

A letter that reflect the glory of Christ

Our lives should reflect the glory of God and we shall be transformed into the same with His image. When Moses came down from Mount of Sinai after he spoke with God, his face was shone reflects God’s glory.

…, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was. (2 Corinthians 3:7 NIV)

Paul said that we can get great glory if we have a very close relationship with Christ and we will be like Christ because we are transformed by the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

(2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Now our problem is in our daily lives, have we become a true letter of Christ that always shows the figure of Christ, brings the light to the world, being a letter that tells the story of God’s love and hope, and reflect the glory of Christ? Or just the opposite, our lives only become a stumbling block, mockery, or even we are like a Christians who become a hindrance to people who wants to know more about Christ just for the trivia reasons? Mahatma Gandhi once had a rather hurts experience when he rejected to get into the church just because the differences of skin tone (Racial differences). He once said: “Suppose Christianity just like a sermon on the mount, and then I already become a Christians. But because the live of Christians I do not want to be a Christian” Friedrich Nietzsche who really hate Christianity said, “I will believe in their (Christian people) salvation if they are a little more looks as Christians who have been saved

My dear friends, what about us now?  Whether every single deeds and word  that came out from our lips has been reflect a letter of Christ? Or even without we realized we already disgrace the holiness of the letter that written by Holy spirit? Today, let’s we look back to ourselve and ponder again how our spiritual life quality. Just be a realsistic. In this difficult era it is not so easy to remain become a trully letter of Christ. In everyday  lives we always face so many problems, challenges, and also the world temptations that could weaken our faith and make us fall into the sin. Therefore, it is very important to us to always guard our heart in order not to conflict with Christ personality.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverb 4:23 NIV)

This verse firmly and clearly describes that everything radiated form us is came from our heart. And what was written in our heart will surely determine what people will read through our attitude and deeds. By always guard our heart then we will reach a level that God wants that is become a perfect.

Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 NIV)

Let’s together guard our heart by always fill our heart with God’s word and do His commands because His words is a light as  a compass that direct us to the right path so we will not lost in the darkness.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

We should to always hear and learn about God’s word because it is a practical foundation to us as a Christians. If we remain seriously learn about God’s word  we will more fear to God for we will know and understanding more about His will.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

We also have to remains maintaining the intimacy of our relationship with God through prayer and  always living in His spirit so there is no gap at all for Satan to come in and ruin our lives.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a NIV)

My beloved readers, God’s Spirit does not leave meaningless rough streaks in our heart but He actually scraping His pen with beautiful writings that describes His mightiness and His wonderful love the world. We are not just  an ordinary letter. We are the open living letters  that in each pages represent God’s character who live in us. A beautiful and meaningful poem written by my sister Sue Nash will end this post. Let’s read and ponder together. Amen.

God’s Living Letters

Our hearts were cold, consumed with pride; 

Tablets of stone,no hope in sight.

Our lives were marred; death’s curse did chide,

Until our script, God did rewrite.

***

No changes wrought, with how we tried, 

By striving hard, His laws to keep. 

So God engraved His Word inside, 

That from our hearts, His truth would speak.

***

Lost souls then stained, with sin’s dark dross, 

In need of help, deliverance.

Christ’s blood poured out, upon the Cross;

Our wrongs were purged, in one instance. 

***

God’s light now shines, His love does flow,

When as we yield and let Him lead. 

God’s hope we bring, His truth we sow,

For all of those who choose to read.

***

Our lives like scrolls for all to see,

God’s very own, parchments complete. 

No more of self, we’ve been set free,

To follow Christ, bow at His feet.

***

Amazed, how love loosed sin’s tethers;

That hearts like ours, God freely chose

Now born anew, like living letters,

Our lives emit salvation’s prose.

By Sue Nash/2015

Special thank you to Sister Sue for her beautiful poem.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: maeclair.net

~A Living Faith~

A LIVING FAITH -Karina's Thought

 

Few days ago one of my close friends asked me to meet. She wanted to share her business problems and it was giving me an idea to write something. She really got a very hard time and situation in her business. She faced a problem that came consecutive. One problem has not been solved, there is another problem was waiting behind.  Even worse, she felt so difficult to find the way out for any of their problems. She felt like in the middle of very tight wall where there is no a loophole at all to get out and seems there is no one could help. Began to desperate, chaotic, lost its direction and hope, and sadly she starts thinking to try the ways that not supposed to do.

My beloved readers, whether you have experienced the same situation with my friend? I do believe that we all have experienced the same situation or maybe even heavier than my friend. In the life that getting difficult day by day, the problem increasingly feels closer to us and easily hit our lives.  One question arises, when the world goes against us, when all the circumstances aren’t like what we expected, when we feel like giving up because there seems to be no hope anymore, where would we go? In a weakened state, confused and lost its direction, we could easily be tempted to take the wrong roads that not solve the problem but instead will add a lot of our problems list. So where would we go and what would we do?

This time I would like to ask you to learn from one of the Bible story. Let’s take a look at the story of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus who met Jesus in Jericho. This encounter brought the great restoration in his life. Because his condition is blind, he cannot work. So to survive he became a beggar on the roadside. One day Jesus was passing not far from where he begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) Bartimaeus was just a blind beggar. For many people there, he was considered too contemptible, impolite, and improper shout to Jesus. Then the people rebuked him. But he did not give up, falter or desperate and not stop shout to Jesus; Bartimaeus even lift up his voice. He realized that it was a great opportunity. He still did not care what people said to him. His faith encouraged him to strengthen his hope. He convinced and trusts that God’s power and miracle will works on him.

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Verse 48)

Then finally Jesus stops and said to the disciples to call Bartimaeus. He immediately took off his robe and hurried toward Jesus. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”(Verse 51)

There was something interesting from bartimaeus’ answer. He did not ask for the wealth, honorable status in the eyes of the society, an abundant blessing and so on. He did not say “God restore my whole life so I can live well today.” He did not complain to Jesus because he was not valued and despised by many people. He really knew that the base of his problem is blindness. If he could see, he would not need to become a beggar again and be able to work normally for life. With eyes which functioned very well he could get his life back, retracing gradually to get a better life. He could try to use his talents that he had to live worthy. Then Jesus healed him with a word, Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Verse 52)

What heals bartimaeus? Let’s take a look to Jesus’ words, “Your faith has healed you.” Yes! Faith heals Bartimaeus’ blindness. When I ponder this part, I got something important lesson from Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus has a living faith where there is power of trust and hope in it and has a spirit to seek and find. He knew where and to whom he should seek. His faith does not depend on human logic, which did not depend on what people say. He knew his faith is not located on the people opinions but merely a connection or relationship between himself and God. Bartimaeus hold fast to it. We do not know how long he suffered blindness and should be outcasts as beggars on the streets. When he met Jesus, he believed that he found the right person who will bring a restoration in his life. His faith moved him to trust that Jesus will and be able to heal him.  He did not remain silent; he proved his faith with action. He did not care and affected by people who rebuked him, he still shouted to Jesus. This is an important lesson that we can get from Bartimaeus. Faith must be accompanied by actions.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Faith can move God to do miraculous things in our lives. Faith is required in order to receive a blessing and a miracle from God. However, this is become a problem. In our daily lives, it is so easy for us to say that we have faith, but in practice oftentimes we have not show that we have faith. How big and strong our faith will be seen through our reaction when we faced so many problems. Whether our faith, trust and hope still remain strong when we have not seen God’s help and we still have not get the answer of our prayers. Holy Bible reminds us so precisely about faith,

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith plays an important role in order to be successful accepting miracles from God to answer every of our problems. Although the problems that afflict us seems having no way out, there is no solution, as if we trapped in the big and tight wall, faith always be able to move God’s hand to do something to restoring us and there is nothing impossible. As Jesus said,

“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”(Matthew 17:20)

To those friends who are currently facing hard problems like my friend, allow me this evening to encourage you to learn from Bartimaeus. Let’s imitate what he did. Though outwardly he was blind, but his spiritual eyes are not blind. He has a living faith accompanied with full of hope, trust and not based on what he see. Bartimaeus could not saw Jesus made miracles, he only heard from people who talk over about Jesus. But he really believes that Jesus will make a miracle to him.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)

We might physically could not see and find the ways out for our problems, we might see that everything seems so dark and closed tightly, but let we see every problems with our spiritual eyes. Do not remain silent and just waiting. Our God is omniscient. God knows everything about our lives, both difficulties, suffering, and our needs. But God wants us to act! Bartimaeus action was one thing that attracted the attention of Jesus. Bartimaues has the living faith because accompanied with action.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)

 With a living faith come to our God, shout to Him and we will see what God’s response.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.(Psalm 34:17)

Let us realize, fully trust and instill in our hearts and minds that there is no bigger problem than God’s power because our God is so great,

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96:4)

Bartimaeus experienced a touch of God not only because God’s power works on him but he has great living faith. His mindset knew rightly how God’s personal is which have love, compassion and can do any miracle things. If God willing to heard and answered bartimaeus’ shout, God also will hear and answer our shout. Through a living faith, let us feel the touch of God, feel the power of God working resolve all the problems of our lives. Is like a plant which always needs fertilizer to grow and live healthily, as well as the quality of our faith. We must continue to fertilize our faith by maintaining our relationship with God to remain intimate through prayer, comprehend and ponder His word every day. Always ask for strength from God so that we can change our mindset from “See first then believe” to “believe first and then see” Just because we live by believing, not by seeing. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Amen.

Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. Corrie Ten Boom

 Related article:

 Without faith it is impossible to please God

 Activating your faith

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: mightymustard.com

7 Words after Jesus’ Resurrection

HE IS RISEN-Karina's Thought

For us as Christians, The resurrection of Jesus Christ has a very deep meaning. It is a greatest gift in the human history. This time I tried to depict the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection from another side. I and my husband focused our attention to the seven words after He was raised. However, need to know that this post is not a Bible study or commentary. This posts just our thought. So later on when read this post you may found any mistake or miss interpretation, please feel free to give us comment, suggestion or critic. This post is based on John 20: 15-29. We are not saying that these are first saying but I prefer called it as seven important words after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 
First words: “Woman” He said “Why you crying?” (John 20:15)

 
We spent much time to ponder this word. Crying! In life, crying is a life reality. Crying is something which becomes a part of our lives. There is a time when we have to cry for some reason. Jesus’ resurrection is not wiping our tears but He is the answer of every reason for our tears. God has not promised that there is no more rain, but God promised that there is always rainbow after the rain. God has not promised that there is no more tear, but God promises that tears of grief will turn to tears of joy! God has not promised that the sky will always clear, but He promises that in the midst of the dark cloud, God still be there for His children. And one day God promised that: ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”(Revelation 21:4) This time, if we are currently in a difficult situation, have much life’ pressure, our life is so dark, and so many tears, remember that God always be with us. God always be there for us.

 
The second: “Maria…” (Verse 16)

 
Here we know something that Jesus recognized the woman as Mary, one of His disciples. This show us that God really know very well every His disciples personally. It means He also knows very well each of our problem. He knows our difficulties and struggling. He appreciates each of us. People will feel much appreciated if his name is always remembered. Jesus did it. Not just to Mary but even to each of His disciples. Further, Jesus care to each of us as His children. In everyday lives, we often just remember to those people who we really care. But Jesus always cares to everyone who believes Him no matter who they are. He teaches us to always put awareness to everyone. Not only to those people who are very close to us.

 
The third: “…Go instead to my brothers and tell them…..” (Verse 17)

 
Jesus told to Mary to go to proclaim the news of His resurrection to His brethren. Why the Jesus’ resurrection should to proclaim? Because it news gives a joy. The death of Jesus on the Cross makes the disciples very sad and devastated. And only His resurrections who can make them rejoice again. This means that Easter is Joyful news because our Savior has triumphed over power of death. Moreover, the news gives a strength and courage. Jesus’ disciples become weak and fear after Jesus death and they stay in hidden place. The news of Jesus’ resurrection makes them found new courage and strength to keep running life, because they know that Jesus always be with. Hope! Jesus arose with bring a hope. The Death of Jesus made the disciples scattered because they lost hope for the future. Therefore, Jesus’ resurrection reunites his disciples in Jerusalem, and gave them hope for a better future. My dear friends, if we now lose of hope, please remember In God we always have a hope. We don’t need to worry of our future because even though our path is so dark, there is always a light of hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.(Romans 15:13)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Fourth: “Peace be with you” (Verse 19&21)

 
Jesus’ resurrection has a meaning that He rose bring peace to His people. We are as believers should have peace because: Our sins have been forgiven, death and Satan has been defeated, and by His wound we are healed. In this hard life, our life is very close with fear and worry which become from the problem and trials that we face. And it all make us don’t have peace. Remember this point: The resurrection of Jesus Christ bring peace to us. Though our live is so hard, there is no reason to us to do not have peace because God has promise to us:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Fifth: “As the Father has sent me. I am sending you (verse 21b).

We thought this point is a most important thing in Christian life. Deputation! Call to serve others. After Jesus arose, He will ascend to the Heaven. It means it is our turn to continue His works in this world. There are three kind of calling that should be done. The first is Evangelism. Call to become a fisher. Church and we are as congregation should to proclaim God’s word bravely to over the world. Bring the lost to know and accept God as a personal savior.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

The second is communion/ fellowship (Koinonia in Greek). This is a calling to fellowship with others in the church. Through fellowship our Christian life and faith will grow up and we can encourage each other. It is written in Hebrew 10:25,

Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are also the God’s citizen.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, (Ephesians 2:19)

And even though we are many and different but we are the one body.

So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Romans 12:5)

The third is deacon (Diaconia). As Christians we also called to help the poor or those people in need. This is not just implemented with pray for them but even implemented with our deeds by donate them. We should learn from Macedonian churches who willing to gave much as they were able.

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, (2 Corinthians 8: 1-3)

If they are in the midst of trial be able to give, why we are that probably in sufficient not to do the same thing. Besides we give an offertory and the tithe, there is no harm to give to people in need such as beggars or the poor.

Sixth: “….and be not faithless, but believing” (verse 27)

This saying is Jesus’ proving to Thomas who doubt and do not believe in His resurrection. Not only to Thomas but to the many people who doubting the fact that Jesus has risen. Here, we learn not to be skeptic like Thomas. Do not miss an important moment to believe. Even in the worst circumstances, when we do not understand God’s purpose, choose to continue to believe. Nothing is impossible for those who believe in Him.

Seventh:”…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Verse 29b)

This last saying is talk about something that becomes a foundation in Christian lives. Here we talk about Faith. Relating to Thomas case, Jesus does not rebuke him because he doesn’t believe. Jesus pleased eventually Thomas believes that He arose. It is good our faith grows because we see something miracle happens. But actually, it would be even better if our faith grows by believing something that not seen. My dear friends, in daily lives, how many times we behave like Thomas? We are so hard to believe in something that we do not see. We tend to find out the proof before we believe. One thing to be remembered is we are saved not by works but by faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

And as the righteousness we should living by faith and also not by what we see.

, Just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

In this part, let’s ponder together one thing, how healthy and strong our faith today? How far we are confident and believe in the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Conclusion

Through Jesus’ resurrection: We are saved, give us new peace, strength and hope, give us responsibility to proclaim the Gospel, build and maintain fellowship with others, caring to those people who need our hand, and eventually, Jesus’ resurrection teach us to always maintain our faith to trust in God’s will and plan for our life. Dear all beloved friends, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a greatest gift in the human history. Happy Easter! God bless you abundantly. Amen.

Karina & Kevin – Living by Faith
Photo credit: beencreekbaptist.org