Tag Archive | miracles

There can be Miracles, When We Believe

 

THERE CAN BE MIRACLES WHEN WE BELIEVE - Karina'sThought

 

Hello my dear readers! My post this evening inspired by a song that I heard unintentionally when I was in CD music store this afternoon. The song was a movie soundtrack of Prince of Egypt titled “when you believe” There is a part of the song lyric that makes me thinking and ponders something. There is a lyric in the chorus says, “There can be miracles, when you believe”

I am thinking about our life, especially in our Christian life. Belief oftentimes becomes a serious problem. We are really hard to believe when we are talking about God’s miracles. Without we realize God’s miracle often fails to happen not just because God doesn’t care or doesn’t hear our cries, but in fact caused by our doubt or disbelief. There are so many wonderful and amazing God’s promises that are able to provide the salvation assurance and the life full of victorious in this world. But sadly, when the promises not become a reality, we begin to doubtful, we begin to asking is it true God will fulfill His promises? Eventually, because of our doubts, we will blame and accuse God that He has broken His promises. This is that become the base point of the problem. Our hearts and mind shrouded by the mist of doubt. We are standing on the grey zone between believe and doubt. Whereas, the Bible has been many times affirmed that we have to brushed off doubts from our hearts, Jesus repeatedly reminded and even admonishes us to believe. But unfortunately, we often unsuccessful rid of the doubts and even worse we let the doubt continue to dominate our hearts and minds. And this problem doesn’t only happen at this time but has happened thousand years ago.

For the example let’s have a look to the story of the death of Lazarus in John 11:1-44. Martha and Mary hoped Jesus would come when Lazarus was sick. They knew that Jesus could heal their brother. But their beliefs in God just stop there. Just to heal. Martha and Mary said: “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (Verse 21, 32) Then Jesus said: “Your brother will rise again.” (Verse 23) Initially they only believe that Jesus can only heal the sick, and Jesus will raise the dead at the last day. Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (Verse 24) Where is the disbelief of Martha and Mary? They extremely believe Lazarus will rise again at the last day, but rise physically after death four days?! Their logic cannot believe it! Therefore, they were reprimanded by Jesus because due the low of human belief to the God’s Power.

“And for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe… “(Verse 15)

Then Jesus said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Verse 25-26) And finally Martha said that she believed (Verse 27).  The story is end? No! It turns out Martha still has doubts. When Jesus came to the tomb and ordered her to open the stone, Martha said: “But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (Verse 39) Martha’s logic said this was an impossible thing because Lazarus was dead four days and had bad odor. Lazarus is impossible to alive again. But behold what Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (Verse 40) And there was an incredible miracle. Lazarus rose again from the dead.

My beloved friends, sometimes our burden befall so heavy and it makes us cannot keep focus on faith that accompanied with full of beliefs when we ask for help through our prayer. Martha’s attitude was representing our attitude where our beliefs limited on our own logic only. Our logic couldn’t make us believe that God can do miracles and can do anything beyond our logic. Or we are in a condition want to believe but hard to believe. I am reminded a story when Jesus healed a possessed boy in Mark 9:14-24. The boy’s father said: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV) The Father’s word also representing what often occurs in our lives today. “I want to believe, but please help to believe” in colloquially, this is that might always we say. So the problem is about belief in God and that’s why God’s miracle often fails to happen in our lives and we seem difficult to see God’s glory.

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief… (Matthew 17:20 KJV)

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58 KJV)

Jesus didn’t say that the miracles will happen only to the selected people that chosen by Him specifically, depending on our turn, or depend on our good fortune.  If we’re lucky we might accept God’s miracles. But briefly and so obvious God said because we are unbelief.  And in other passage Jesus once again reaffirmed:

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

(Mark 11:23 NIV)

Why we could be so hard to believe that there is no prayers that not answered by God and there is no one thing that cannot be done by Him? Well, I will answer these questions with an example based on my daily lives.  Since few months ago I had a new personal secretary. I’ve known her previously but not too close. Has become my custom, I got to know very well the person who became my personal secretary. I got to know her character, personality, mindset, abilities, and even what she likes and dislikes. Why do I need to do this? In order that I could completely believe to her that she could assist me to doing my work and I could believe that she can do anything I ask. That’s why I always preserve and maintain my personal relationship stay close with her. What I did to my secretary also applies to God. How can we entirely believe to God if we don’t really know Him? How we can say love God if we don’t really know Him and don’t even have very close relationship with Him? How far do we know God will be greatly determine how big our belief in Him.

To be able completely believe in God, we must first know Him very well!

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10 NIV)

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him… (Hosea 6:3 NIV)

How do we know God? The potent way is through the scripture that contains God’s word. Scripture is a God’s tool to introduce Him to us and the way He communicates with us. Through the scripture we will know His personality, character, everything He did for mankind, His teachings, and what He wants from us.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

 Scripture noted so many descriptions about God so we can know Him very well. For example, Psalm 23. David beautifully showed as to what he knew God. Or through very well-known bible verse:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6 NIV)

Or this one:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV)

Next, to know God’s personality can also be done through our personal experience walking together with Him. When David faced Goliath, he could be bravely and confident because he learn from his experience as a shepherd.  If God had previously accompanies and protects him in facing a wild animal, he also believed that God would remain along with him against Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:34-37 NIV) So it is with us. If right now we are given the opportunity to live, work, could serve God, and do many things; it all is only grace from God. If we still able to face and overcome so many big problems and challenges, it is a proof of God’s providence and inclusion in our live.

My beloved readers, what about us now? Whether this time we are waiting for a miracle or we are waiting for the answers of our prayers but after so long there is nothing happens and our prayer have not answered? Whether our spiritual condition likes Martha and Mary?  Maybe right now we are standing in the grey zone and oscillated between doubts and believe and we are in a spiritual warfare against the storm of doubts? Or we are in a condition like the possessed boy’s father? If so, allow me this evening to encourage all of us once again immediately examines ourselves. How far do we know him? How close our relationship with God? It is so easy we say “I believe” Maybe hundreds times we say it through song that we sang or when someone ask us. But whether it truly came out from the bottom of our heart and in line with our attitude? Let’s come to God and build a healthier relationship with God so we can know Him more closely and our belief in God will increasingly flourished. Pray and ask for help to God to strengthen our faith that fulfilled with unwavering belief, and we are no longer standing in the grey zone.  Miracles would not be happens if we don’t believe, yet there can be miracles when we believe. Amen

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

Karina –Living by faith

Image credit: 7-themes.com

 

 

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Ditches in The Desert

DITCHES IN THE DESERT -Karina's Thought

 

Today, my morning activity in the office begins with an interesting conversation with my secretary. I didn’t know why she suddenly asked about this thing, “Ma’am, do you really believe in what is written in Luke 1:37?” My mind directly drifted to that verse. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” A bit difficult to answer this question. I could answer, Yes! Of course I strongly believe that nothing is impossible for God” but it only will be a stumbling block if my attitude and deeds at a later time not in accordance with my word. Then I try to answer its question carefully. I said, “I always pray ask for strength and wisdom to keep learning to believe everything that God says. I always open my ears wide to listening every of His word then I put it in the deepest of my heart as something absolute should to believe.”

My secretary question made me ponder deeply. As Christians we all surely know that there is nothing impossible to God. But the problem is how far we truly believe it? Have we applied it in our daily lives? How far our obedience to obey doing what God commanded, even when we have to do something that seems doesn’t make sense? In our daily lives, we found a lot of people that easily discouraged when confronted by adversity, moreover if our logic says that it is impossible to be overcome. Even worse, if we don’t believe in what we do, although we know that it is in accordance with God’s guidance. In that circumstance, we often forget one of God’s characteristic that He has unlimited power. We become doubt because we feel it is impossible to find the way out of our difficulties. Actually, if we want to spend some time to learn and contemplate what God says in the Bible, we will find a lot of events and the real examples of how God did many miracles which by human logic is very impossible.

Right now I will take all of us to look at one of the bible passage to convince us that there is nothing impossible for God. Let’s have a look to the book of 2 Kings 3. When the Israelites joined together with the nation of Judah and Edom for war against The Moab, they went through the desert of Edom and they were facing a very difficult problem namely couldn’t get the water after walking for seven days. (2 Kings 3:9) Let’s imagine, for a week without water in the middle of very hot and barren desert. They will be thirsty, dehydration, and very weak. How could they fight? Slowly but sure their body’s condition will getting weak. Fortunately, King Jehoshaphat realizes that they need guidance from God.” But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” (2 Kings 3:11 NIV) It turns out, there is Elisha the son of Shaphat there. Then Elisha asked one harpist to play.  “But now bring me the harpist” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha (2 Kings 3:15 NIV) Elisha was filled with God’s Spirit through the praise and worship of the harpist. Then Elisha Said: “Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.” (2 Kings 3:16 NKJV)

Once again, I ask all of us to imagine one thing. Supposing at that time we were there with them, what is our reaction when we hear what Elisha said? We have been thirsty and weak because already a week without water and now God commanded to make ditches in the barren and waterless desert. For what we make ditches if no water at all? Do we will obediently to do what God commands? Maybe we will laugh and said, “God, Are you joking?” Yet, actually God was not joking and He never makes a joke. He said:

“You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.” (2 Kings 3: 17-18 NIV)

That was so true that there is no wind, rain, and maybe even not cloudy. Although it sounds very strange and illogical, if God had promised, God definitely will keep His promises. If we read this passage till the end we know that finally what God commanded to them was not in vain. God proves His words. Not only an abundant water but God even gave them a victory against the Moab.

Through this story we see that God proves that nothing is impossible for Him. God can do anything beyond our limited logic and thinking ability. Something unreasonable for us is reasonable for God. Made ditches in the desert is something difficult to accept by the common sense, but God in real made impossibility became something very possible, because:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)

If this story were not powerful enough to convince us that indeed nothing impossible for God, let’s look to another story. Let’s briefly have a look to the story of Gideon in Judge 6. When the Israelites were oppressed by the Amalekites and the Midianites, God sent His angel to meet Gideon and said that God chose Gideon to defeat the Amalekites and the Midianites. (Verse 11-12) What is the impossible thing that happened in this story? Let’s see a map of the power of the both parties. The Midianites and Amalekites have so many people. Was mentioned in the Judges 7:12: The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore. While in the Gideon’s side, God said to Gideon: “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” (Judges 7:7 NIV) logically, it was a highly impossible thing. How it is possible with only three hundred people could defeat the Midianites that have uncountable number. Through this story once again we see that something is impossible for us, it is not impossible for God. With God’s inclusion and guidance Gideon and his people finally can defeats the Midianites.

When we face so many hard problems, we often try to find the way out by using logic and the ability of our own mind. And by the time we were deadlocked then our logic will say that this in an impossible thing to be resolved.  We forget that there is God who is in control of all our lives. Through the Bible we can see more proofs that God overturns human logic. We can see the power of God is far above of our logic. A young David against Goliath, Shamgar, or if we could ask to Noah, I do believe that Noah will tell us a lot of how the Lord overcoming what is regarded impossible by human logic.  Jesus Himself reminds us:

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)

My beloved readers, whether right now we are in facing tribulations and we feel that all of it is impossible to be resolved?  Or we’re in doubt doing something that God commanded?  This evening, please allow me to encourage all of us to bring every of our severe problems and difficulties through prayer to God. Let Him help us to solve our problems by His own way. Please always remember and bear in our heart and mind that for with God nothing shall be impossible. Perhaps our logic and mind says impossible but neither to God. All that happened thousands of years ago will still be going on in our lives today. In my personal life, many times I had many hard problems and seem it is impossible to be resolved. But many times too God shows His marvelous way, far away beyond my logic and thought to solve my problems.  Everything that is not easy for us is an easy thing in the God’s eyes. If God commanded us to dig “ditches in the desert” we just need to obey to do what He commanded though it sounds impossible.

But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:23 NIV)

The Israelites chose to obey to what God said and finally they got double blessings. God gave the water that they need and a victory against the Moab. Gideon also always obedient to did what God commanded and he can defeats the Midianites with only three hundred people.

We need make a step of faith to get God’s promises. God’s promises and blessings will not come instantly. We have to do our part first, and God will do His part.  The step of faith that has made by the Israelites is build ditches. Gideon had step of faith by decreasing the number of his people from thirty-thousands to only three hundred people. We should not just remain silent waiting God’s blessings. We have to act to do something with firm faith, walk deeper into the closer relationship with God, and always involve Him in all things in our lives.

…”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 NIV)

 We also have to believe. Distrust and doubt is often become a stumbling block and an obstacle for us to receive God’s Miracles. Please remember that our God is more than capable to doing unpredictable miraculous things. God be able to doing unthinkable and unreachable thing. Although it sound so odd, The Israelites completely believe that through the ditches that they make, God’s power will work. Gideon was truly believed that God will always be with him. We have to believe God will be able to help us through His amazing way. Everything is impossible will be possible if we believe.

“…Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23 NIV)

My dear friends, if today we got the same question as my secretary question, what is our answer? Let’s confidently answer that question: “Yes! For with God nothing shall be impossible as long as want to completely obey, always walk in firm faith, and believe.” Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: chrislukic.com

Get up and Walk! (John 5:8)

Get up and Walk 2

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5:6-9)

There is always interesting and challenging question from my secretary. Few days ago she asked me: “Ma’am, do you believe in miracles? Then I replied: “Yes, of course! I strongly believe there is a miracle as long as we put our faith not on the wrong base” She looked a little bit puzzled. She asked again: “What do you mean not on the wrong base?”

My mind drifted away. I am reminded of a story in the Bible about a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda. He was paralyzed for 38 years. This story is an example of someone who expects a miracle happens to him but bases his faith only to the humans. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well, he replied: “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in someone else goes down ahead to me.”(John 5:7) He expecting a miracle but only relies on human aid. This is what I mean by put our faith at the wrong base.

This often happens in the Christians lives. We often expect miracles happen but we let out our faith just lying on the wrong thought. Moreover, we don’t know how to build the true faith and don’t know how it works. So we look God’s miracle seems as a thing that so hard to reach. In fact, God’s miracle only base on one word “Only in You” When we need help people can fulfill it but when we need miracles, only God alone that can do it. This paralyzed man hoping a miracle happens to him but year after year he only focused on people who passing in the front of him.

How often we spend our time to knock our fellow’s door? How often we spend our time to knock God’s door heart and express our powerlessness? This is the key to present miracles in our life. Miracles will not come from our friends, neighbors, or others but only from God alone.

Having very hard problems such as lose jobs, financial issue, family or whatever it problems often cast us to the “valley” of despair. The question is how long we will let our Christianity life is in the despair condition? This verse will be a key! “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for long time (verse 6), He said: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!”(Verse 8)

My dear lovely readers, whether we are waiting and expecting miracles happen in our lives but we feel as if the miracle was so hard to reach? Let us ponder and ask again if we have put our faith in the right base? To whom we lean and hoping? Whether only to humans as was done by paralyzed man or to God which had been proven to be able to bring miracles into our lives? Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. (John 6:14)

It’s time we get up and throw away all of our despair, stepped into His presence. The more we expecting miracles happen, we must more earnest and diligent in prayer. Through prayer we build our faith and put in on God’s power. Ask to God to enables us so that always trust in His power in every situation. Only in God we can accept miracles. Amen

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: bibleencyclopedia.com

 

Time to Stop Hindering God

 

Do you hinder God’s work for you, in you, through you? I was confronted with this question when I read this Bible story yesterday:

Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). In these lay a great number of sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—waiting for the bubbling up of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted. There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the Sabbath. (John 5:2-9, AMP)

It’s a great story of Jesus healing a man. But did you catch how the man responded to Jesus when asked if he wants to get well? He gave Jesus excuses (why he had not been able to get into the supposedly healing waters). But Jesus had not asked why he was crippled. Jesus asked if he wanted to get well. Our rationalization of our situation can be a major obstacle for God’s work in our lives. Our excuses can hinder God’s work for us, in us, and through us. Lord, have mercy!

I don’t know about you but this text hit me very hard. God has called me to spread out Flowing Faith ministries. But I’ve told him that I don’t have any resources to do so. I’ve told him that I don’t have people to help me. I’ve given Jesus excuses just like the invalid in this Bible story. But it is not about us! It is about God! And God-sized dreams are supposed to be impossible for us.

No more excuses. No more rationalization. It’s time to stop hindering God’s work. Time to step out in faith. Time to let God make impossible possible. Hence I am going to step out boldly and ask people to partner with me in spreading the Word of God. [If you are interested in joining me and volunteering for Flowing Faith ministries, sign up for the Flowing Faith Newsletter (see the right side column). I will soon send a special newsletter out. Pray about it and see if God is calling you to share your gifts this way.]

Jesus is asking us today: Do you want to follow me? Are you really in earnest about doing my will? Do you really want to be my disciple? And Jesus does not want our excuses. Jesus does not want to hear how little resources we have.

Jesus wants to know if we are in. Jesus wants to know if he can do miracles for us, in us, and through us. Jesus wants to know if we are earnest about trusting him in everything. How do we respond?

 

Gracious God,
Thank you that you are calling us to do your will.
Give us courage to leave excuses behind us
and boldly say yest to you.
Thank you for giving us God-size dreams,
we look to you to fulfill them.
Show each of us a place to serve you.
Don’t let anything hinder your work for, in & through us.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Marianna Frangen Stalnacke

http://www.flowingfaith.com