Tag Archive | trust

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

He Unfold the Rose

HE UNFOLD THE ROSE -Karina's Thought- Paul Militaru

 

I am very happy in the midst of my busyness take care my baby boy and did the company tasks, this weekend I could back to gardening. With my husband I walked around the garden and enjoying each flower there. In the rose section, I found a beautiful red rosebud. I am so excited and amazed then I touched it softly and said to my husband, “I cannot wait to see this beautiful rose blooming. What happens if with my hand I open its petals so the rose will be unfolded?” “I don’t think so my dear princess. You cannot unfold the rosebud “My husband replied gently.”There is a time to the rose will unfold beautifully. If we force it the rose will be dead. My dear, Let God unfold this rosebud according His time. Not our time. When? We even do not know. So just be patient to wait, sweetheart”

My husband’s last words made me ponder something. Waiting and be patient. Two things that are often become serious problems in our life. These two things are closely related. When we must be waiting, it means we have to be patient. Whatever we wait, there must be an element of patience. For simple examples, when we were waiting for the queue to meet our doctor, we have to be patient. When we had to queue up buying cinema tickets, we also have to be patient. Or things that more important and serious in life such as a marriage couple waiting for their baby or we are waiting for the God’s help of our problems. It all needs patience. The problem is we often so hard to be patient in waiting. Moreover when we faced very big problems and hard time, it will be so difficult to waiting with full of patience.

At the one time, David once prayed like this, “Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me.” (Psalm 70:1) Was not we often prayed like this too? We said, “God, please don’t let me waiting too long, help me quickly, I could not stand it anymore. Please let me free now!” I really realized that there is no one who wants to endure too long facing with the problems. However, we often feel that God’s answer and help is too long, even sometimes too late. Because impatience, we tend to trapped to the alternatives that promising help quickly though its options are contrary with God’s will. Actually, God’s plan is never bad for us. His plans are always beautiful. But one thing that we have to know is, Beautiful in His time. Not in our time. As it is written:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

But once again, the limitations of our ability to know and understand what God designed for us, make us cannot understand why God’s time is often not in line with our time. We even pushed God to work according to our time. We did not realize and forget that our time is not the same as God’s time. Apostle Paul said about this,

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.(2 Peter 3:8)

Let’s pay attention to an emphasis on the beginning of the verse above. “But do not forget this one thing” Why there should be this sentences? Because even though we are Christians we often failed to understand this thing. Impatience oftentimes becomes a stumble block to our faith. Tendency to impose God’s time in accordance with count of our time make us disappointed, grouchy, think that God does not care, does not remember or negligent. Then Peter reminds us again:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Yes! Actually God never neglect. He never forgets to fulfill His promises. Yet we have to realize and really comprehend that God’s time is not the same as our time. I really know that it is not easy to be patient in the midst of hard pressure. But if God has been promise the best for us, we supposed to do not worry and fully trust that God will fulfill His promises. In the time of waiting we actually could experience the process of establishing ourselves in order to become a stronger person, more resilient, more mature and in the difficult time we can train ourselves to learn to rely on and fully trust to God.

My dear friends, what about us now? Whether we are waiting for something? Are we waiting for God’s healing our illness? Whether we are in a tussle of our unsolved problems and waiting for God’s help? Or we have been praying for many years to win the soul of our friend but there is no sign of the answer to our prayer? Whether we already have a great patience whatever we waiting for? Or otherwise, we are impatient waiting for God’s answer and help, and trying to look the alternative way that seemingly could help us quickly as I cannot wait to see my rose blooming and trying to unfold the rose with my own hand?  My beloved readers, this time allow me to encourage all of us to once again remember these:

God’s plan is always good and beautiful for us. As it said in Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

What will be happen in our lives is already in God’s plan list. We could make any plan but if it is not accordance to His plan, then our plan will would not work . And if so, it is not because our plan is not good but as we all know that,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord.

(Isaiah 55:8)

 God has another better plan for us and as I have mentioned before, God’s plan is always good and beautiful more than our plan.

Remain be patient. Sometimes the desires of our heart need time. They do not happen overnight. Please  do not treat God such as a vending machine when once we insert the coin, choose what we want, and then we can get what we want very soon. For how long we should be patient in waiting? 25 years like abraham was waiting for his child? More than 40 years like the Israelistes entering the promised land? More than 2 years like I was praying for my husband accept God as his personal savior?  Same with my husband answer, we even do not know for how long. The timing of God’s answer is a mystery. Only God knows when the time our prayer would be answered. We do not have the ability to unveil the secrets of the Divine like the secret of unfolding my rose flowers. God’s timetable is not our timetable but He promises that everything will be beautiful in His time.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

Keep trust to God. We have to trust that God will answer all of our requests, and we will not be waiting n vain. We have to trust that God is almighty who can do things seemingly impossible for us but all things are possible before God.

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

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverb 3:5-6)

 We have to trust in God for His leading and guidance in every of our step. As the rose flower, when the time comes, He will unfold the rose. And it will be holds true with our life, when the time comes  He will fulfill His promises , will  answer every of  our prayers, and finally our long waiting and patience will be not in vain. Amen.

He Unfold the Rose

 

It is only a tiny rosebud,

A flower of God’s design;

But I cannot unfold the petals

With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers

Is not known to such as I.

GOD opens this flower so sweetly,

When in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,

This flower of God’s design,

Then how can I think I have wisdom

To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading

each moment of every day.

I will look to him for His guidance

each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,

Only my Heavenly Father knows.

I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments,

Just as He unfolds the rose.

 

Karina – Living by faith

Photo by http://photopaulm.com

 

 

 

~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

Fear Not, For I AM with You

FEAR NOT FOR I AM WITH YOU - Karina's Thought

Once again, I begin this post with my childhood story. I really love swimming. Every day I always spent about 30 minutes to take swim before I go to the office. I was remembering when I was a kid for the first time my daddy taught me to swim. At that time I felt very scared when my daddy carrying me to the pool. “Daddy..! I am scared!” shouted me. But with his gentle smile he said patiently, “My dear little princess, please do not fear. I am with you and will hold you tight. I will not let you drowned. Just trust me, ok. Everything will be fine.” My daddy’s eye gaze and loving smile finally make me trust him. Though I am still afraid but I trust that my daddy will keep me safe.

 
My dear readers, this is about fear. In human life fear is not become a new thing. Fear always be there in every side of our life. Starting from the fear of darkness and other forms of phobias such as heights, enclosed spaces, fear as haunted by the past, even fear facing the future. In the one side, fear could give the positive impact to remind us to not be careless and cautious in making decisions or doing something. But in the other side, if the level of our fear too excessive, it can turn off our spirit and brings us to other losses. Not only makes us cannot grow and evolve, but it can also bring other problems such as health problems, unstable emotion and so on. Even worse, for us a Christians, fears also potentially make us no longer able to hear God’s voice or feel His presence. As we talk with someone, the more we move away from that person, the more difficult we hear his voice. It will be going like that if fear allowed undermining our feelings and minds. Satan will use our fear as a powerful weapon to destroy us. Fear will be widen the distance between us and God and ironically we begin to think that God leaves us alone and even more we dare to accuse God is not loves us.

 
Now, I would like to take you to look at the one bible story. We take a look when Jesus was in the boat with His disciples in the storm. The Bible wrote that after Jesus was in the boat He slept in the stern. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake and makes the disciples panic and fear. (Matthew 8:24) Then the disciples went to woke Him and said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25) What was Jesus’ reaction at that time? When Jesus woke up, he did not say, “Sorry I fall asleep” or “Sorry, I am careless” but please pay attention what Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) Then Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. What is the point of this story? The point is faith and trust! This event occurred after Jesus fed 5000 people. The disciples supposed do not need to be afraid because they already knew that Jesus be able to make a miracle. If Jesus can fed 5000 people by only 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He also can be able to overcome the storm. If only the disciples have a strong faith and fully trust to Jesus, they will not be shackled by fear.

 
The disciples’ attitude was also a picture of our attitudes in our lives. Our heart and mind more dominated and controlled by fear so our faith and trust to God getting waver. We forgot that we have God almighty who always be with us and can do anything to help us. At the time, the disciples should not have to be afraid because they are with Jesus the Lord that always preserves them. That’s why Jesus rebuked the disciples because they have so little faith and trust to Him. This is also a rebuke to all of us that we must have faith and trust which greater than our fear.

 
Let’s take a look to another story when the disciples saw Jesus walks on the water. They were frightened and thought Jesus was a ghost. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Then Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) Jesus said, “Come” (Matthew 14:29). What happens next? Peter was successfully walked on the water. But, when the wind hit him, he was feared and begins to sink. What makes Peter failed to walk on water? Once again, beside he doubts, Peter was afraid! But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30) And for the umpteenth time Jesus rebuked, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) Jesus’ rebuke is also addressed to us today. Fear can make us fail to achieve success. Even when the level of our fear is greater than our faith it can obstruct our progress and even our dreams. We could not move on and trapped in the grip of fear.

 
From the two stories above, there is a causal relationship between being afraid and trust. When we talk about trust, we talk about faith. The lack of trust and fait will cause fear in our life. Because of fear, there is no more joy, victory, and peace. My dear lovely friends, what about us now? How big the fear haunts our life? How deep we trust in God? Fear will never disappear from our lives. But if we believe and surrender our lives wholly into the God’s hand that created everything perfectly, why we should be afraid? If God is powerful than anything else promised to continue to accompany, encourage, help and hold us to achieve victory, why should we falter and allow ourselves to continue gripped by fear? I ask you to remember one of God’s promises,

 

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

If we ponder this verse wholeheartedly then we will realize a wonderful promise as an answer of what we face today. If I completely trust to my father who really loves me will keep me safe and not let me drown when taught me to swim, much less to Heavenly Father who created me. I strongly believe that our Heavenly Father really loves us and will keep us safe too in facing any problem and difficulties in life without fear. There is no father who would harm his beloved child. So it is with our Heavenly Father. When God said to us, “Come” We should to be confident and brave to walk and our eyes keep focus only to God. We should totally trust that He will always be with us, and even if during we walk our lives buffeted by the severe storm, He will not let us fall. As was written in Psalm,

 

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)

My lovely friends, I don’t know what kind of fear you face now, but allow me to encourage you, immediately tried to get out and rid out from the shadows of fear. How? Continuously grow and strengthen our faith and trust in God. Keep walk with God and submit all of our worries to Him, wholly trust in His mightiness. Maintain our intimacy with Him through prayer and ponder God’s word day by day. Always embed “Fear not, for I am with you” in the deepest of our heart and mind, make it as our guidance. Always Living in God’s love and feel His perfect love in every step of our life, for there is no fear in love. Amen.

 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1John 4:18)

Further reading:  http://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/in-my-prison-of-fear/

 

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: Backhuysen, Rudolf, commons. Wikimedia.org

A Cup of Tea for God

A CUP OF TEA FOR GOD - Karina's Thought

 

My father once said that one of the happiest things is when his little daughter ran to greet him when he came home after work. Still strongly remembered in my mind when I was 6, every day I ran excitedly with happily shouting, “Daddy…!” to my father. With cheerful face he opened his arms to hug me tightly, kissed me and I kissed him back. After that, with my Mom’s help, usually I made him a cup of hot tea and then I sat beside him. I also still remember, within his tiredness, my dad’s face radiated a tremendous happiness. At that time, I was excited because I could make him happy and wipe his tiredness after work all day long.
As a child, make our mom and dad pleased and happy is become our responsibility. Well, How about God our Father in Heaven? Whether we always make Him pleased and happy too? If I always make a cup of tea as a way to make him happy, what we can do so can make God pleased? We cannot run to greet God, and then God will hug and kiss us like my daddy did to me. We even cannot make a cup of tea for God. We are not physically near with God. So what we can do? Here, as an example, I chose one of the great Bible figures that said as a righteous man, blameless among the people and walked with God. He is Noah! Noah’s life is always pleasing God and we can learn from him how to make God pleased. At least there are five things that we could get from Noah so that we can please God.
Love God above of all
Noah always loves God more than anything even when there is nobody loves God. Love God means to have a very close relationship with Him.

 

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6:9)

Through this verse, we knew that Noah has a very close relationship with God. This is also what God wants from us. God longs we have very close relationship with Him, love Him wholeheartedly, and what He desired is our mercy. Hosea 6:6 said:

 

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

In this verse we know that our mercy can make God pleased. Give big offerings to the church or those people in need doesn’t mean we automatically have been pleases God. God also would be pleased if we have unstoppable yearning to be closer to Him and to know of his personal more deeply. Still strong, not easily waver because of the worldly temptations. In the New Testament, Jesus said:

 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

What about us now? How deep is our love to God? Do we have very close relationship with God? Whether we have been doing the Lord’s command as written in the verse above?
Fully trust to God
Noah fully trust what God told him when He warned about something that has not happened and unseen and when God commanded him to do unreasonable thing. Actually, there are three things that can make Noah did not believe what had God said to him. First, He never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. Second, Noah lived far from the sea. How could he bring the ark into the sea? Third, put together the whole animals are not an easy job. But what Noah does? He does not complain and prefer trust to God and have faith that he knows what the best is. God pleased that Noah totally trusts Him. In everyday lives, how deep we trust in God? Do we still trust in God when our lives so hard and there are so many difficult things should to overcome? Do we still firmly trust to God when we should to do unreasonable things? Like Noah, indeed God will be very pleased if in any circumstances we still faithfully trust Him. We should to remain trust that whatever God commanded is the best for us.
Fully obey to God
At the time, when God commanded Noah to make an ark, God does not say, “Noah, Make it a regular boat as whatever you want” But God gave the details of the ark that should to be made. (Genesis 6:14 -16) Then, what Noah did? Beside he fully trust to God, Noah is fully obey to God’s command. He did every single detail as prescribed by God precisely.

 

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22)

What about us? What if God commanded us to do something according His will? Do we will obey to doing everything what God wants? Or we would have many questions, raise an objection or we even unwilling to do it all? God will pleased if we remain obey to do all of His word. God will be very pleased if we live our lives with obedience. Have we?
Praising the Lord and be grateful
Praising the Lord is one form of way to pleasing God. God will be pleased if we have lifestyle that is always praise and worship Him in the midst of our happiness and even sadness, and we do it with wholeheartedly. The first act of Noah after survived from the floodwaters is expressing his thankfulness to God by offering burnt sacrifices.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:20)

We must know and understand, God is very pleased and love His children if we always Glorify, Praise and be grateful for what God has given to us. This means that God’s will be happy and pleased when we appreciate everything that God has done for us. Are we ready to have lifestyle that always praise and worship Him whatever our situation and condition? Can we always be grateful not only in our happiness but even in affliction?

Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.(Psalm 147:7)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Using our ability

When God gave the command to Noah to make an ark, Noah did it by using all his ability. And Noah believes that God will enable him to make an ark according to God’s command. After the flood, God gave Noah another command:

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” (Genesis 9:1-3)

This is the time of Noah to use his ability to continue life. Doing the things that has become God’s plan and provision for mankind. Have a children and offspring, found a family, farming and breeding. So it is with us now, God also wants us to use the abilities that God has given us to do the God’s will and to please Him. There is no reason for us to not be able to do God’s will, because we are not going to bring the glory of God and we are not going to be a blessing if we shame and do not use our ability for the God’s glory. God gives us different abilities beside used for our benefit, God also wants through our abilities always please Him.

My dear readers, I will end this post by asking you to ponder these five things: If we have longing to loves God more than anything and make Him as a top priority? Have we truly lean on and completely trust to God? How deep is our obedience to do all His commands? If we already have a lifestyle that is always be grateful and praise God in all circumstances? How we use our ability, if only for worldly pleasure or all we do is just for pleases and glory of God alone? Physically, we cannot make a cup of tea for God, could not run greet, hug and kiss Him. But spiritually we can come to God, living in His providence, feel His warm loving kindness and blessings. And we can make “A cup” of mercy for God filled with full of love, trust, obedience, praise and gratefulness. We make it with full of our ability to pleases God. Are we willing to? Amen.

Further reading: https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/what-does-it-mean-to-thine-own-self-be-true/

Thank you very much to Sister Anne for your further article.

Karina – Living by Faith
Image source: Google Images

He Will Make Us Able

He will Make Us Able -Karina's Thought

If we read the Bible we will find so many great Bible figure such as Moses, David, Abraham, Paul and many other great names who has been known very well. But beside those great names, there is a Bible figure that makes me interested and I have learned something from him. He is Shamgar. Shamgar is not as popular as David and other great name. Shamgar’s name just mentioned two times in the Bible. First in Judges 3:31 and the second are in Judges 5:6. What is the interesting thing from this figure? Let’s take a look at this verse:

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel. (Judges 3:31)

Shamgar be able to defeat six hundreds Philistines only by using an ox goad. This was unbelievable! I remembered one Hollywood action movie titled “Rambo” A hero who could strike down hundreds enemies alone. But what I saw in that movie is only fictional. Not a true story. Shamgar’s story is the real one. True story!

Actually, who is Shamgar? Unfortunately we could not dig up much about the background of the Shamgar. Shamgar is Anath’s son. He lived in the era after Ehud successfully defeated the Moabites and make Israel safely along 80 years. But after that Israel should face the Philistines and at that time, Shamgar appeared to resolve the situation, dispel, and killed six hundreds Philistines.The Question is, what does makes Shamgar be able to beat them all just by using an ox goad? When I ponder it, I found the answer. I do believe that it all happened just because God’s help! Shamgar believe that God will be with. He is ready to go beat his enemies and amazingly he won the battle against the Philistines. He has saved the Israelites from destruction.

 
My dear friends, whether we realize that in our lives we also striving and battling every day? Not against the human but against the Satan! Satan is never sleep and silent. He keeps trying to mislead and destroy us. We also never stop strive facing any kind of problems, difficulties, and challenges. Oftentimes we felt that our lives are so hard and we are thinking that we face something impossible to overcome. We are also felt that we don’t have power and ability to conquer all of the problems. But as Christians, there is something that we should always remember that before God the words of: Amazing, astonishing or miraculous are not something new anymore. There are so many stories in the Bible that show us God did many unbelievable things through His chosen people. He shows us that He can bowl over human logic with His miracle series. Jesus said:

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

There is nothing impossible before God. Though six hundreds problems and obstacles trying to hit us, we will defeat it all as long as we trust and totally rely on God’s power. Though we feel weak and don’t have ability, God will use and enable us to overcome all problems and we will win in the life’s battle. I was remembering when I was promoted to replace my father position in the company. Some people doubted my ability as a new leader. Even someone cynically said,” Karina is a young spoiled girl who just saw the sun yesterday. She by no means has experience in running a company. She doesn’t even know how cruel and hard the business world. She doesn’t know how to make money in business, but she does know every well how to spend the money”. At that time, I was just thinking that the promotion is not only a part of my parent’s plan but I even do believe that is a part of God’s plan for my life. If so, firmly I also do believe that God will enable me to replace my father position and be able to run their company as long I trust to God and not counting on my own strength. I was remembering Jeremiah’s story when God call him. These verses greatly strengthen me and convince me not to be afraid and discouraged:

“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:6-8)

If we dig deeper to the Holly Bible, many times God show us that there is nothing impossible and can be to do miraculous things through those people who chosen by God. Let’s see who is chosen to beat Goliath. A mighty warlord? No! God chose a young David (1Samuel 17:42). Another example, let’s take a look to the story of Gideon (Judges 7). How God commanded Gideon to summon up three hundreds troops only to face the Midianites and Amalekites which described like grasshoppers for multitude and their camel as the sand by the sea side for multitude. (Judges 7:12). There are so many miraculous story in the Bible that could underlie us to be able perform as a winner in overcome various problems and challenges even which seemingly impossible.

 
My lovely readers, we may not a super hero, we may just unknown ordinary person, maybe we are too young among the elderly, and they are look down and dubious to our ability. I would like to say something: Please don’t be discourage or feeling useless. Because God can use and turn us become an extraordinary person and be able doing miracle things. Shamgar is not a famous figure but God use him amazingly to do unbelievable thing. David just a young shepherd but he successfully beat goliath only by using stones and a slingshot. The point is, trust and totally rely on God’s strength. We have to trust that God knows and pleased to His children who love and trust in Him. Through us God will use various miracle things to declare His existence. God can use anyone to show His mightiness and sovereignty. Even God can use the weak and foolish people if He pleases.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

Besides from many other great Bible figure, this evening I encourage you to also learn from Shamgar’s story. We learn how God’s power works on ordinary people to be able to do miracle things. Through His chosen people God can turn impossible thing to be possible. God can turn illogical thing become logical. We learn to always put our faith on God’s strength rather than on ingenuity and human logic.

so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1Corinthians 2:5)

This time if we are struggling so hard to face so many trials and challenges, don’t worry and don’t feel discouraged. Once again Trust Him! Leaning and relying on God mightiness. Ask Him through prayer so that we are enabled and given the strength. He will make us able. Amen.

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: Google Images

Trust in the LORD… (Proverb 3:5)

Trust to the Lord proverb  3 5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverb 3:5-6)

I remembered when the first day I officially replace my dad’s position in the office. I took time to talk with my secretary privately.  In our conversation, she asked me a question: “Ma’am, do you really trust me that I am capable to assist you to complete every your office work?” This question is quite difficult to answer. I could not say “Yes, I really trust you” Because I don’t know everything about her very well, I just know she is my daddy’s secretary before.

But I am trying to answer her question wisely. “I trust to God that He will enable you to become a good secretary and could assist me to complete my office task. I trust to God that He will provide guidance and help us when we have problems.”

This is about trust. A short word but have a deeply meaning and oftentimes hard to be applied in our lives. In our Christian lives we will be faced with many problems and trials. We might be facing a bad financial problem, major medical trials, problem in marriage life, jobs, and many other problems that we cannot predict. When it all comes, to whom we should to trust? To whom we should to lean? Where we should to go?

The Bible verse above clearly said: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” This is the answer! Trust to the Lord.  To whom we should to lean? This Bible verse gives us the answer as well. “Lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him” Lean to the Lord! Where we should to go?  When trials come we need to go to the Father in prayer asking for His guidance and help through our trials. He will make our path straight (verse 6). We know that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

I Might be able to share the problems to my secretary but the most possibility answer that I can get is, “The best way is pray to God and put your trust in Him. Ask Him to lead and help you to overcome every problem” I am definitely sure everyone will give the same answer. Even when we consult to the pastor, I believe the pastor will direct us to God and advised us to persevere in prayer, standing on His word, and keep trust in God’s power. People around us could not solve our problem but God will use people around us to solve our problem according His will.

When I should to make an important decision, the important thing that I should to do is consult to God so I am not standing on my own comprehension, seeking God’s direction, and wait for God to straighten my path. But the problem is seeking God’s direction for our lives could be difficult thing to do. We have a tendency to want to make our will appear to be God’s will. This often happens when there is no clear direction from God and when God does not answer our prayer. So, what should we do?  Once again we should to hold on God’s word: “Trust in the Lord with all our heart” We should to trust in the Lord and wait patiently on Him. We have to step out in faith and trust that the Lord will direct our steps. God knows what the best for us.

There will be other times when we feel that we are following the God’s will but everything is not working out perfectly.  We often expect that things will fall perfectly in line when we are walking in the God’s will. While we may experience this from time to time it will not always be the case. Times like this may create doubt in our heart. We may doubt whether we understood what the Lord meant for us to do and this can create fear. Sometimes we will then decide we should not be where we are and that the Lord is directing us somewhere else. It is the fear response to run from situation that drives us to make a rash decision. Instead, we need to resist the urge to create our own roadmap and trust completely to God.

My dear lovely reader, where we place our trust now? To whom we should to lean? Where we should go to submit all of our problems?  Are we still standing in our own comprehension?  Let’s us ponder again the verse of Proverb above. That is the answer of these questions. Fully trust that God is able and willing to release us from any difficult situation and always remember what Jesus said in Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  There is nothing impossible before God. Amen.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

Karina

Photo credit: Sue Nash http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com