As believers, we are often knocked down but we are never knocked out.
What keeps us standing even in the worse of the storms is the testimony of our God. The secret to our resilient faith is not in our strength, but the strips of our Saviour. Together with the people of Israel, we can confess the faithfulness of our God. All the time that the ‘enemy’ came, God broke the yoke of the oppression. Our God is good, he has given us freedom already. That’s why we don’t despair although we get disappointed and discouraged. That’s why we don’t let go because nothing can snatch us out from his hand. On the cross, Jesus endured abandonment and despair so that we would gain approval and delight from the Father. His back was brutally broken so that we can stand tall in the presence of the Almighty God. He was oppressed and tortured so that we can live in victory and triumph. Thank you, Lord, for loving me so much. Help me understand this truth so that I would love and show grace to my ‘oppressors.’
The family is the core cell of society. If the family is strong the society will be strong. Many elements that make a healthy family are moved and reshaped by culture and law nowadays, still, the importance of family remains.
The world needs trustworthy fathers and mothers who work together for the well-being of the next generation. Church, the community of people who share the same faith and principles together is a big and diverse family but rarely act like one. We call each other brother and sister and father and mother in faith, but we don’t share lives and love with one another as Jesus taught. How?
We see each other rarely, we share our lives scarcely and we love partly.
Our responsibility, my responsibility is not only to battle for the ‘ideal’ family but to build the family of God. To become the mother, the sister, the child that helps the big family of God to flourish in love and grace. Help me Lord.
Children are not a liability not a burden but a blessing from the Lord. In our modern society, we seldom see children as heavenly gifts. We tend to be more planned to have them and more in control when it comes to their upbringing. We fall into two extremes when it comes to parenting, we either over-manage and get an unhealthy attachment with our children, or ignore them all together to the excuse of independence and ‘self-sufficient.’
God on the other side tells us that unless our children have Him, they and we have nothing.
To build a house with bricks and mortar might be possible for man, but to build a harmonious home where all members of the family dwell in joy and strength is a gift from the Lord.
Children are a gift from the Lord, we, the parents have them for a certain amount of time to appreciate, care, love and prepare them for the future. We can not do that right without the help of the Lord.
Dear Lord help me to see my children as your gifts to me and rely on you for their upbringing.
“People are fast to claim their accomplishments, but for their failures they blame the past, or God” said a good friend of mine the other day as we were sipping hot coffee together.
It’s natural to pat ourselves on the back when we succeed thinking that our gifts and talents came as the result of our own effort, but if we fail we tend to turn to blaming and releasing ourselves from any guilt.
Any building work that leaves God out is heading for crumbling results.
The Latin saying ‘Nisi Dominus Frusta’ Without the Lord, Frustration, rings truth not only to the building of cities and countries but houses and lives. Without God, frustration with accompanying any work. Without God, our houses are as strong as paper shacks. This does not exclude us from doing the work, for there is labour for us to contribute, but with God, at its foundation, the work is blessed with great results that offer the worker sweet sleep and satisfaction.
Jesus prayed for us, His disciples, that we may have joy and that joy might be complete ( see John 15:10-12). Why? Because the good news, the gospel is nothing else but laughter and joy ( Spurgeon ). When we realise that, when we encounter God for who He truly is, that truth will be so good, so great and too glorious to think true. There will be happiness and amazement so large and obvious that all who see will glory God in heaven. I am not talking here about worked-up, hyped-up enthusiasm, but the pure joy that bursts of from a heart set free from the slavery of sin. Sure, there is tears also, for the seed has to be watered before the harvest, but the joy is real, the joy is endless. Dear Lord, I experience so little of that joy you prayed for me, can you help me to behold and live-out the joy of salvation. Amen.
Distrust is something that all people suffer from, us believers too.
Sure, many of us confess to trusting in God, but if you look at our lives they tell another story. The problem is not that we don’t trust at all, but rather that our trust rests with everything else than God. That is my problem. The stress in my life, all sleepless nights and all the trembling confidence happen because I am not aware, really aware of God all around me. I am not mindful of His presence with me always. I have a vague understanding of that powerful truth. So, I am unstable, easily defeated, quick to offence and ready to give up. But, those who trust in God, really trust, are secure, steady and strong ( see verse 1-2). Like a mountain, they last forever.
We talk often in our family about life before and after we met Jesus. It never ceases to amaze us that, even when we were not on His side so to speak, he was on our side. Look back and see Him. It’s startling to glimpse into the past and see how things just happened. The redemption fingerprint of Jesus Christ has been with us always. This idea that He has been with us and delivered us and helped us and sustained us should encourage us today when we face adversity. As we look into the future, perhaps with worry and concerns, let us affirm God’s faithfulness over our past, the way His dedication never let us go to ruins. It’s good to be stirred into thanksgiving with one another and share how God has carried us through life. Let praise and not problems govern our hearts. Our faith thrives in defiance declaration.
Attentive waiting is not my speciality. Still, alike all, I too wait.
For to wait is to live.
I wait each day for my children to be ready for school, for my husband to reply to my texts, and for the sale assistant at our local supermarket to scan the item in my shopping cart. Today especially she looks like is scanning in a slow-motion rhythm. So I wait, but I do all the waiting with my feet thumping the floor like war drums.
Impatient, I hear is the fruit of pride. That stung my pride.
Perhaps, maybe, the reason why we struggle to take and enjoy anything in life is that we are impatient. We cant enjoy the daily brand from our God because we are restless.
We don’t wait on Him with dependence and readiness. For, to wait is to mark every expression of our Saviour’s will. I don’t do that, and that is sorrowful.
My posture is often ‘hurry’ than humble, stress than stillness. How often we have to conclude that ‘we can do nothing if we turn away from his gaze?’ All we want and need are in the hands of our master, are we looking that way? Are we waiting upon Him? How am I waiting? Am I holding my breath for Him to speak?
When I become a Christian I did not want to go to church. I thought being with other believers was unnecessary, I was saved now, I am ok I reasoned. I was wrong. What I discover when I finally ‘went to the house of the Lord’ was something truly wonderful. You see, when we go together with other believers in the church we help each other believe. When we meet and sing songs with one voice we speak the Word of truth to each other again and again. This back and forth between us it’s not only a talk to each other but we pray in agreement to God, which is powerful.
We share the good news, then we become the good news, together.
For us, it’s very difficult to experience God as a Father if we don’t see and have a relationship with our brothers and sisters. We rely on each other to comprehend and mature in Christ. The breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine reminds us that we share one God, one faith, one baptism, and the Holy Spirit as a Bride. So, we get together we represent Christ to one another. We encourage, we comfort, we reprimand, we love, we give mercy, we say ‘Peace be with you’ in one voice with our saviour.
When I was young there was no cars or transportation to reach places within a 10-15 km radius. My grandmother and I use to walk to see my aunties and other relatives. During the winter months, although cold, the walking seemed to keep us warm by hurrying. The summer heat for me was the hardest. I tended to get headaches by the heat during those trips and my legs dragged like lifeless wood. The only relief was the trees along the way which provided shade where we could rest from the torching heat.
God is our shade, he refreshes us and keeps us from burning out.
He is our keeper. We lift our eyes daily and see mountains of problems beyond our control, still, our hope is in the God who made the mountains and promises to guard our comings and goings. God is our covering in calamity. He is our journey companion, the one that sojourns with us.