Tagged: suffering

Are you having a pity party?

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So… I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately.

During my primary school years – around age 9 or 10, one of the most anticipated events at the end of the school day was the ice cream man. As my mind shifted from the joy of not being the last one to be let out of the classroom (everything was a competition when I was younger lol), I could hear the chugging ice cream van parked on the other side of the leafy school fence. Most of the time I would have already spent my pocket money for that day on sweets, which I bought whilst making my way to school in the morning – golf ball chewing gums, jaw breaker fire balls, strawberry pencils – the list was endless. On those days I had no choice but to reluctantly walk past the ice cream van, envying the reception kids, who were not old enough to appreciate the flake vanilla ice cream they were allowing to melt all over the sleeves of their school uniform.

Other days I resisted the morning sweet binge in order to buy my double cone, three scoop ice cream with nuts, sprinkles and strawberry sauce on top. I had a very sweet tooth growing up. But on most days, I had done the former and therefore missed out on ice cream after school, so I felt sorry for myself. It’s not fair, if only I was like the kids whose parents picked them up from school, surely I would also enjoy this privilege. The truth is I needed to practice self discipline, sometimes it’s better we don’t get everything we want, when we want – everyday could not be “ice cream man day” because that would be bad for my health and I would also probably take it for granted – it took me a while to learn this.

Some 16 years later, as I analyse my current place in life, I still find myself grumbling “it’s not fair”. Perhaps there are aspects of your life that cause you to do the same. Why isn’t my reality like so and so’s? Why can’t everything be perfect all the time? It got to the point where I started to question God: why did You allow things to be this way? I was throwing the biggest pity party. Then I started thinking about Job and how unfair his whole experience was. Here was a guy who was so “faithful” to God, even offering sacrifices for the potential sins of his children and yet God still allowed the devil to take everything away from him! Surely he didn’t deserve that,

why would our loving, good God do such a thing?

The Holy Spirit led me to the book of Job and directed me to read the last 5 chapters and they completely shut down my pity party. If you are feeling discontent or frustrated with where you are in life or a particular ongoing situation like Job, I would encourage you to read just these five chapters – Job 38 to 42.

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The truth is our understanding of “morality”, “justice”, “good” is so warped by our sinful nature that we can never ever rightly question God. Yes you can take your questions to God like I did, but accusing God’s nature and character because you’re uncomfortable with where you are in life right now, only shows how wavering and fickle our faith in Him really is.

My mind went to sessions of praise and worship were I had heartily bellowed the song lyrics of the band Housefires’  “good good Father”. I thought to myself, am I not the same person that passionately sang these words to this same God? Why was I struggling to grasp His goodness now? The truth is God is constantly molding and shaping our faith, so that it is steady, firm and sure.

Romans 5:3-4
And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].

Our faith in God should not be based solely on how comfortable He has made us, or the fact that we prayed and got what we prayed for, or the latest “good thing” that has happened in our lives. God is calling us to a faith that is based on our reverence and understanding of who He is first and foremost.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It isn’t logical, it isn’t transactional, it’s supernatural – it requires the inner work of the Holy Spirit to sustain this kind of faith, but it is possible to believe God simply because He is God – even when you’re in the storm. You’ve heard of child like faith – it’s very simple – young children believe even before they’ve seen the evidence. So things might be really challenging and discouraging for you at the moment, be encouraged things will get better. My prayer is that the Lord will enable us to wait upon Him, our hope will not be disappointed!

I Peter 5:10
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

May God enable us to be steadfast in our faith and confidence in Him, so that even in the valleys, the fiery furnace, the oppositions our hope will be firmly planted in Him until He comes to our aid in Jesus name amen.

Peace & Love ❤

While I Wait

[Image: Martin Cathrae]

[Image: Martin Cathrae]

 

One thing I think a lot of Christians struggle with is waiting…

 

For some people working in faith, serving in faith, sowing in faith, even being persecuted and still having faith, is not as much of a challenge for them as waiting in faith.

We become uncomfortable, we pray and we don’t hear anything, we fast, we seek counsel, and that feeling of waiting grates on us. We read over the scriptures that are supposed to encourage us, but we use them to fuel our anxiety. If God said I should ask, and I have asked, and He promised I will receive – why am I not receiving?

But a persevering faith is precious and it will only reap reward from Heaven.

When I feel like doubting God, trying to find a compromise to what I am waiting on God for, I hear the Holy Spirit cheering me on, encouraging me. Telling me to keep on waiting, not to relent in waiting, to be hopeful in the character of the Almighty God and confident in His love for me. Don’t stop looking unto God for this, He will do it.

If we are able to persevere in trusting God, even when everything and everyone else is counting the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years. We show God that our faith in Him goes beyond us getting things from Him. Instead we put our faith in God because we believe He is the only Way worth pursuing, the only Truth worth knowing, and the only Life worth living.

 Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

God’s grace is sufficient for us.

Have a wonderful day.

Peace & Love

The Armour of God

seashorePicture this image.

A raucous scene, a battlefield, contention on every side. Bodies throw against one another. Who but who will surrender? Who will stand?

And there in the midst of it all, one stands, a solace surrounding him. In the chaos, the quiet abides with him. Soon they notice, the tranquil site on the battlefield.

He holds a sword, but this will not stop them from tempting him.

I have often imagine myself, in a complete suit of armour, walking slowly along the seashore, the sea air clean and clear, in the shadow of my Father. His peace quietens me, but still I hold in my hand the sword ready to fight.

Simply holding a sword on a battlefield will not fend off opposition, it certainly won’t win the war. And like this man, sword in hand, we cannot simply have the Gospel and persevere. At all times we must use the Gospel, put it to use as shield, armour and weapon.

It is the good fight of faith.

 

1 corinthians 15:1 – 3

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Even in trials and tribulations, may God continue to renew in our hearts, the Good News of the Gospel and a revelation of Himself, that we may continue to stand and persevere in Jesus name amen.

Peace & Love

The REAL Easter message

I could say a lot about how Christ has redeemed me, how His majesty is the only thing great enough to overshadow a past like mine. But sometimes I ask the question, what did Christ actually give up for us? Why did He do it? This is the scripture the Lord gave me.
The REAL Easter message.

Isaiah 53:1 – 12

8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. (NLT)

How do we say thank you?
We live a full life in honour of His life, shortened for our sake. We know that our righteousness is incorruptible, that it cannot be tarnished or defiled by anything in this world, because our righteousness was purchased at the price of His life, our righteousness is of the LORD forever.

Peace and Love and HAPPY EASTER
#full living

Teach me how to love

So for those of you who have yet to see my latest video  

I basically talk about my decision to study relationships in accordance to the will of God and to use Joshua Harris’ books: I Kissed Dating Goodbye (new edition 2003), Boy Meets Girl – say hello to courtship (2005), Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) (2003)… to edify me on this journey.

Chapter 1 – So This Is Love? :

After reading the first chapter, I was slightly overwhelmed, partially with self pity and partially with guilt. It’s hard to accept that every relationship you’ve had with the opposite sex in relation to romance and otherwise has been one selfish act after the other, hurting you and the recipient. It occurred to me that I really did not understand what it meant to love, especially the opposite sex. I felt sorry for myself, because I felt this may have stemmed from the effects of an absent father figure. Then I felt guilty, for trying to put the blame on my circumstances, and almost making the same tragic mistake again. I don’t think its advisable for any woman or man to involve themselves in a romantic relationship before they learn what it means to love someone, with the love of God as the affection we aspire to connote. That doesn’t mean idolising, but perhaps sacrificing, what makes you feel good for what is best for them, or as Joshua Harris explains in I Kissed Dating Goodbye:

‘Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what’s in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there’s nothing in it for us. To want that person’s purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her’ (2003, p.19)

I had quite an emotional response to this chapter because it hurt to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure how to love someone, as God loves me. All I knew is I hadn’t been applying God’s love to past relationships, romantic and otherwise, spent in tears, loneliness and desperation. So what decision did I take once I experienced this revelation? I prayed to God for forgiveness, for my lack of understanding and selfishness, I surrendered my heart to him and I asked him for guidance and support. I then spoke with my Pastor (which took some courage and humility) and asked for a mentor, to oversee my journey to learn how to be a single Christian, exercising the love of God in all my relationships.

Now I’m excited, because I know the best is yet to come, as I grow closer to God, I get further away from my past and life becomes just that little bit lighter. Of course I want to get married, I can’t stress, just how much I want to get married, but it isn’t the peak of life. To me marriage sounds like a ministry, a means of serving and glorifying God, it requires planning, preparation and God’s support. I look forward to experiencing it by the grace of God, but I know there’s a lot of planning and preparation necessary, if  God is to add a relationship and marriage to my testimony.

I pray that those who need to make a similar decision will join me on this journey, to discover how to walk in the love of God, I pray God will forgive us for our selfishness and lack of patience by his mercy, that he will descend upon us the enabling spirit to love as he loves us, to be patient, disciplined and diligent to his will for us in Jesus mighty name, amen. And I pray that he will provide us guidance and mentorship in Jesus name amen.

What 2 Watch: Can I lose my salvation?

Chase God tv, is one YouTube channel which God has used to edify me, immensely, when I wanted to serve God and I didn’t know where to go for guidance, (partly because I didn’t go to church at that point – if I remember correctly) I did a little browsing on YouTube and the blessings have not ceased.

A scripture to definitely take away from this video Romans 8:34 – 39

34 Who can say God’s people are guilty? No one, because Christ Jesus died, but he was also raised from the dead, and now he is on God’s right side, appealing to God for us. 35 Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can troubles or problems or sufferings or hunger or nakedness or danger or violent death? 36 As it is written in the Scriptures:

“For you we are in danger of death all the time.

People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.” Psalm 44:22

37 But in all these things we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us. 38 Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, 39 nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

And please remember that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation, sin has lost its sting, so if you fall, seek God’s forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, don’t live in guilt, but live victorious, because of Christ’s sacrifice and God’s love for you.

God bless you, Amen in Jesus name.

What 2 Watch – A Walk To Remember

A Walk To Remember

Post Scriptures: Colossians 2:7, Colossians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 2:14, Psalm 34:15 – 22

A Walk To Remember

I grew up with this film, and as a young Christian, I  liked it because it made Christianity seem more virtuous than being of the world. It made it  cool to be a Christian, because you’d get to date the cool guy at school at the end of the day. I thank God that my wisdom has since developed and when I revisited this film a few weeks ago, I found myself appreciating it for very different reasons. Life may not be as as easy as the movies, but this film tries just that little bit, to confront its audience with harsher realities of life. A line I really like, and identify with in this film is: “I do not need a reason to be angry with God”. Her faith was that strong, that she would have abstained from human companionship, for God’s love. I pray that, even in our struggles, challenges, the trials and tribulations – we will not be discouraged and we will not be angry with God and turn away from him amen in Jesus name.

It has been brought to my attention very recently, the story of Job in the bible, which I have yet to read, however, the scriptures I have come across, refer to his suffering, how God allows the devil to take everything away from Job but his life, even bring physical afflictions on him. He suffers a great many sufferings, but  the story of Job teaches us that we should love God, no  matter what, even in our suffering. That doesn’t mean we should continue to suffer, but we should know that the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient in ending every single form of hardship, breaking every yoke, lifting every burden, destroying all evil and wickedness, loosing every stronghold. I only pray that our faith is established further, so we are able to use that which Christ was sacrificed for and be saved by his blood, amen in Jesus name.

Psalm 34:15 – 22

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

amen in Jesus name.