Thursday, 25 April 2019

How do we trust God despite hopeless circumstances?

We all go through stuff that we don’t understand and we often wonder why God allowed them in the first place. Does our faith in God, waver based on happenings and circumstances? I believe that our very humanness will at times influence our faith negatively, especially when we try to walk by sight, and to live by feelings.
What is Faith/Trust in God?
Faith is deeper than trusting God for good things in life. Faith on one hand, is trusting the goodness of God, that He is a good Father who provides good gifts for (or satisfies the needs of) His children in His perfect time. On the other hand, it is also trusting the heart of God, that even if He allows us to go through a painful or a humbling experience, it is only to help us grow more in love and humility, to shape us into His Holy image, to allow His character to shine through us, and to enable us to empathize with others going through similar situations so we can comfort them and share the Source of our hope. So the core of faith is to know who God really is and to have an unwavering trust that whatever our lot in life, His grace will carry us through. Somebody said, “If you can’t trust God’s ways, trust His heart!”.
What do we do when the problems get the better of us?
I’d be lying if I say I never get discouraged when bad things happen or when good things do not happen. But I’ve found that the best thing to do when in pain or in hopelessness, is to cast it all upon Jesus - to be honest with Him about my feelings and to surrender all those brokenness right under His feet - day after day after day. I’ve learnt that at the place of surrender, His grace renews our burdened soul, and this continuous dependency on God helps us develop a deeper intimacy with Him like never before.
What if we are too broken to trust God, or when the problem starts feeling like a bottomless pit, with no escape route whatsoever? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Prayer is the most wonderful privilege we have from God. A sincere, heartfelt cry - “Help thou mine unbelief!” - is all that God expects of us when doubts creep into our hearts, making it difficult to trust in God’s goodness towards us.
Can’t help but share this beautiful hymn that sums is all up..
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Soulish vs Spiritual Christian

Soulish vs Spiritual Christian

- Soulish Christians are controlled by their soul - the emotions and thoughts and their intellect.

- Spiritual Christians are led by the Holy Spirit

- Soulish Christians react based on how they feel

- Spiritual Christians respond based on the promptings of the Holy Spirit

- Soulish Christians desperately want to reason things out, and are busy seeking proofs and justifications

- Spiritual Christians walk in faith, and not by sight

- Soulish Christians are propelled to live the Christian life by their natural human zeal

- Spiritual Christians are propelled to live the Christian life, by experiencing the love of God, and responding to that grace in love and humble submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

- Soulish Christians are moved by the intellect and magnificent power and creativity of God

- Spiritual Christians are moved by the heart of God!

- Soulish Christians read the Bible to know about God, and to see what He can do

- Spiritual Christians read the Bible to know God, and to see who God is - His character and His heart

- Soulish Christians can get worn out very quickly in their walk with God, as they tend to use their own strength

- Spiritual Christians renew their strength day by day, by waiting patiently on God, and they are sustained and carried by the grace of God

- Soulish Christians talk a lot about God

- Spiritual Christians talk a lot with God

- Soulish Christians focus on spiritual activities

- Spiritual Christians focus on spiritual living - Walking in the Spirit

Is it bad to be a soulish Christian?

            It is a great thing to know about God, to talk about God, to marvel at His great knowledge and intellectual design that we see around us and to research His great power and the wonders of His miracles. But, we should not forget that there's more to God than what the brain can comprehend! It is His character and Heart that's all the more beautiful and precious, and it is in our deepest heart - in our spirit through the enlightenment from the Holy spirit - that we can begin to comprehend it. Being a soulish Christian could mean that we're missing out on the core of who God really is.

How can a soulish Christian grow to become a spiritual Christian?

           A soulish Christian needs to let go of his intellectual reasoning in order to go deeper and to experience God in a whole new level. He needs to shed his pride, become poor in spirit, resting on God's grace alone, and be completely vulnerable and transparent with God, to know and walk with Him, in deeper levels of intimacy.

May we all receive the grace to live this life for God, by being led by the Holy Spirit, for He alone can enable us in living out God’s will in God’s way. Amen.

Summary: We are called to love God with all our heart, and all our mind, and with all our strength! (In that order)

Monday, 22 January 2018

Surrender to God's will

Teach me to listen to what You say,
As I submit my life and my will;
Let Your Spirit guide me today
I'll know You're my God, as I stay still

Transform me by renewing my mind
Cleanse and purify my heart,
In Your Holy Spirit I find
the real joy that never parts

Take me and mould me,
For am a broken vessel in the Potter's hand
Protect me and shield me,
As you keep me in the palm of Your hand

Give me the grace to lean on You
As I walk in the path You have for me
Give me the strength to continue
To walk in Your grace and be free

You answer, When I call
You love me, Even if I fall
You raise me up, when am humble
You lift me, when I stumble

My mind grows restless
When I cant feel Your presence
Your grace is priceless
that brings me home again

Help me to draw near
to You alone, O Father God
Take away all my fear
And discipline me with your loving rod

Remember your real home - Heavenly mindedness

John 14:1-3
14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

II Corinthians 17,18
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

There are times, when we get so bogged down with the cares of this world, that it's easy to forget where we're going. At times of worship, we get a glimpse of how Heaven would be like, when our soul is flooded with joy beyond comprehension as we experience the divine Love that surpasses our understanding. It's so exciting to recall the wonderful fact, that we're here on this earth, as mere ambassadors, our homeland is elsewhere. Jesus, at this very moment is preparing a place for us – And what a privilege is that!? It's a mind-boggling thought, that although we fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God), He chose us through His grace (Ephesians 1:4  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love), and has glorious plans to reward us for the life we live here, leaning on His grace and mercy.

When our time comes to leave home, or when the Lord raptures the Church, whichever is early - we're in for the real party, a real celebration, the time when God Himself will wipe our tears, for there will be no more sorrow, and no more pain (Revelation 21:4 - And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away). What an exciting thought is that! This thought becomes all the more glorious for those who've endured pain, and those who've longed for greater things that the world could never offer.

There’s no better words than the Psalmist’s to express the reason we love to go home: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You." – Psalm 73:25

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all.”
― Thomas Brooks

See you in heaven! 

There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Root cause of all good things!

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

I got acquainted with the words "root cause" so much in my work (thanks to my on-call cycles!), that the connotation it brings with it always has me thinking that something went wrong somewhere. When a Severity 2 ticket dings, especially after I push in a one-liner code change that I thought was too trivial and innocuous to be "tested", I invariably get into panic mode. I hope and even pray, that my little code fix does not turn out to be the culprit, or the "root cause" for the high impact issue. If every negatively impacting issue has a "root cause", what about all those other times when those issues don't occur or when something good happens? Those "good" times should also then have their own good reasons - or root causes. Those potential issues that could've happened, didn't happen because someone took enough care to avoid the pitfalls (In software development terms, I'd equate it with 'some disciplined developer diligently tested his/her code before shipping it!' :)). And those good things that happen, didn't just appear out of thin air, but came into existence because someone made a deliberate attempt through their efforts, to create something of value to those around them.

This led me to thinking about those times, when we tend to feel that there’s nothing exciting happening in life, when in fact there's Someone guarding us from all negative stuff that we're vulnerable to, and that Someone is orchestrating a million other things that we can't see or understand, to cause things to happen for our good as Romans 8:28 says. The Greatest Designer and Programmer of all times - who's never required a QA cycle for even the complex DNA code that He came up with - well, He is the root cause of all good things that are happening and will continue to happen. Take any good thing that's happened - Keep asking the 'Why's' and you'll finally arrive at the Source of all things (John 1:3 - All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made). And all good things we've done in the past or the ones that we're capable of doing in the future – are possible through Him alone.

2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Philippians 2:13 - for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

And what a privilege to know this great God - the Grand Designer and the real root cause of every good thing that's ever been - as our Best Friend and as our Guide!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The unseen war - Won through Praise!

“Why does God allow me to go through this pain?”, “Why does God seem to be silent when I need Him the most?”, “Why me, Lord?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”, “I can’t see how You can work out this horrible evil for my good!”. We wrestle with such thoughts and questions, that shake the core of our Faith when we go through difficult times that don’t make sense. We know deep down, that God our Father, is loving, and will never let anything happen to us, that does not include a divine plan of redemption and deliverance, bringing joy to us in the end. And yet, when we face the reality of the painful situations we go through, it becomes difficult to proclaim the truth of the goodness of God.

The moment we see/hear words like Trials/Tribulations, we remember Job, from the Old Testament of the Bible. We learn what “Walking by faith, and not by sight” looks like, when we look at how, Job, unaware of the reasons behind the series of losses he experienced, chose to utter the words, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” This is a difficult form of worship - Glorifying God right in the midst of fiery trials, through the very pain that the enemy purposefully inflicts upon us, to cause us to doubt the goodness of God. Little did Job know, that behind-the-scenes, God had His great victory and Satan his worse defeat – when Job uttered those words of “Praise” from the depths of His heart – that proved once and for all, that Job worshipped and pursued God for who He is, not for the good gifts he received from Him.

When we are pushed to the edge, when we feel like there’s no hope, when we assume that God has probably forgotten us and has ceased to answer our prayers – it’s a prime opportunity to praise Him in the storm, to glorify His Holy Name through the trials, and to prove that our love towards Him is not shallow.

A great quote from Rick Warren:

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of the pain, thanking God during the trials, trusting him when we’re tempted to lose hope and loving him when he seems so distant and far away. At my lowest, God is my hope. At my darkest, God is my light. At my weakest, God is my strength. At my saddest, God is my comforter.

Praise His Name - By Jeff and Sheri Easter:

Thursday, 9 November 2017

A Reminder of God's goodness.

Sometimes, when we complete a simple task at work or a mundane chore at home or cross-off a to-do item for an errand, we begin to wonder if God could ever be involved in such an insignificant work that we just got done, and if it even required God's strength or enablement at all. But if we pause, and look around, we will realize that there were a host of different internal and external factors working together in the right measure and in the right order, that was conducive to accomplishing the task (however insignificant it might seem on the outside).
It’s human nature to disregard these minute details, and take them all for granted. If you’d ponder more, and then list down those factors that were but a direct result of God's goodness towards us, we would be surprised how blind we’ve been to God’s goodness.
I came up with the following short list to help me get deeper into the awareness of God’s goodness over my life, when I completed a task that’s not even worth mentioning!
- I had the desire to complete the task
- I was healthy to be able to do the work at hand
- I had the sane and right mind to be able to know what to do and how to do it
- I had all my physical body parts working well and in sync with the brain, that aided me to do the actual work
- I had the right circumstances and other external factors, that helped me stay focused and undistracted
- I was breathing and I was alive!
and the list would continue if we looked more closely into the situation...
Then it occurred to me, that if not for God, I couldn't even be alive, let alone accomplish a task!

It doesn't take even a split-second, for God to withhold His goodness, and I could be as useless as anything inanimate. A healthy dose of gratitude towards God, is required to keep us focused on God's goodness and to keep the negativity and a sour attitude at bay. Every morning is a wonderful opportunity to take time to cognize all the wonderful gifts we are bestowed with (which we often take for granted) and to thank God for them. Not many had the privilege to see "today". And there are many who consider it a far-fetched dream to live a life that you now live. It's all a matter of God's goodness and His mercy, that we are here in the now, alive and well. We have all that we need, to live a life that God wants us to live. Let's thank Him for enabling us every single day for the tasks up ahead of us. God is not just in the mighty things He does through us, He is also in the every-day stuff we do, for He controls the minute details of our lives!

Whenever you think something could've been a mere coincidence, remember that you might be overlooking a miracle!
We are a people who believe in Grace and not luck! 

Where would I be
If You had not been by my side
How could I rise to meet
The morning of the day
Your tender mercy
Always calling from behind
At times I could not see You
Even though You were close by

Lord You are good, You are Good
And Your mercy forever endures
Help me to see Your loving kindness
Help me to see You as You are

As You really really are
And Your mercy forever endures