Tag Archive | trust

5 Verses to Help Us Accept the Unexplained Matters of Life

Be it shattered dreams, unfulfilled expectations, disappointing people or simply unfair circumstances, let’s get real, they are part of life. Life can be unfair sometimes, but God is good.

I recently watched an interesting video of “The Not-So-Sweet Truth About Cabbage Patch Kids.”

In the video, Martha Nelson Thomas’ friends and husband felt that Martha’s intellectual property was stolen by Xavier Roberts. It’s sad. I also wish they could obtain the justice that Martha deserves.

Many a time, incidents like what Martha experienced happen in our personal lives too.

Indeed, situations that are beyond our understanding suck our energy, don’t they? It’s easy to dwell in despondency to think about why they happen.

Hearing the story, some memories of how I have been treated or judged unfairly in the past by some people started flashing back. I know they shouldn’t bother me at all so I have listed down verses that I use to help me accept the unexplained matters of life and I hope that they will help you as well:

5 Verses to Help Us Accept the Unexplained

1. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

God has allowed whatever circumstance we go through to occur for a reason and all we need is trust His will–yes, even when it’s beyond our understanding. It’s maybe that God will use us to comfort someone in the future who will experience a situation similar to ours. It may also mean being an example to a person who’s been looking up to us as examples of Christians and watching how we would respond to our state. I pray that God will us enough grace to be a blessing to whoever that person is and consequently, cause him to draw nearer to Him and to recognize Jesus as his Saviour, if need be.

2. “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 (KJV)

It has the same idea as #1. Being still in this verse has the idea of not letting any thought of doubt but faith when we don’t comprehend what’s going on. It means not worrying about what can be wrong but trusting that God knows what He is doing.

3. “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’ Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-22 (KJV)

It takes a lot of prayers to be able to do this. When people treat or judge us unfairly, all we have to do is trust God to deal with them. Doing the vengeance for ourselves will only ruin Christ’s testimony in us. Let’s just pray for them. And the next verse is so deliberating.

4. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

Let us remain faithful to God. While it is easy to keep a grudge against someone and rewind whatever happened in our mind, we should focus on pleasing our righteous God. Pleasing Him means loving people even when we are rejected, gossiped about and judged unfairly. Pleasing Him means living out His word in every chance we have  in the midst of uncertainties in life.

5. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Most of the things that can discourage us are not worth our attention. I am persuaded that the key to overcoming discouragement in our soul is fixing our eyes on Jesus who is our inspiration of someone who endured rejection and all mean treatment by others through faith in the will and wisdom of our Heavenly Father.

What are the unexplained things that you are going through right now? Think on these verses mentioned above and I hope that you and I will have a fresher look at life. Let’s get out of despondency and live a life full of joy and victory in Christ. Let’s look unto Jesus’ example to help us accept the unexplained matters of this life.

7 Practical Lessons and Caveats from the Book of Judges

7 Practical Lessons and Caveats from the Book of Judges
If I were to be asked about my favorite Bible book–one of the last books I would answer is the Book of Judges. That was prior to my in-depth study of this book.

What is the Book of Judges all about anyway? It’s a book filled with stories of how God called and raised up judges for the apple of His eye–Israel. 

As I read this narration of Israel’s history in this particular book, I realized how God’s peculiar people lived a cycle of repentance-sinful-living-repentance-type of lifestyle. 

Again, I realized, we are no different from them! We have the same sinful human nature as the people of Israel and so reminders are necessary to help us maintain a consistent walk with God. 

Now, what did I learn from the book which I thought would be one of the books I like the least in the Bible?

First, idols can make anyone forget God’s word and godly moral values.  (Judges 2:11-12)

This is a cue for me personally.

Whenever I find myself prioritizing something or someone over my personal study of His Word, then I recognize it/him/her an idol.

Whenever I fail to obey God’s will because of anyone or anything, I consider it or him an idol.

Needless to say, whenever I find myself in that situation, I confess it to the LORD and find His same faithful forgiveness of my sin (1 John 1:9). Praise His name!

Second, God allows us to be enslaved by our enemies and “idols” when He sees unrepentant attitude in us. (Judges 3:12-14)

King Eglon ruled and controlled Israel for eighteen years! It’s all because God was disrespected by their worship of Baal and Ashteroth–two prominent idols of Israel in that period (Joshua 3:7).

This part of Israel’s history was not included in the canon of the Bible in vain. This is written for us to learn from the past. This is written to remind and warn us. 🙂

If we want to live a victorious life, God is calling us to love and serve Him with all our hearts and forsake idolatry. Here’s a detailed antidote to idolatry.

Third, God gives victory to those who love, trust, and obey Him. (Judges 4-5)

You might be familiar with the story of how Deborah, the only woman judge in Israel, courageously delivered her people from the hands of their enemies. She knew that Barak was supposed to lead them in fighting. Since he was hesitant to do so, Barak forfeited the honor of leading Israel’s victory. Instead, God gave victory to Israel through Deborah’s valorous leadership.

Fourth, peace is the mere fruit of obedience to God’s word. (Judges 5:31)

When Deborah led Israel, they “experienced 40 undisturbed years.”

Here’s a practical application for us: if we want a peaceful nation, we need leaders who will be brave enough to take a righteous stand in leading his people–someone who is not afraid to offend those who are disobeying God’s revealed standards of living.

Let’s pray for God to raise leaders who have such a reverence in Him that they will not be in favor of what God calls detestable.

Fifth, when God calls us to do His will, He gives  us His promise of presence and peace.

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” Judges 6:22-24 (NASB)

Sixth, it’s but natural to doubt God’s calling to serve Him but He is more than willing to prove and manifest His omnipotence. Yes, despite our fears and weaknesses! (Judges 6:37-40)

Who is our example in this passage? Yes, it’s Gideon. God encouraged Gideon to trust Him by granting his request to show signs.

Seventh, God sometimes commands us to follow a seemingly awful battle plan so He can get the glory when we obey Him. (Judges 7:7)

Do you remember how Gideon and his 300 men conquered the Midianites–their enemies? Yes, with trumpets and pitchers. Please don’t smirk. That’s how they won simply because they trusted God’s wise battle plan.

You see?

Trust God's Wisdom

Isn’t it a glorious thing to see victory led by God? We, believers, must fight our battles, not by might or swords but by faith in God’s Word!

There are many other lessons I have learned from the book of Judges but I guess the ones I wrote above are the ones time has permitted me to do so.

What are the lessons that you have been learning from your Bible meditation time? Share them with us. We will love to be blessed and challenged by what God has been teaching you as well.

It’s my prayer that God would continue to glorify His name in our lives as we live for Him, bearing His word in our hearts and mind.

Rerouted by God: Must We Follow or Not?

Joanna, my young tot loves adventures. Just like any other kid, she is extremely independent and is always wanting to do things by herself even without asking my permission. More often that not, she ends up regretful after doing the things I have prohibited her to do. She does not fully understand yet the value of my warnings–she does not fully appreciate yet that the reason I redirect her most of the time is I want her safety. I want her full happiness.

Now, just as I want my daughter to be spared from trouble, God also redirects us and even if the reason is obvious,  let me share with you what He impressed upon my heart through His word.

As I read through Exodus 13 this morning, God powerfully spoke to my heart. It says:

“17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

Here is what I realized:

As God leads us upon our submission, He sometimes reroutes us. Undeniably, the ultimate reason for that is He has our welfare–our best interest in His mind. He does so not to hurt us, but rather to spare us from danger and discouragements. It may be challenging to understand the direction He shows us, but all we need to do is trust Him and see how He will provide “pillar of clouds and pillar of fire” along the way. This is also taught in a hymn which was penned many years ago. There is no other way to be “happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

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I know in myself that there are still things I need to surrender to God. I need to trust His redirection just like how my daughter needs to trust my orders so she would be safe. It is my prayer that God would give me the grace enough to trust His leading and see His rescue from disappointments and troubles.

Now my friend, do you see that God is rerouting you as you follow His will in your life? Are you having second thoughts whether you must follow or not. That shouldn’t be! Indeed, there is no peace more perfect than the one brought about by submission to the God who only desires what’s best for you. Pray hard. Seek godly counsels. Read His word. Follow His leading. Without any doubt, you will end up victorious spiritually. Consequently, when you are victorious in your spiritual life, you will see that all the pieces of your life coming into their right places.

Rerouted by God? Yes, we must indeed follow by faith and He will provide all that we may need as we do so.

Dalisayin Mo, O Panginoon: Alteration for “God’s Refining Fire”

Fiery Trials

There was a time in my college life when things drastically changed. I was in my final year when the administration office announced that the order of the curriculum had to be changed for the benefit of many others in our college.

While everyone was glad about the news, I was heartbroken. I initially assumed that it would mean that even if I didn’t fail any subject, I would have to extend my year of studies.

Wanting clarification, I approached our respectable college director. He said in an encouraging manner that I could manage to graduate in that school year. He mentioned that the requirement was for me to study certain courses individually. The college will supply all the syllabus I need and all I needed to do was make sure that I submit my projects and quizzes on respective due dates indicated on the syllabus.

I nodded and smiled at our director but in my mind, I complained to God asking, “This is different from what I expected this year. Why do I have to go through all these?”

Oh me of little faith! I broke into tears when I got home.

Contemplating upon my situation all throughout the week, I struggled to accept my God’s will for me that year. Thanks to the Holy Spirit who helped me decide to channel my anxiety into something more productive and beneficial. I then penned a Filipino song with an inspiration from the words of Mac Lynch’s song, “God’s Refining Fire.” I would like to share with you this song in both versions.

You may sing along the accompaniment I grabbed from YouTube.


~English Version~

1. O Lord, we pray “Thy will be done” or “Master, here am I.”
We pray You’d do a mighty work
That to the flesh we’d die.
And when the answer comes to us
In form of trial and test,
We fail to see Your loving hand,
Refining fire is best.

2. That I may stand when You appear,
Abide till Your return.
O place the fire perfectly
That all the dross be burned.
Whether furnace of affliction, Lord,
Or unfulfilled desire,
Bring forth a vessel pure and tried
By Your refining fire.


Refrain:
God’s refining fire, God’s refining fire,
May it purge me now and make of me what You require.
O Lord, feed the fire, Your refining fire.
Now as gold and silver must be tried,
Lord, may my heart be purified.
Lord, send Your great refining fire.

*Now, that you know the melody, try singing this translation using this other accompaniment which I also got from YouTube. Start singing at 0:12

 

Here’s the Tagalog Version:

Dalisayin Mo

 

What are you going through that is totally different from what you have planned? It is my prayer that the message of this song would bless and encourage your heart if you’re going through any fiery trial at the moment.

P.S. Indeed, nothing is better than a song sung in your own mother tongue, don’t you think so? 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,