What do you do when your current circumstance display the impossibility of a future promise?

This is a valid question. We are faced with a garden variety of situations where our faith is challenged.

God said that He will provide but my mom’s hospital bill has now ballooned to 3M pesos.
God said that He is the Prince of Peace, but there’s so much conflict in our family today.
God said that if I believe, I will be saved together with my household. But my kids are in bad company and are not walking with God.
God said that He gives wisdom to those that ask, but I have messed up every time I got into a business endeavor.

Luke 1:5-25 narrates to us the story of Zechariah. The Bible says he was righteous, walked blamelessly and obeyed the commandments of the Lord. (1:6). But in spite of that, not every prayer item in their list had been checked off.

It is possible for one to live for God yet not have all his prayers answered. The goal is not the gift but the relationship with the Giver. Our relationship with the Giver is more important than the gift itself.

The Israelite nation hadn’t heard from God in 400 years. It’s been 4 centuries since God has spoken through a prophet. The last one was Malachi. But just because He is quiet, it doesn’t mean He has forgotten. He is faithful to fulfill His promises to His people.

Zechariah asked God how can they have a baby for they were in their old age. God was going to fulfill His promise. He will accomplish all that He said He would. It was just a matter of time. And He doesn’t necessarily reveal everything at one time.

There are things we don’t know, can’t know or won’t even know until the proper time. If God showed us everything He has planned in the next few decades, we might end up stressed, anxious or even fearful.

But at the end of his nine-month ordeal, he finally got it. God will accomplish what He wants to do. In the temple, Zechariah doubted. But after nine months, his faith grew and followed through with God’s instructions to call his son John though Jewish tradition dictated that the firstborn was to be named after his father.

Whatever failure we’ve made in the past, God can surely turn it around, covered by His grace. God can turn the marks of failure into memorials of grace.

As we continue with the Christmas celebrations this December, remember that God is faithful to keep His covenant promise even if we have been filled with unbelief.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.abs-cbnnews.com

What seemed to be the laughing stock of the league became a shining example of faith, discipline and hard work.

This was the story of Coach Eric Altamirano’s journey. He recounts when he took the post as coach of National University Bulldogs 4 years ago and how God brought him and the team from cellar dweller (60 year title drought) to this year’s UAAP Season 77 champions.

Watch his testimony below and I pray you will be inspired and realize that God is a turn around specialist. What seems to be a set back can very well be a Divine Set up to bring honor and glory to His name.

Your giants and mine can represent a garden variety of things. It may range from financial lack to illness, relational stress to business strain, spiritual dryness to deep depression.

The Israelites were told to send men to enter the land God had promised to give them. However, they allowed circumstances to dictate their response rather than keeping their eyes on the God of their circumstances.

The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” (Numbers 13:1-2, ESV)

It was clear what God wanted to accomplish. He was giving them the land. They weren’t even taking it on their own. It was being given to them.

Coming back from the exploratory trip, the 12 men that were sent into the land of Canaan allowed their circumstances to dictate how they would respond.

A few lessons here.

1. Don’t doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.

Opposition is inevitable. To a certain degree, it is to be expected. God didn’t promise that it was going to be easy. But He promised that He will carry us through it.

Challenges in life will come. And when they do, remember what God told you before those challenges came and hold on the them as Gollum would to the “preciouuussss” ring.

2. Hear the facts but hold on to the truth.

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numbers 13:31)

The fact is, they are bigger.
The fact is, they are stronger.
The fact is, they are more numerous.

Those may be facts but the truth of God’s Word holds true.
“I am giving the land to you.”

The fact is, they are bigger, but the truth is, God is fighting the battle for you.
The fact is, you don’t have enough, but the truth is, God is going to supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
The fact is, you are lying in bed sick, but the truth is, He is Jehovah Rapha, the God who is your healer.

3. What you see with your physical eyes may not necessarily be what God wants you to see through your spiritual eyes.

And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. (Numbers 13:32)

It is true that the Nephilim were much bigger. But they missed the fact that their God is way bigger.
When we place our thumb right in front of our right eye while closing our left, it seems way bigger than anything we look at. It will look like our thumb is bigger than a car, an airplane or even a skyscraper.
But God wants you to look at your situation from a different perspective. He is way bigger than you can even define.

4. The way you see yourselves is how others will eventually see you.

We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:31-33)

The 10 men (not including Joshua and Caleb) saw themselves a certain way. The Bible says, that they looked like grasshoppers in their own eyes and as a result, they looked that way from their enemies vantage point as well.

You and I are who we are not because of how we see ourselves or how others see us. We are who we are because of who God created us to be.
More so, because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on Calvary, we are no longer enemies of God but His own children.

Think about it. We may need to shift from staring at our giants to focusing our eyes on our God who is way bigger than any giant we will ever face.

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28642695@N07/6367537159

 

 

 

Has God forgotten me?

People asked this when they are in crisis.
Even if we don’t articulate it, it sure may cross our minds.

But the real question is, who forgot who first? God never forgets His children. More so, He never forgets the covenant He makes with His children. He is a Covenant Maker and a Covenant Keeper.

The Israelites were in slavery under the Egyptian rule.  After the time of Joseph has passed and the Pharaoh who showed favor for them was gone, the new King put them to slave labor.  They were in distress and a lot of hardship.
[23] During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. [24] God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. [25] So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (Exodus 2:23-25)

God heard.

“God heard their groaning…”

Our tears, God can see. He is able to see beyond the smile and the facade.
In the quietness of the moment, while we struggle with our circumstances, God hears the cries of our hearts.

A call for provision… a cry for restoration of ruined relationships… a desire to have a baby… a lament for someone who passed away… a whimper because the dream you held on for years just died.

God remembered.

“He remembered His covenant with Abraham…”

His covenant with Abraham was made centuries prior.
That’s how much God is able to remember.

We may have forgotten our promises to God but He never forgets His.
He is a Promise Maker and a Promise Keeper.
He is faithful to keep His end of the bargain even if we are not.

God looked.

“So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”

God doesn’t just hear and remember, He takes action.
The Israelites were in trouble. God’s Father heart took action and raised up a man named Moses to be the deliverer of His people.

This is the thing that’s fascinating about God.
He hears our prayers. And based on the covenant He has with us as His children, He acts and moves on our behalf. In the moment of weakness, He becomes our strength. In the times of unfaithfulness, He remains faithful.