WHY ME?

As long as we live in a fallen and broken world, we will experience sufferings and trials – no one is exempted. What marks the difference is how we respond.

It’s okay to ask, throw a fist in the air, or scream if you must – but, don’t stop there.

Cry out for help. Ask God to fill you with faith, hope, strength and courage. You are not alone. This is a journey that can only be finished triumphantly with God and the community He has placed us in. Believe that God can lead you to someone He has planned to help you in your journey.

Allow His loving arms to carry you through and see how God will reveal His glory in and through you.

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PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!

Some, if not all, of us have in one way or another uttered this statement.

Abandonment by a loved one, whether involuntarily like death or voluntarily, is an unbearable pain that has been etched deep in our hearts. And this pain doesn’t just simply go away.

The only way we can experience healing and freedom from this trauma is by allowing God, the Maker of heaven and earth, to be our Abba Father. Allow His love to penetrate the deepest wounds of our hearts. Cling to Him and His word because He promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

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REASONS WHY WE CAN CONTINUE TO HOPE

Hope is such a precious commodity these days. As we live in unprecedented times, it is very easy to slip into hopelessness and eventually spiral down to helplessness.

In 1965, Martin Seligman “discovered” learned helplessness. He found that when animals are subjected to hard situations that they themselves cannot control, the eventually give up and stop trying to escape.

The Bible gives us reasons why we can continue to hope and not give up. There are so many but allow me to give you seven.

1. We can have hope because we will continue to see His goodness.

Psalm 27:13 (NIV). I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

God’s ways flow from His character. Because He is good, His ways are always going to be good.

2. We can hope because His goodness is abundant.

Psalm 31:19 (ESV). Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

His goodness abounds and it is unlimited. We can trust that His goodness is not just for a certain time but for all time. We are His children. Jesus said that if earthly fathers can give good gifts to their children, how much more our Heavenly Father.

 

3. We can have hope because what He started He will complete.

Philippians 1:6. NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

What good work He began, He will complete. His power is never limited by any crisis or situation.

 

4. We can hope because He will fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Psalm 138:8a (ESV). The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Uncertainty brings a lot of insecurity. But in a time of uncertainty, there can be security! It can only be found in the Lord because He always… ALWAYS… has a purpose.

5. We can hope because He will guide us.

Psalm 32:8. The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

This gives us so much hope. He will not just guide us along the best pathway. He will also watch over us. It is one thing to give instructions but it is another thing to know that He is with us through those pathways.

 

6. We can hope because the best is yet to come.

Proverbs 4:18 (NIV84). The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining every brighter till the full light of day.

We are righteous not because of our own merit but by the blood of Jesus alone. And because of that, we can claim that our path is like the first gleam of dawn. It starts like a flickering light but it gets brighter and brighter because we are with Him.

7. We can hope because He can work things out for our good and for His glory.

Romans 8:28. ESV. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

He knows the beginning and the end because He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. We can have this confidence that God doesn’t only sees all things but He knows all things. And this gives so much hope because we can trust in His plan – that He will work all things together for our good and ultimately for His glory.

IS THERE A PURPOSE TO PAIN?

Yes, but only if we have the proper perspective.

Pain usually connotes a negative occurrence, which no one wants. We desire to live a life that’s free from suffering, but the Bible tells us that there is a glorious purpose and outcome to pain. 

We may not fully understand why nor see the end result, but we can trust the hand of our Heavenly Father working in and through us. He will fulfill His divine plan for His name to be glorified and His children to be reconciled back to Him.

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BESIDES GOING TO HEAVEN, WHAT ELSE DID JESUS ACCOMPLISH FOR US?

When we don’t understand the worth of something, we don’t value it as much.

We’ve been given an incredible gift. The more we realize what we’ve received, the greater the appreciation we will have. The following are the 4 things Jesus accomplished for us through His sacrifice in Calvary.

1. PEACE WITH GOD.

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The peace Paul speaks about is the fact of peace more than the feeling of peace. 

We were at enmity with God. We were at odds with God. Some may say, “I feel peaceful.” That’s true. But you may not necessarily be at peace with God. 

It’s like sitting on a lounge chair, drinking your mango shake on the deck of the Titanic. You feel good for now but the boat is about to sink. It’s a temporary illusion.

But when we come to faith in Christ, we are reconciled to the Father through Him. We now have peace with God.

The peace with God is the fact.
The peace of God is the feeling.

The peace with God is judicial.
The peace of God is experiential.

The peace with God is objective.
The peace of God is subjective.

2. PRIVILEGED ACCESS

Romans 5:2 says, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, a New Testament scholar, describes the word access as a person having the privilege of having an audience with the king because he has the right set of clothing.

You and I can’t enter the presence of the King of kings without the right clothing. Our personal clothing is like filthy rags (Is. 64:6). But thankfully, He has given us the robes of righteousness (Is. 61:10) when we surrendered our lives to Jesus. 

As a result, we have unlimited access to the Father through Jesus.

He has given us the keycard to keep going back to the presidential suite because of this privileged access. 

3. PERSPECTIVE OF THE FUTURE

Romans 5:2 says in the JB Philips translation, “Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”

We have a happy certainty of the glorious things God has for us. Hope is a confident expectancy and anticipation of that which we have yet to see.

When we see Him face to face, we will no longer be marred by sin, but freed from the corruption of our depravity and released from bondage of our sinful nature.

As Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic (paralazyed neck down) beautifully puts it,


“I still can hardly believe it. I, with shrivelled, bent fingers, atrophied muscles, gnarled knees, and no feeling from the shoulders down, will one day have a new body, light, bright, and clothed in righteousness—powerful and dazzling. Can you imagine the hope this gives someone spinal-cord injured like me? Or someone who is cerebral palsied, brain-injured, or who has multiple sclerosis? Imagine the hope this gives someone who is manic-depressive. No other religion, no other philosophy promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the Gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.”

4. PURPOSE TO OUR SUFFERING

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Was Paul out of his mind? Why would we rejoice when there’s suffering?

The only reason is when we understand that there is a purpose to the pain. We are averse to it. None of us wake up in the morning asking God for a painful day. When we’re going through suffering, our initial prayer is for God to take us out of it.

But Paul says that there is a purpose to the pain.

Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and You are our potter. All of us are the work of Your hand.”
 
Will you let your Father, the Potter, shape you?
Will you allow pain to shape us or break us?
 
Having a relationship with Christ is not an escape from trials but a guarantee that those trials have a purpose.
 
May we be reminded of these that Jesus accomplished in our salvation.

 

 

CONSISTENTLY FAITHFUL

Have you ever been left out in the cold?

Has someone given you a promise, yet did not deliver?

Most, if not all of us, have experienced being let down by someone. And to protect our hearts, we either put up a bold front, strive to be accepted, or struggle to fully trust once more.

Until we open our hearts to that Someone who will never disappoint us or let us down, this will be a cycle we’ll always find ourselves in. Only God is able and willing to deliver on each promise He has given. 

God is not just faithful. He is consistently faithful. And His faithfulness does not depend on whether or not we’ve been faithful.

“God is faithful even if we are not.”

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SHALOM

Peace is not the absence of chaos, but experiencing wellness and wholeness in the midst of it.

We can try to muster peace with every ounce of strength we have or by positive thinking, but it will not last.

True and lasting peace can only come from God. And this peace can only come as we have peace with God.

So let us submit to Him and declare, Jesus is King. He is my Lord. Therefore, “It is well with my soul. I am going to be okay.”

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WHEN THE BATTLE IS LONG, GOD’S COMMAND IS TO BE STRONG.

We are in faith for a cure to COVID 19.
However, we are told that the vaccine could take about 18 months.
 
God sometimes takes us out of the storm.
But there are times God takes us through the storm.
 
Jesus healed Blind Bartimaeus.
But didn’t take Paul’s thorn out of his flesh.
But he did say “My grace is sufficient.’
 
But while we are in the midst of the storm, what do we do?
 
In Joshua 1:2-7, God was leading the Israelites into their promised land. Moses is dead. He was the one who led them through the desert for 40 years. Now Joshua, his assistant, has taken over as leader. They are facing giants in the land. It won’t be a quick take over. This took some time. There were miracles like the falling of the Jericho wall but there were still many lands and people groups to conquer.
 
We are in the middle of a pandemic and it seems like this may take some time.
 
In the midst of the battle, when it gets extended, what do we do?
 
When the battle is long, the command is to be strong.
 
How can we be strong in the midst of a battle?
 

1/ Hold on to God’s promises.

 
Joshua 1:3. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
 
We need to be familiar with the promises God has given us as his children.
And then hide them in our hearts.
It will get us through the hardest of times.
 
I remember going to Baguio with my family as a kid. Those days, we still didn’t have TPLEX and SCTEX, our nice highways. Thus, it would take 8-9 hours to get there. But the promise my mom gave was that I would get choco flakes from Good Shepherd. That kept me enduring through the gruelling journey.
 

2/ Be confident of God’s presence. 

 
Joshua 1:5. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
 
One thing is for sure, because He is with me, I going to be okay.
In fact, no one or no thing will be able to stand before me… not even this pandemic.
HE. IS. WITH. ME.
 
Growing up in an all boys school, fist fights weren’t uncommon. Especially during basketball games, we would get into fights. But as long as I had Bien, my team mate and good friend with me, I was okay. He was strong and courageous. Magaling manindak.
 
But we have someone way bigger and stronger than a team mate.
We have the God of the universe by our side.
He is for us and not against us.
 

3/ Embrace God’s precepts.

Joshua 1:7. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
 
God has given us principles to live by.
Not because he is a cosmic killjoy.
He gave them so that we can live the full and abundant life he has prepared for us.
Sin will keep us from our destiny.
Disobedience will deter us from our purpose
But his Word will keep us aligned and calibrated that we may bring him glory.
 
As we study His word, it will do us well to obey his word.
We are commanded to obey His Word for our good and ultimately for His glory.
His Word is a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet.
 
His word doesn’t just teach us but also trains us for war.
This is so critical especially when times like what we have come, we can stand our ground and keep moving forward until we get to the other side.
 
When the battle is long, the command is to be strong.
Strong in his promises.
Strong in his presence.
Strong in his precepts.

DOES MY PRAYER COUNT?

We think that our prayers will be answered according to how good or Christ-like we’ve been.

But prayer reminds us of who God is.

“When we pray, we have the ear of an unimpeachable sovereign and unassailable master.”

Praying allows us to touch the heart of God. He hears us and is ready to respond. At the same time, God uses that opportunity to align our hearts to His.

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WHEN NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE

Forgotten, rejected, and abandoned – we all have felt and still feel these emotions at times…

They creep in when we least expect them, and we just find ourselves reeling and helpless from the intensity of them all. 

But as these emotions creep in, may we tell our hearts this truth —

There is Someone who deeply cares and who will always be there. One who won’t forget, one who won’t reject, one who won’t abandon us — our Heavenly Father. 

He knows exactly what we’re going through. And He is extending His arms right now to let us know that He will always love and accept us.

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