We all face various challenges especially at this point in time. The darkness of fear has so saturated the earth and paralyzed people into hopelessness. But we have the GOOD NEWS that has always been made available for us to partake and that is the kingdom of His marvelous LIGHT in Christ.
Whatever situation we are in, we have been freely issued this invitation to be SAVED from our difficulties, apart from being SAVED for eternity which is the greatest miracle of all time, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. His Name is Jesus Christ, our SAVIOR. To be SAVED, we need a SAVIOR.
“My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest.” (Matthew 11:28-29 The Voice)
A lot of times when we come face to face with life’s difficulty, our first inclination is to resort to own human effort to overcome it, but when we get to the end of ourselves and see that nothing is working, this is when we look up and seek His aid.
We all have been through this. We all are a work in progress. We all are learning while being in this journey of life. So, condemn not ourselves when we first adopt to our own strategies. There is always room for improvement. There is always a chance to change. Our God is a God of second, third, fourth …. endless chances. After all, LOVE IS PATIENT and God is LOVE. Therefore, God is patient with His own.
But one great thing I realized in the midst of this life’s expedition is that, He gave us the Manual of Life, His Word. For me, experience is not the best teacher. His Word and The Word Himself, Jesus Christ, the greatest Teacher of all time through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit, is. His Word leads us, guides us, protects us, saves us, prospers us, satisfies us, heals us, makes us wise, enables us to think like He thinks, enlightens us, strengthens us, and so many more. If we desire that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened that we may know the hope of what He has called us to do, let us delight ourselves in His Word that He freely gave us and ask the Holy Spirit to breathe the breath of life into His Word and make it come alive in our hearts.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Go through the whole chapter of Psalm 119. It speaks of what the Word is like and what it does to our life. Meditate on it. Chew and regurgitate it. Think of it. Believe it. Speak it. Declare it. And in due season, we shall see it manifested before our eyes.
This part is speaking to me TODAY …
“I am Your servant;
Give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.
It is time for You to act, O Lord,
For they have regarded Your law as void.
Therefore I love Your commandments
More than gold, yes, than fine gold!
Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things
I consider to be right;
I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:125-128)
When we find ourselves in a “dead end” situation, perceive it in a way like a tree during winter time that looks dead without leaves and flowers. But wait for the next season to come. As springtime begins, tiny green leaves start to appear and the once-dried-seemingly-dead tree becomes alive in all its freshness.
In Christ, there is always HOPE!
“To them God WILLED to make known what are the RICHES of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
I love The Passion Translation of this verse …
“LIVING WITHIN YOU is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded WITHIN US, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for His people, and God wants everyone to know it!”
I got a text message from someone dear to me who decided to resign from her job recently. It was due this pandemic. She was tested positive, then fully recovered. GLORY TO GOD.
But her work condition is no longer the same. Her job still entails continually being exposed to possible carriers, thus, after weighing the pros and cons, she found it beneficial to tender her resignation.
Now, the battle in her mind begins and regret is beginning to creep in.
How do we combat our thoughts that put us in guilt and condemnation because of our decision?
This is one of the secrets to a joyful life. We are to be THANKFUL for where we have been. Where we were had divine contributions to where we are now. WE DO NOT LOOK BACK AND REGRET. We do not live in the past for it will anchor us to what we once had and drag us to move forward. We are to remind ourselves that the Lord always has something better, yet it is still to unfold before us.
In this time of seeking, we are being invited to SEEK HIM FIRST and His ways of doing things and ALL the other THINGS will be ADDED to us. Remember, “ADDED”. That means He will make us COMPLETE first in Him. There may come a time when even if we have nothing and JESUS IS ALL WE’VE GOT, we are COMPLETE and SATISFIED. It is NOT by might NOR by power, but by the Spirit of God.
“I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 TPT
What she went through, similarly I went through years ago. I was working for seventeen years for a company that gave me an above average monthly salary. But when the time came for me to resign, after a six-month seeking and praying, I finally did.
The enemy will always put thoughts of regret in our minds and so, he did in mine. From having quite a sum to nothing, until my accounts went zero balance, it was a challenge. But ALL BY THE GRACE OF GOD, the Lord taught me how to fight a good fight of faith. He taught me to fight it with His word, the sword of the Spirit, that became the weapon of my spirit. Every time the enemy throws something contrary to what His Word was saying, I submitted myself to the authority of God’s Word. It was tough but His promise says, “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” (Philippians 2:13AMPC). This is the grace of God. It empowers us to to be established in His precepts. I fought as I sought God’s Word.
For one whole year I was jobless and identity-less when it came to who I was in the sight of men. I was puzzled by the thought of filling out certain forms and putting “N/A” next to the employment status. It was not easy. I was definitely out of my comfort zone. Little did I know that He was taking me to His Kingdom zone.
All I did during those stretching times was to focus on the Word. I went to Bible study meetings regularly and was active in the music ministry. I never knew at that point in time that I was being taught and filled by Him Who called us to be His temples. I was not looking for a job. I was SEEKING HIM.
I looked around and the ones I knew were prospering because of increase in salaries and benefits, and ALL I GOT WAS JESUS in me, the HOPE of glory! HE MADE ME BRAVE as I continued to press on. That was my weapon to fight those thoughts. His Word was my sword.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 NKJV
But God is faithful. His presence is always with us and not one promise of His is void or empty of power.
“I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)
Having Jesus was all I had at that time. He still is and He will always be. I consider Him as my Portion and my Inheritance. Apart from Him, I am nothing. Without Him, wholeness and satisfaction can never be achieved. When we have Him, we have everything. He is more than enough, for in Him, all things consist. Nothing was made that was made apart from Him.
When we keep thinking that we made a wrong decision, the next thing that comes after is regret. Sometimes we may ponder that it could have been better to be laid off, easier to accept, for us take out the responsibility of making our wrong choice. I do not suppose one is better than the other. Hmmm … I believe we just need to change the way we think of where we are and BE THANKFUL for where we have been. Gratefulness is of faith, knowing that we trust God to where He is taking us. He knows it and that it is He Who will lead us the way.
God our Father has no SUBTRACTION in His vocabulary. He only has ADDITION and MULTIPLICATION. It may seem like we have nothing today, or a setback in any way, but the truth is, He is pruning us for more fruitfulness, but He will do it His way. And His way is JESUS CHRIST IN US, the HOPE of glory. He is equipping us and making us ready for the greater. We have heard it said a lot of times that our attitude determines our altitude. Being molded in the hands of the Potter, with all His love, mercy and grace, we will come out as the masterpieces that He created us to be.
“Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life.” (John 14:6) When we have Him in our hearts, technically, we have everything. He is Wisdom! He is Grace! He is Mercy! He is our Good Shepherd. He is Resurrection! He is Righteousness! He is both Healing and the Healer! He is Provision and the Provider! He is the Power within us. Whatever we need, He is!
Sometimes, we push ourselves too much to be able to open a new door for us to pursue to prove to ourselves that we made the right choice and ask God to bless what we do. But this may not be the best thing to do. Why not SEEK HIM FIRST? When we believe that He is the Way, surely He will open the way and when it is He Who opens, it surely will be blessed, even without us having to ask Him to bless the work of our hands. When He authors it, He blesses it. He Who began a good work in us is faithful to finish it.
It is true that I jumped off the cliff of resigning in spite of the people who were against my decision, but in that journey, He upheld me with His hand. I chose to believe that His grace is always sufficient and His strength is made perfect for our weaknesses. I held fast to see God faithful to His promises that are “yes” and “amen”.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
Abraham waited for years for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Even in his old age, He judged God faithful to what was spoken to him that he will be a father of many nations.
“Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what He had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.” (Romans 4:19-25)
Exactly one year later, I got a call from a friend who happens to be the sister in law of my present employer. I used to work with her in the past yet we haven’t been in touch for more than ten years. BUT GOD has His way of putting us where He wants us to be. He knows where to take us when we delight ourselves in Him. He orchestrates divine connections just as so we will be at the right place at the right time, doing the right thing with the right heart. It is all about Him. Did I struggle to find a new job? No! It was just ADDED to me.
Now, I may not be earning as much, but because I know that it is His will for me in which He paved the way to where I am, I am most thankful, content and satisfied. Every time my employer tells me, “I know God sent you to me.”, it always warms my heart and puts a smile on my face. Oh .. how great is God’s faithfulness.
Because of the testimony of God’s goodness in my life, I was able to encourage the one who is dear to me. Indeed, the fruit of our lives become seeds to those we share our testimonies to. In doing so, they, too, can taste and see that our God is GOOD, FAITHFUL and TRUE.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You, that You never run out of open doors for us to explore. You gave us Jesus and He is the Door, therefore, You always have something for us. Your hand is never short to reach where we are and lead us to the place of where we are supposed to be. Thank You, Jesus, for being our Lord and Savior, Who is always willing to leave the 99 who are already in Your sheepfold and go after the ONE who is in need of you, who may be lost. Thank You that it is You Who will feed us with Your Word like the Good Shepherd and carry us in Your loving arms, holding us close to Your heart. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being our Comforter. In times when we need Your presence the most, You never fail to come to us with Your embrace. Thank You for leading us as You prompt us from deep within and gracing us to go where we should go. Amen!
Photo Credits: Erik Quianzon