Sunday, July 10, 2011

By faith

“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.
It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given
this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” ~Acts 3:16

Every circumstance in my life—happy or sad, a source to rejoice or a source of rejection, a challenge or a problem, discouragements or encouragements, constructive criticisms or negative ones—comes from God, in accordance to His perfect plan and grand design. And every response I should have to each of these should be by faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I was reminded of this wonderful truth during one of my morning devotions. The night before, I was freaking out with how things are happening in my life. I was reminded with my physical ailment and it made me worry some more. I was complaining to my Lord. I was indignant, disappointed and was full of resentment. I questioned His will. I was crying because of my failures and was crying even more because of my audacity to blame my God.

But by His grace, I was able to overcome my weakness. Indeed, I am weak but my Lord is strong, most powerful in all the earth. In the midst of all the tears and heart pains, His Spirit within me moved me to pray and show to me any hidden fault or willful sin that He wants to wash away. The Holy Spirit cried out to Him, in behalf of me, all those things that I could not express. What a great opportunity to feel the Holy Spirit praying for in my behalf!

And indeed, He revealed what He wanted to reveal to me: a past sin that I have long neglected—something I tried not to acknowledge, something I avoided, and to some extent, justified, something I tried my best to hid and cover. But my God is all-knowing. He wants to heal every rotten wound or scratch that was haphazardly bandaged by my own efforts, secretly hidden by my dirty clothes.  He wants to completely cleanse and own every inch of my body and soul. He aims to make me new every morning.

So, I confessed. I cried my heart out and asked Him to restore me once again to His saving grace. I asked Him to reconcile me to His throne through the saving sacrifice of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Oh, how the enemy tempted me! While my heart was crying out to God, the enemy was whispering lies to my mind—that I am unworthy to be God’s child, that I am too dirty to come to Him anymore, that I am hopeless, hated by God and can no longer be saved, blah, blah, blah…

But, once again, my God has proven Himself faithful, strong, unbeatable, and unshaken.

I had Jesus’ sweet peace before falling asleep. Then, I woke up early in the morning, praised God, did my prayer covenant with my Christian friend, and did healthy things for myself. I spent time with my cute three-week-old nephew. I was about to skip my devotion for fear of being late in the office but God was so good to remind me to prioritize Him in everything.
And now, I have no regrets of leaving our home 30 minutes later just so I can open my Bible and spend time with the Lord. An amazing story awaited me in the Book of Acts.

Just like the man crippled from birth at the temple gate called Beautiful, I can see myself rejoicing in the healing powers of my God Almighty. I know, with a sweet peace and a quiet confidence in my heart, that by faith in Jesus’ name, God is telling me that He has healed my spiritual wound and will heal my physical ailment. There is no longer condemnation because I have been forgiven. I no longer need to worry or suffer because He knows what He is doing and He will use my physical ailment to magnify His glory.

All these are possible by faith in Jesus’ name—that by His death and resurrection, we are given the grace to be saved, as what Peter told the people who were all astonished by what God did through him (Peter) to the crippled man at the temple gate. Later on in the following verses, Peter encouraged the people to repent and turn to God so that their sins may be wiped out and that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (vv. 17-20).

Indeed, by His grace, I am healed and refreshed! How great is our God!

As I am already healed, it is my prayer that the Lord will equip me to do His purposes for me. As I am refreshed, I should no longer look back at my past but look forward with thanksgiving and praise. Just as what Paul had written to the Philippians, I want to do one thing for Jesus: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal of attaining the prize of eternal life in heaven in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:13-14).

My heart and my spirit shout joyfully for the Lord, my God! May I continue to remember that my life operates by God’s grace alone and my responses should only be by faith in Jesus!

Here’s to a wonderful week walking closely with the Lord!  

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