Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Answered Prayer

Dear Jesus,
I do not see anything good in all these. What did go wrong? Why did You allow this to happen?
But I remember what is written in the book of Hebrews: faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. All I can see is a cloud of confusion and a storm of deceits. But I will trust in You, Jesus.
This is easier said than done, though. And too many times, I have let my self to take over the throne in my heart. I need You. I want to fully trust You again.
I want to get back the same love, zeal, passion, and devotion that I had for You... No, scratch that. I desire for the higher kind and the more quality and quantity of love, zeal, passion, and devotion for You than ever before. Please help me. Please answer my prayers. Please bring me back to You. 

I wrote this about two and a half months ago. And in His grace I can boast that He is really a God who answers prayers. He is a God who knows my needs and meets them the perfect way He sees fit. He is a God of control. He is a God who is also my Creator, Father, Potter, Redeemer, Savior, and Comforter. 

1 Peter 4:12-13 says: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
And yes, dear friends, the trial that I suffered a couple of months back felt strange. I never thought it would happen to me as a Christian. I never thought it was part of the package deal. It came to a point that I was so disappointed with Christianity that I wanted out. I wanted to withdraw from the fellowship of believers. 

But what the Bible declares is really true. In the same book, the apostle Peter wrote: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6). Charles Spurgeon, in one of his sermons, said that our faith will be tested variously. Take note that the word of God uses the term, “all kinds of trials.

But these all kinds of trials are not without a purpose. The passage goes on to say these trials happen so our faith, which is of greater worth than gold, may be proven true and may bring us to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7). 

And I could not have agreed more. In my case, the Lord allowed those trials to come to my life because He wanted me to learn to stay in the fellowship and to honor Him, no matter what. Primarily, however, He wanted to rid me of all my negativity and doubts against other believers—something that hinders me from having a pure and genuine fellowship with Him, something which was already tantamount to self-righteousness. And He has to remove that ugly part in my soul, purifying me by His fire so I may be conformed to His mold. 

As a result, the pain and suffering were transformed to forgiveness and victory in the Lord. These led me to seek Jesus Christ and to come closer to Him. Once again, I was reminded that 1 Corinthians 5:17 is not a one-time phenomenon; it is a moment-by-moment shaping process. Also, He led me to realize that the dying to Self and living for Christ mentioned in Galatians 2:20 must be done in a moment-by-moment basis. 

I am not a finished work, yet; but He has already finished salvation for me in the Cross.
And now I can only boast in His powerful work in me and through me. The truth in James 4:7-8 is much sweeter now that I have experienced it firsthand: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to You…” 

Thank you, Lord, for these Biblical truths and promises!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stumbled Upon 2

Just as I am blessed and will continually be so, I pray that you will also be touched, amazed, and humbled down by Jesus in here and here, too.

I love a risen and living King!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
~1 Peter 1:3-5

Aren't you glad that we are loving and serving a risen and living King and Savior? 

I am. I really am. And I rejoice, shout, and leap for joy! Hallelujah to Jesus Christ, my Savior and King!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thanksgiving Tuesday: Opportunities to Serve

Rain splattered hard on the van’s window and splashes of water rose up as we navigated a rough, asphalt road. Weather forecasts had been telling a really hot summer for our dear old country but for the time since summer has officially begun, it has always been like this: intense summer heat in one minute and cold hard rain in the next.

As I watched coconut trees and green fields, I was transported to another world, where traffic and decongestion do not exist. I felt far from the city yet I am just near; after all, we were in the next town from the city.

My concerns about legal opinions and pleadings had been temporarily removed and replaced by an excitement to see the kids and a protectiveness to keep the boxes in their right places. I spent a moment of prayer for protection and guidance to all of us and for God’s hands to work in the hearts of the kid-recipients and their families.

As we arrived in their almost-completed concrete church, the rain has gained a steady pour. We were greeted with the smiles of children and their mothers, all of them waiting patiently for us to distribute the Samaritan boxes. As names were called and a hundred boxes were distributed, I felt a sense of inexpressible joy and excitement of what the Father will do through the Samaritan boxes and a sense of thanksgiving for the opportunity to be a part of His ministry through His chosen children here on earth.

We spent a quick time to interact with the kids and headed back to the van again for the next church in the next town. My spirit was up though my body, battered by severe cough and colds the past days, was already screaming for food. I prayed for the sustaining grace of Jesus and focused instead on His work. And the ever-so-faithful Lord answered my prayer and after a hundred and forty boxes were distributed in such church, we headed back to the city and were generously treated for lunch.

Last night, as I was lying on my bed, I can feel my arms and back aching after carrying and piling those boxes without prior exercise (I’ve never been physically active but because my body is a temple of Christ, I am considering of going back to regular exercise again). I was tired and exhausted and I could feel the strain of being slightly drenched in the rain and sweat. But I praise and thank God to have been given a privilege to help in His ministry. It was both a privilege and an opportunity. And I am greatly reminded and blessed by the first verse from Psalm 115:

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to Your name be the glory,
because of Your love and