Actively Waiting

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord !Psalms 27:13‭-‬14 

Waiting can be difficult for most of us. It feels like we’re not in control and we grow impatient. To avoid this, we kill time by distracting ourselves for the sake of just getting by the waiting period. 

Nowadays, we don’t want to wait. It only delays our plans. We tend to rush things because we’re somehow taught and raised to do calculated outcomes. It replaces the interaction and the values. We don’t want the travel, we just want to get to the destination already. 

But waiting in God is actually an entirely different thing. Waiting is courageous and it makes us grow. When we wait with our hearts full of thankfulness, we experience joy and strength to persevere. 

Waiting builds our trust unto the Lord. It gets us deeper into our faith in Him.Waiting also imparts hope in us that despite circumstances and storms in life, we still stand. Waiting can be hard but waiting is actually beautiful. It is a time to seek God and His will in our lives.

“​Waiting is not a delay of the thing we have in our mind’s eye. It is about being present in the now, and placing a longing hope in God. It is the space in which we root ourselves in truth and learn to want God more than our own desires.” — Logan Wolfram

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:31

Reference: Curious Faith

Learned Optimists

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.Joshua 1:5

A book called “Learned Optimism” by a social psychologist, Martin Seligman, says that optimists are defined as people who come back stronger after defeat. This means that getting there in our end goals cannot always be winning all the way. Defeat, failure, loss, hurt, and rejection are all part of it.

Worrying steals the joy in our hearts and covers it with fear for the future. We’re afraid that the opposite things from our expectations might happen. We’re afraid of failing grades, we’re afraid of rejection on job applications, we’re afraid of hurting relationships. If we look at it, worrying only limits possibilities in our lives.

Worrying only tells us lies. If we experience defeat, then let’s get back stronger. Let’s be courageous enough to face the downs in our lives and learn from it. There’s never been a smooth sailing journey towards our goals. There’s always been challenges. We shouldn’t let those worries define us. We are way better than the negative thoughts we entertain in our minds.

Let’s not wait in vain. Let’s actively wait for the Lord’s perfect timing in our lives. We tend to get impatient sometimes and start worrying, but let us always ask God for strength to endure. Let’s ask Him for peace. If we need someone to breathe our worries to, the Lord is just waiting to listen to our requests. God is faithful.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

Reference: Curious Faith

Preconceived Resentments

​For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. Hebrews 6:10

Many of us think that when there are expectations, there are also disappointments. Some would say expectations are preconceived resentments. Because as soon as we experience the things we look forward to and then get disappointed, we get angry and frustrated. By then we conclude that it’s better not to expect at all. But we can’t deny it. Expecting is already a part of us. Deep down in our hearts, we always expect for something to happen.

And because we’re so tired of expecting for nothing, we let go of the faith to believe. On the brighter side of things, expectations can actually be something beneficial to us. Expecting increases our faith and endurance. Expectations bring us closer to God. And then we realize that we can only expect for God’s plan as the best for us and not those things we expect for ourselves. 

Disappointments also bring us much more clarity. When our expectations are not met, God makes it clear His will for us. We fight so hard making our way with our expectations when in the end all we had to do is keep our curiosity for God. Let us seek Him more in our expectations and let us trust Him more in our disappointments. Let us not forget how big our God is. He is bigger than our expectations and our disappointments. 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.James 1:12

Reference: Curious Faith

The Road God Leads You On

For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astrayProverbs 5:21-23

All of us have a destination in mind towards fullness of joy. We focus on how to get there and set aside the other things that may hinder. But sometimes, we tend to get too focused on that destination that we miss out the wonderful things God has in store for us along the way.

The journey itself should also be given importance as God wants us to enjoy this life. It’s not all about the final destination, but it’s also enjoying every turns we make. We can enjoy the view outside as we travel this road of life. We can’t afford to miss out to know that God might be pointing us to another direction different from our plans.

But be sure of this, that God’s directions are better than ours. Sometimes we see others going on the same path thinking that it’s the best because many go through it. But let’s not follow people, let’s follow the One who made all the streets and roads. His map is perfect, His compass is accurate, and his instructions are clear.

“What if the greatest story of your life is waiting to happen on a zig zag outside of your control? Are you curious enough? Do you trust Him enough to believe that the road He leads you on doesn’t end where sand meets water, but instead makes a way where there wouldn’t have been one without Him?” — Logan Wolfram

Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and AaronPsalms 77:19-20

Reference: Curious Faith

The Value Of A Masterpiece

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27

What makes you look down on yourself? What causes you to pity yourself? It may be disappointments, rejections, sins in the past, or even when you see the standards of this world. With disappointments, maybe you’re living your life not as planned, not as what you thought it would be — you start thinking of yourself as a loser with no future. With rejections, maybe you’ve been fired from your job, or maybe someone you’re courting says she doesn’t like you back — you start thinking of yourself ugly, no charm, unpleasant, nerd, etc.

With the standards of this world, maybe you see those tv personalities with perfect faces, skins, and bodies, and they even have all the luxuries in life that you don’t have — you start self-pitying and start seeing yourself as incapable, a nobody, or a wannabe. With your sins in the past, you may think of yourself as someone who is not worthy of God’s forgiveness because you would just repeat it again and again.

We just become so frustrated on the things we cannot have and we cannot be because we aren’t them. We get frustrated because we can’t change. But let us not look at the world. Let us not look at the rejections and disappointments that we have experienced. Let us not look at the past and let us not look at our own strengths and capabilities.

We have a better standard that we can hold on to for the rest of our lives — and that’s how God looks at us. We are precious to Him. We are in His image and likeness. We are fully pleasing, and totally forgiven in Christ. Disappointments and rejections? God has the best plan! Luxuries in life? It will just give you more trouble and God can provide you enough for your needs and give you fullness of joy at the same time! Sins in the past? A thousand times you may have failed but God’s mercy remains. You are forgiven again and again!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was non of them.Psalm 139:13-16

Reference:  Curious Faith

Rock Bottom Faith

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. — Galatians 2:20

There have been lowest points in our lives where we come desperately in prayer, for restoration, healing, and provision. And there are also times when our prayers seemed to be lost in the sky where nobody heard it. It just vanished. It seems like the worst things that happens to us should really happen to us and that we deserve it. We lose hope and we just start walking away from God.

Nobody wants to be in the lowest point in life. Every body is striving hard to swim upwards to the atmosphere to breathe some air and survive. All of us wants to live life to the fullest. But in order to live, we must live for Christ. We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God. Living for Christ is living life to the fullest. And by saying living for Christ doesn’t mean living with a set of rules, because living for him gives us freedom!

In our desperate times, we somehow “force” God to answer our prayers immediately and we end up depending on our own. And when God doesn’t answer, we go astray. But we should still rejoice, for the Lord knows the best for us. He doesn’t want to harm us, he wants to give us hope and a future.

In our desperate times, we should seek his will more than our will. Those desperate times should actually draw us much closer to God rather than dragging us much farther. We will find that God is in control if we just surrender our lives to him and believe. We will find joy and peace in our hearts as we continue to get to know him more every step of the way even in the midst of trying times.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that though your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Philippians 1:18-21

Reference: Curious Faith

My Tidy God

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. — 1 Chronicles 29:11

This life we are living is a life full of challenges. Sometimes there are struggles and troubles. And our hope rises inside us. We keep on believing that God will eventually do something great every time we come to Him and ask Him in prayer to present our requests. But when what we are praying for, what we are expecting from God were not answered, we start thinking that God cannot do all things.

We people question a lot. We ask, “If God is all-powerful, why didn’t He save a friend who died of cancer? If God is all-knowing, why didn’t He give me what I needed most at that specific time? If God is everywhere, why didn’t I feel Him when I needed comfort the most?” We start doubting Him when our expectations are not met. Here’s a question for us, “If you love God, are you even giving effort to know Him more?”

God is not a genie who grants wishes. God is not someone we can command. He’s neither a God who needs to impress people. He is the only living God who deserves our whole lives. Everything we do, even if we also come to Him to pray, we seek Him first before seeking things to meet our expectations.  And seeking Him also entails knowing Him more. If we want more of Him, we would connect with Him daily through the Bible and prayer.

All things are possible with God. God is omniscient and He knows what’s best for us even if it’s against what we think is best. God is omnipotent and is the only One who could change lives and give the fullness of joy. God is omnipresent even if we don’t feel Him, he keeps on watching us.

Even if the healing doesn’t come, when life falls apart and dreams are still undone, You are God, You are good, forever faithful One, even if the healing doesn’t come.” — Kutless

Reference: Curious Faith

Don’t Dwell

“Simon, Simon, behold,  Satan demanded to have you,  that he might sift you like wheat,  but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”Luke 22:31‭-‬34

I really admire those people who could just move on from the hardships they’ve been through without dwelling too much on them, because I somehow still have a struggle with it. Most of the time, I tend to think about my failures too much, that I could have done better if I haven’t done this or that.  It’s sometimes a struggle on thinking that I should just move on, learn from it and do better next time. Well, it’s okay to assess the failures we’ve encountered to get better but the problem is, we tend to over think about things.

Jesus knew that Peter would fail him. But this didn’t stop him from encouraging Peter to continue with his ministry once he gets back up from his failure. Jesus still gave him the task to strengthen his brothers despite his weaknesses. As leaders, some of us usually think that when we fail, we are not worthy to lead anymore. But we have to realize that none of us are worthy to be leaders in the first place, but God still gave us the task. It’s a privilege to serve the Lord despite being undeserving.

With our failures, all we can do is to ask for forgiveness, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
(1 John 1:9)” and then learn from it. Let’s use it to grow and encourage others not to do the same mistakes, or encourage them to continue in life when they commit the same mistakes we did.

There’s no reason for us to dwell with our failures. It will either make or break us. It will either make us stronger or make us weaker. It’s our choice whether we want to move on or heap more negative emotions that’s only filled with lies. Let’s listen more to God’s word and see the bigger picture of what God has in store for us. The truth and light is seen when we cling on to the Word and it releases us from the chains of our failures. Freedom and victory is in the Lord’s!

Reference: Working Through Failure

God Accomplishes His Purposes

Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. — Jonah 1: 14-16

There are times when we see others disobedient against the Lord’s will. We get mad at those people and try to persuade them to correct their ways, but they are just too stubborn even to listen. But when the Lord’s hand moves in these people, we would be surprised that in their obedience, God still accomplishes His purposes for the good of those around them.

Like what happened to Jonah, he was commanded by the Lord to go to Nineveh for a task but Jonah went on a ship with several other people, going to the opposite direction  away from God’s presence. Then God hurled a great wind upon the sea and the ship was threatened to break up.

The people with Jonah called upon their own gods, but then because God, despite Jonah’s disobedience, still wants to accomplish his purpose by revealing himself to the people in the ship. These people started calling upon the Lord and experienced His power. They started giving sacrifices and made vows to Him despite Jonah’s disobedience.

In our weaknesses and failures, it’s true that we know in ourselves we could have blessed more lives and could have been a better testimony if not because of our disobedience. But let us keep in mind that it’s still the Lord’s hand that moves and blesses people, not us. So let us pray that despite our disobedience, the Lord’s will still be done in us and those around us.

Reference: Working Through Failure

Success And Failure As Part Of Life

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

Most of the time, we ourselves think that our failures are due to our shortcomings. Same thing with our successes, it’s easy for us to think that it’s only because of our hard work. But these successes or failures may be God’s timing for all of us. Anything can happen to everyone given the same circumstances.

Let’s just say there are two business men who have the same skills, same network of people, same resources, and same faith in God. Both study their industry to add to their knowledge and both pray earnestly for the success of their businesses. But then only one succeeds while the other fails. Now, who or what to blame? Nobody and nothing! Success and failure can happen to anyone!

Hard work and ingenuity are both important things to succeed. It actually prepares us when the right time comes. It opens doors for us and it make us ready to immediately grab the opportunity when it comes. But when we fail, it doesn’t make us less deserving. Even if we succeed, it doesn’t make us more deserving than others.

“If our response to success is solely self-congratulation, we are practicing idolatry. If our response is thankfulness, then we are worshipping God. If our reaction to failure is despair, then we are feeling the hollowness of a broken idol. But if our reaction is perseverance, then we are experiencing the gracious power of God.” – Theology Of Work Project

Reference: Working Through Failure