The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most important and powerful tool in healing. It can help restore relationships – with others, with yourself, with God – and help make peace with past hurts and situations. Therefore this is why I picked this as the very first topic, for it is simple to write about and yet it can have great impact on our healing journey. For some, this might heal you completely? For some, it may be a stepping stone as part of your healing journey. In my case, it’s one of the many stones toward my healing journey and I wanted to say this so you can have hope! For I had so many many issues (mentally and emotionally), and God wanted to use me as an example so you can be inspired by how God truly cares and wants to have us healed. To be able to live and thrive in Christ!

I realize it is much easier said than done! I know it can be hard to forgive certain situations and people. It might take some time for some folks. Pray and allow God to help guide you in regards to forgiveness in your life.

So what’s my story?

Back in high school, when my brother’s mental illness started to emerge and caused him act out toward the family – I got beaten up and received constant verbal abuse which pushed me away from him. I felt traumatized and unloved by this. I struggled with this pain for long time. I was really angry at him for so long. Also not understanding him or his situation made the problem worse, leaving both of us not having a good relationship for a very long time. What I hadn’t realized at the time was that he still loved me deep, even with him acting out at times.

All these years, I was so blind with unforgiveness and anger that I overlooked his multiple attempts to reconcile and rebuild relationship with me. He wanted to have a good relationship with me. We still did see each other once in a while and for most part it was cordial. But… it wasn’t enough and also my heart wasn’t truly in these visits. God knows what’s in our hearts – we may do something nice, but what’s in our heart is what really matters. Looking back on it, it’s not something I’m proud of – for that was hurtful to him.

One day, God put it on my heart to reconnect with my brother in a more meaningful way and spend quality time with him. Not just at Christmas and birthdays and once in a while but more so on regular basis. I felt that God was showing me that he was alone and suffering terribly with his own mental illness. I started to feel compassion for him and wanted him to be taken care of. Then a fellow brother in Christ confirmed what I felt in my heart, explaining what God showed him in the spirit. It was powerful experience!

At first it was quite challenging because of my own heart toward him, struggling to overthrow bitterness and anger, as well as learning how to interact with him and not wanting to jeopardize the relationship again. I saw how God changed my heart over time, allowing Him to do a deep work in me. As I spent more time with my brother, I saw my unforgiveness and anger melting away. It gradually dawned on me how much he was suffering, which shifted the focus away from my own past hurts toward compassion for my brother. It healed a major traumatic wound from the past.

Facing the magnitude of what I had done to my brother, seeing how much of a jerk I was and how I ignored him for so long, leaving him feeling lonely and neglected by his brother. I struggled hard with unforgiveness toward myself and struggled to come terms with my own action. Instead of condemning myself as the enemy wants me to, God helped shift my focus on what He has done for us on the cross. Jesus already paid the price for our sin, our fallen wretched nature – forgiving us completely. God knows exactly what we have done and yet still forgave us! Therefore we forgive others, including ourselves. It is not our own righteousness that we are justified before God, but Christ’s righteousness that justifies us before God as we trust and believe in Christ.

When we are able to forgive and move on, it’s like a new fresh start! Old past is gone, and there’s a whole new future to explore together! Same with God, our old former self is garbage, full of sinful capacity, but when we become born-again in God – we have the opportunity to WALK in the new creation, putting aside the former self and former way of living. And WALKING IN THE NEWNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST!

God also helped me understand who I am in Christ – that I am a new creation in Christ and no longer the old person I was. Each of us always have new opportunities to do things differently, to grow more in Christ. This time I chose to focus on rebuilding a better relationship with my brother. Praise God! Understanding the vast mercy and grace God has given us helps us appreciates the magnitude of His forgiveness and sacrifice and love Jesus have richly provided for us. When we truly realize this in a deeper sense then I believe it makes it a lot easier to forgive others.

Now, I am just truly grateful to have him in my life and I am learning to be forgiving when he acts out or does something that makes me angry. Then I forgive hard! Just keep practicing forgiveness! I feel in my heart that God is happy that our relationship is restored, for He truly desires for us to love one another and live in harmony. It is not His will that we hate one another. I am still continuing this journey in new relationship with my brother, and I feel blessed! I know it’s not perfect and he still challenges me in many different ways yet (and vice versa!) but there’s always opportunity to keep on growing and opportunities to keep on forgiving and moving on.

Challenges in life doesn’t have to be a bad thing when God plans it for our own benefit to help us grow in kingdom character! We just gotta let Him do a good work in us, even though it may seem painful at times. Just look at me – God used my brother to change my attitude and heart toward him. And also for me to be a blessing to my brother in his life!

Matthew 6:12 (ESV)
and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”
― Will Smith

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
― Nelson Mandela

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
― Nelson Mandela

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Many times, the decisions we make affect and hurt your closest friends and family the most. I have a lot of regrets in that regard. But God has forgiven me, which I am very thankful for. It has enabled me to forgive myself and move forward one day at a time.
– Lex Luger

The most important thing that I learned in growing up is that forgiveness is something that, when you do it, you free yourself to move on.
– Tyler Perry

“I think the hardest thing in life is to forgive. Hate is self destructive. If you hate somebody, you’re not hurting the person you hate, you’re hurting yourself. It’s a healing, actually, it’s a real healing…forgiveness.”
– Louis Zamperini

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
– Lewis B. Smedes

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Special Blog Series: Mental Illness Struggles – Introduction

Brecon Beacons the last big climb #dailyshoot #Wales

 

I wanted to start up a special blog series on my own struggles with mental illness and to testify about how God has remained faithfully with me despite my deep struggle and how far God goes to save even one of us and to help us in our struggles. It is crazy LOVE. God wanted me to be transparent with others about this. I will share my experiences as I blog about this and what I’ve learned on this journey so far. I feel God has showed to me that He is taking me on a healing journey to be healed and wanted to share this with my readers so they may have hope and be encouraged and hopefully to be set FREE!

My hope and prayer for people suffering from their inner torment/struggles is for them to learn about the LOVE God has for you and that you can rest in His infinite love. And also for folks to feel that they are not alone in suffering and KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD. YEP, YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD! Even if you have been abandoned or forsaken by friends or family because of your struggles, GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE YOU! His loving arms are wide open for you to come and rest into! Come and thirst for Jesus.  

Isaiah 41:17 (ESV)
When the poor and needy seek water,
   and there is none,
   and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
   I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

John 7:37-38 (AMP)
37 Now on the last and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood and called out [in a loud voice], “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 38 He who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Me], as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.’”

My heart goes out to folks suffering from mental illness and folks taking care of loved one struggling with it and I truly want you to feel cared for and loved and for you to know that God cares very much so. I realize there are a heavy stigma associated with mental illness and folks are afraid to talk about it or might’ve been abandoned by friends/family because of the illness, etc.. You are not alone, I am also reluctant to talk about my inner struggles with other folks around me in life. But with God, He knows our inner struggle! And still loves you regardless! THERE IS HOPE!!! Check this verse out –

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)
 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Please take everything I write in prayer and to check with the Bible and MOST IMPORTANTLY… CHECK WITH GOD!!!! (Good rule of thumb in general) I am only a mere man but will strive my best to keep it in line with what God wants me to say and to be real as possible. God is the one that deserve GLORY AND HONOR. God knows EXACTLY what each of you need, I do not, man do not either, BUT GOD DOES!!!! Everyone is different and might need one or different combination of things to help with your struggles. Allow GOD to lead and guide you as you journey in your life.

 Without Him, we are nothing but dust! With Him, we can do all things and be all we can be in Christ! I also pray for the readers to be able to enjoy God in an intimate relationship – to live and thrive in Christ! Not just simply knowing about Him or just simply going to church BUT A REAL AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!! A LOVING RELATIONSHIP!! For Jesus Christ is loving and tender. He is VERY REAL!!!

I plan to have special contact section soon in case you have any questions, or want to talk about your issues or ask questions about God, etc.. related to inner struggle/torment. I realize this is a very sensitive and challenging topic about real struggles and will do my best to be considerate and understanding and helpful. I might not be able to know or answer everything but I can certainly try and I will ask God to help me =). I will announce when that is up and completed.

 Just wanted to cap up this introduction with a little background on my mental illness since I brought that up.

 Growing up, I’ve struggled with severe anxiety, obsessive thinking, irrational thoughts, and overthinking in everything including over-interpreting and over-analyzing even a simple social encounter. I also struggle with lack of confidence many times. On the outside, people may or may not notice but on the inside it’s a totally different world since I try to act/appear normal on the outside, hiding my own inner struggle. I have suffered through many rejections throughout my life, being misunderstood and left out from folks and I also have misunderstood folks’ intentions/actions many times.

 I will explore different topics in depth as we go through this special blog series. So I wanted to give you a preview on this struggle and how God has led me along on a journey. My goal is to share God’s WORD and to open up about my struggles just like how David poured out his heart unto God. I will use the term mental illness and terms commonly used for the sake of shared vocabulary and understanding. But I want to focus mainly on the spiritual application of this struggle and to provide specific spiritual tools to help fight the inner struggles that we have. That can include specific verses that can help with specific situations you may be facing.

 I will end with several inspiring verses to show that God is calling us to have a relationship with Him and that He is faithful always. Let us go to Him and start our journey of healing!

Psalm 27:7-14 (ESV)
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

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FIRE AND WATER

 

Canadian campfire

God reaches out to each of us in a unique way, just like how each of us are able to reach out to others in a unique way. God gave each of us different gifts to use, if we chose to. Serving God doesn’t mean we have to become a pastor or a missionary to do so. Who said that you have to be one of these to serve God?

Each of us have our own unique contribution we can make and don’t think for one second that you are not valued!

I wanted to emphasis this verse – 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 (ESV).

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Each one of you are valued in a different way with a different purpose in this life. Now, even though we all have different gifts, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other or acquire additional gifts.

Behold – our differences are what helps BUILD up the body of Christ and advance God’s kingdom. The old saying, “iron sharpens iron” applies to the fellowship of believers. We all have something to learn from and contribute to. When one lacks or is weak in one area, other can contribute from their strength and plenty. THAT is building one another up in love, which binds us all together.

Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV).

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Also, when we serve our brothers, we also serve God. Ponder on that, helping our brother is same as if we helped Christ himself!

Matthew 25:34-40 (ESV).

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Fire and water don’t mix, right? But they each are important for their own purpose. One brother in Christ has a fiery style when it comes to sharing God’s word, sharing His worth with great burning passion. His FIRE is able to alight others, even to those who only have embers remaining.

Yet, FIRE is not always appropriate for all circumstances. There are times when folks need the soothing cool WATER to heal and comfort them through difficult times. Other brother has this style of calming WATER, having the compassion and understanding to stand with other brother through difficult time. To continually uplift and encourage him.

But yet somehow, God was able to mix these two brothers together, FIRE AND WATER – something that no man can do. The FIRE brother infuse fiery passion into the WATER brother and the WATER brother uplift the FIRE brother with encouragements!

God knows exactly what each of us need, whether if that’s FIRE or WATER or something else completely! He knows in some season, we need that FIRE and in other season we need that WATER. And He brings along the right folks in our lives to accomplish God’s purpose. Each of you have your own unique gifts that God gave you and don’t forget that you are valued! You have your own unique story and God loves to write a unique story for each of us. Will you let God in your life and allow Him to use you and write a story for you?Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail

God’s Long Awaited Promises

my father told me that....

As I was speaking to my dear friend and brother in Christ about having more questions than answers. I exclaimed that sometimes that’s the fun part, and of course sometimes it’s not so fun. I don’t think God intends for us to put Him in our small box of understanding. Proverb 25:2 comes to mind

Proverb 25:2 (AMP)
2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

Later that evening when I couldn’t fall asleep so quickly, I decided to flip through the Bible, starting with the Proverb but that didn’t feel right with my heart, then my heart pointed me to the New Testament. I said to myself, I feel like spending time with Jesus! So I casually skimmed/read through the book of John, stopping in various places with brief intent focus before moving on the next. But when I came across this verse

John 3:8 (AMP)
8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

At that moment, my heart stirred once again and I remembered my conversation with my friend from earlier. I thought to myself – BINGO!

And then out of blue, I started writing down what I presume to be Holy Spirit guiding me as I write. I didn’t know if it was intended specifically for me, or my friend or even someone else reading this. Or even a combination of these. The message stayed on my heart until I sent this to my friend the next day. This is what I wrote down –

A man tries to plan,
tries to have it his own way.
Whether if good or ill-intended.
Our preconceived notion, ideas, plans doesn’t necessarily always line up with God’s grand master plan.

How can we constrain God’s way with our own limited way?
How can we constrain God’s way of thinking with our own limited thoughts?
If God says He will deliver, then He will deliver.
Even if it’s a long time coming.

Remember Abraham?
When he waited for so long to receive his long-awaited son,
he thought it was a good idea to try to “help” God.
But God already had this handled,
Already taken care of,
for His Holy Hand isn’t bound, nor is His arm too short.
Yet by Abraham’s flesh, he produced an Ishmael.
Yet by Abraham’s faith and God’s promise, a promised son was born nevertheless!
An Issac!

I remember a while back when God wanted me to go down a particular path in life. He showed me the end destination as for where I was go but I didn’t know all of the details yet. Like Abraham, he didn’t know how and when his promised son would come. I just took it in faith that God will deliver on His promise to deliver me to where He wanted me to be. My flesh also tried to “help” God by planning specific details in order to accomplish where He wanted me to go. I thought this was the specific path and how God would deliver into the next stage of life but yet my preconceived notion wasn’t spot-on! Despite my “help”, God’s plan was still proceeding precisely on schedule, so nothing had been lost nor delayed. Remember my previous blog entry about God opening and closing doors in our life? In my case, I went to the wrong door but fortunately God had it closed so I can go through the correct door. God will deliver on His promise for He is able to!

John 3:8 is so powerful since we are born of the Spirit. We can feel the wind, and know which direction it’s blowing in but yet we cannot hold/contain the wind itself. Our flesh prefers the idea of being in control and yet wind is something we cannot control. So when we’re born of the spirit, we’re essentially giving up our control in life (or at least trying/learning how to do so) and allowing God’s Holy Spirit to guide us. The process might be a bit unpleasant but necessary for our growth!Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail

Looking beyond past and present circumstances

Mauritania

Isaiah 43:16-19 (NIV)
16 This is what the Lord says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Oftentimes God calls us out of our present and familiar situation and thrust us into new situations. That can include leaving behind our past and present relationships, jobs or places. The Bible shows a common recurring pattern for people called upon to follow God’s divine plan. This pattern can occur multiple times throughout a person’s life. Although this doesn’t mean everyone go through the exact same pattern since everyone is unique and different. Nevertheless it is still beneficial to learn from observing this pattern in others’ lives. These people usually go through the following pattern:

1. Deciding on whether to accept or reject what God has planned for them.

Taking that first step can be difficult sometimes because in some cases, God is asking us to give up familiar attachments we have (including relationships, jobs, places, lifestyle, etc…) before we can start our journey. Not everyone choose to accept this. One verse illustrates this point quite well –

Luke 9:61-62 (ESV) 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Another verse illustrates God’s invitation to partake in His shared blessings, notice that not all accept His invitation –

Luke 14:15-20 (NIV) 15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

Sometimes accepting what God has called us to do take a huge leap in faith, not knowing why or how they will accomplish what God had planned for them.

2. Undertaking what God has called them to do.

After accepting what God has called us to do, we enter a period of transition and change that comes with much uncertainty. Sometimes we second-guess ourselves or God on whether if we’re on the right path, if we have heard correctly, etc… Sometimes we longingly look back to the old days because that was familiar (and less painful) compared to present wilderness. It’s is not always easy in time of transition and test our obedience and faith in God. The question is, will we rise up to the challenge or dwell over present and past circumstances?

3. Reaping what they had sown, whether good, bad or both.

What we do throughout our journey determine what we will sow for ourselves in the end. Our previous choices and how we respond to God’s plan has very important consequences. For some, we receive the long-awaited blessings and for some others, punishments. Don’t take this the wrong way, He is extraordinarily patient with us and our weaknesses. He truly desires that all come to repentance, for us to grow and prosper in Christ.

2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV) 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

An example of this pattern comes from a book of Exodus and Numbers. In the first verse below, God has declared His plan to rescue people from oppressive slavery in Egypt.

Exodus 3:7-9 (NIV) 7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

He had declared His promise that His people will settle in Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. We can see that God was acting out of His endless love for His people and wanted to remove them from negative circumstances and lead them to a better place (among many other reasons as well!). He wants this for everyone and He knows that the journey is not always easy! That’s why God guide us. That’s why we must depend on God’s guidance, not our own, for He knows the best path that lies ahead.

Later in the Exodus, we read about how God sent miracles after miracles, putting His plan in motion. God divided the waters of Red Sea to make way for Israelites to escape! He also provided them with heavenly manna and water to sustain them in barren wilderness. He also guided them by pillar of cloud during the day and pillar of fire during the night. How amazing is that? Despite numerous miraculous displays, some people still grumbled and complained about their present circumstances, thinking it was better to die in Egypt than in the wilderness.

Exodus 16:2-3 (NIV) 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

Then prior to entering the Promised Land, Israelites sent out twelve spies to scout out the land. When they came back, ten out of twelve spies gave negative report and casted doubt that they could conquer the Promised Land. Only two spies had faith and believed that they could conquer the Promised Land, despite the giants in the land. The assembly still doubted and grumbled. They looked back to ‘better’ circumstances in the past rather than having faith that God will deliver them and lead them to better place.

Numbers 14:1-4 (NIV) 14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

The Promised Land was theirs to seize, all they had to do was to act on that faith! Moses interceded on people’s behalf for their lack of faith. God forgave them. But nevertheless still punished them for their rebellion by not allowing them into the Promised Land for 40 years. Only their children will set foot in the Promised Land. Ten spies who gave bad report died by plague. The other two spies who gave good reports received God’s blessing of being able to set a food in the Promised Land.

This pattern doesn’t have to apply only to specific chapters of our life, but can apply broadly to our entire life. God has called on everyone to follow Him, bestowing each of them with unique God-given gifts. It is up to each individual if they want to follow God and use their gifts to advance His kingdom. The second part of this pattern consist most, if not all, of our life. We make series of choices that determines what we will receive in the end. The last part of this pattern happens when we die. We will either receive a blessing of eternity with God or a punishment of eternity without God. Remember, God desires that all come to repentance and follow Him. If we continue to keep faith and believe that Christ shed his blood for our sin then truly God will bless us with an eternity in Heaven.

Just keep chasing after Him and God will truly bless you! Just remember that journey will involve some sacrifices, ups and downs, and trials. But in the end, it will be worth it! Rest assured, God has your best interest at heart, and His kingdom as well! He is not doing this to torment us or to make our lives more difficult for no reason. It is simply part of our journey. He truly wants to see you succeed and prosper. He is breaking down what is not of Him and to build us up in Godly character – such as love, peace, joy, patience, etc…

Romans 5:1-5 (NIV) 5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV) 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

What does that mean for us? For some of us, God might be calling us to come out of our present relationships, jobs, or locations. It might not make sense at first. Just like how Israelites looked at the bleak wilderness and longingly thought of ‘better’ place in Egypt while the true blessings was in store for them in the future. As we saw, it was up to them to accept these blessings or not. As we read, many did not accept their promised blessings and chose not to go through grueling wilderness before receiving blessings from God. By looking to their past and present circumstances in a negative light, they actually hindered the blessings God had planned to give them in the present and the future. God didn’t withdraw his blessings from these people. Instead, they chose not to receive His blessing!

Some of us might be clinging onto old and unhealthy relationships (friendship/romantic/family) thus preventing us from opportunities for new relationships to emerge in our life. Perhaps God wanted to bestow us with something much better than what we have currently?? It could be just a simple character/personal development. It could be a new helpmate. It could be many other things. It’s not always an easy or pretty path to take, but nevertheless God will never forsake or abandon His children. He is continuously guiding us to a better place. Will we take a leap of faith? Even though it might cost us dearly?Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail

Sharing God's LOVE for the mankind