Your will be done

We all know that God’s will is the best for us, don’t we? Most of the time we firmly believe that His Will is good and perfect. Most of the time. So we pray  saying, “your will be done”. Sometimes God says “no”. It hurts but we can live with His “no”, most of the time. Sometimes it is very hard. We cannot see what is good in our circumstances and even the thought of eternity doesn’t help.

Or God may say “yes” and that “blessing” ends up looking more like a curse than a blessing. And we wonder why He said yes knowing the outcome. Did he say yes in His anger as He did with Israel  when they asked for a king (Hosea 13:11)?

Someone, somewhere told us that the will of God for us should always be pleasant,  should always look like a Hollywood blessing. We grew up being fed with stories telling us that being happy ever after is the norm. So we question God when things are not so good and lose our confidence, unsure of His love.

So lest we forget:

  • “The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds” Psalm 145: 17. (NASB)
  • “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32: 4 (NASB)

If we believe those truths with all our heart, we will rejoice in the Lord with Habakkuk, saying, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 (ESV)

 

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So blessed we shouldn’t fear

Do you remember Balaam? He was supposed to curse the Israelites but couldn’t because God had decided to bless them. In the same way we are more than blessed and no one or nothing could never change it.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it. He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them. God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of the wild ox. For there is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel; now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, ‘What has God wrought!’” Numbers 23:19-23 ESV

The God who does not lie, the Father of the Lord Jesus, has blessed you. Because of His mercy, there is no trouble in your life. But and… Do you mean all those blessings in disguise, all those trials meant to make us know Him more, share in His godliness, and depend on Him, rest on Him, love Him deeper, know His love deeper? Yes we will have tribulations in this world, but Jesus has overcome the world. Nothing will never prevail against us, no one will never harm us for God is for us. We have reasons not to fear.

Let pray for one another that peace and joy will overcome fears and doubts in our hearts.

John 16

For stormy days

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

Have you ever been frustrated with God because He did not come through for you after many prayers? Do you remember those days when you just did not understand why God, who is Almighty and good, left you in the midst of difficult, painful circumstances? Here is something that may help us to trust and be still in the midst of storms.

So Jesus sent the disciples on the boat. They were there not because of pride or disobedience but because of their submission, while Jesus stayed, dismissing the crowds, and then praying. While He was praying, the disciples were facing a storm and contrary winds. He did not calm the storm, but kept praying (Luke 22: 31-32). And even when He came to them, He did not calm the storm and the winds. He walked on the sea, but did not calm it. He spoke to them, comforting them, but did not calm it. Yet He was there with them. Difficult circumstances do not mean that God has abandoned or forgotten you. Difficult circumstances mean that God waits for you to come to Him in the midst of the storm. He wants your faith to be great.

How many hair do you have?

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:26-33

What do you think about your hair? Some spent a lot of time taking care of those fine thread-like strands. Others just don’t care. At the end of the day, hair is not that important. We can live without. But our heavenly Father numbered them.

But why? Because He cares. His providence extents to all His creature, even to sparrows.  And because in His mercy He gave us more value than they, He knows how many of them we have on our heads. And if God numbers the hairs of His people, much more does He number their heads and take care of their lives and souls. God takes more care of us than we do ourselves. We never miss our hair that fall, but God knows every one of them. And not a hair of our head will perish (Luke 21:18). We are so precious to God that even the less considerable part of us is important for Him.

As the Holy Spirit says: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32

Today (every day) is the perfect moment to rest in the love of God and to walk through life with confidence.

 

Whatever you want

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” Mark 10:35-36

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

When James and John asked the Lord to do for them whatever they wanted, He did not say: “How dare you?” He was wiling to do whatever they asked for. And when they told Him what they wanted, He did not get upset. He did not even tell them that they were arrogant.  He did not question their motivations. The Lord has nothing against spiritual ambition. He has nothing against our requests. We can ask again and again and He will be willing to bless us. He is the one who said:  “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7 ).

However, as with John and James, He will tell us the cost of what we ask for, the cup we ought to drink before being granting the desire of our heart. Whatever you are asking the Lord at this moment, it comes with a cost: the cost of being a slave. To be a slave is not easy. A slave has no right, no dream. His only purpose is to obey his master. A slave has no dignity. He is willingly humble or he is humiliated. A slave owns nothing, but he owes his master everything.

Are you praying to get married: are you ready to be your spouse’s slave? Are you praying for that promotion, that new house: are you ready to be your boss, your neighbours’ slave? Being a slave is not easy. It demands a lot of humility: more than we are willing to have. But humility will always be the key to get everything from God, even  the most important: Himself (Isaiah 57:15). So let’s fight for it.

Grace upon grace

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

Who does not want God’s favor? Who does not want God’s blessing? Who does not want to be kept by the Lord  and to have His face shine on her /him? Who does not want His grace, His peace  and His mercy ?

If we know who God is, we want it all. He created everything and everything belongs to Him. He is good and mighty (1 Chronicles 29:12; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 119:68). And nothing is too difficult to Him (Jeremiah 32:27). We want His face to shine on us. The good news is that if you belong to Jesus, His face shines on You. If you follow Jesus, God’s grace is on you. He is not there to judge you and punish you, but to give you His grace. Even His discipline is love and grace (Hebrews 12:5-6).

In Jesus, we have all the spiritual blessings of God. In Jesus we have everything we need and more. Not all we want, not as we want it, but according to that grace that chose us and is bringing us home (Ephesians 1:3-5).

Truly “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16

 

Relationship or only power?

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”  And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.  And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:25-34

No one can imagine the pain and the despair of that woman. She was so desperate that she chose to do what she knew she should not. She needed Jesus desperately. She needed His power to heal. That was all she wanted. She touched Jesus and was healed, but did not touch God’s heart. She was healed but God did not know her. She was healed but she did not meet her God.

But because the Lord is a loving God, He did not let her go. He wanted to give her more than she asked for. He wanted to offer her the healing of her soul, a relationship with Him, a place in His family. So He pursued her, offering her the choice to reject Him or to run to Him. The same thing He does with us every day. We are always free to choose His blessings and refuse His affection. Sometimes we are frustrated because He offers only Himself. But for God, Himself is the best gift He can offer (John 17:3). And sometimes it is the only thing we need. To have God’s blessing can make us happy, to have God will give us an unending joy and peace (John 14:27; 16:22).

This woman understood that she needed more from Jesus. She was healed, but came to Him and fell down before Him, showing her faith. And Jesus honored that faith. He made her well, whole, complete. She got a lot of more by choosing to acknowledge Jesus’ Lordship. And He called her “daughter”. He gave her a place in His family, a place in heaven with Him (Colossians 1:12-13). God pours His blessings on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45), but only those who are ready to fall down before Him, to accept Him as Father are part of His family (John 1:12-13). And that is more that all the blessings we can want. Let’s  praise the Lord for that precious gift of Himself.