A compassionate God

Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36 HCSB)

Some versions say “compassionate” instead of “merciful”. Being compassionate defines someone who has “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. ” And Being merciful is to provide relief.

What the verse above tells us is that when God sees us in our difficulties and sorrows, He wants to help us, comfort us, and soothe us. And because He is who He is; because He is not powerless, He does it: He provides us with relief. How does He give us that relief? Here is an example.

You certainly know the story of Gideon. God called him and sent him to fight against the Midianites. But he was afraid.  So God told him “Get up and go into the camp, for I have given it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go to the camp, go with Purah your servant. Listen to what they say, and then you will be strengthened to go to the camp.” (Judges 7 9-11 HCSB)

God felt a deep sympathy for him. God understood what He was going through. When Gideon went to the camp, he listened to a conversation that gave him courage. God reassured, strengthened him because he needed it. But God went further. He told him to go with his servant. He did not shame him for being afraid, but instead provided him with solutions.

And since God doesn’t show favoritism, there are no reasons it won’t do it for you, no reasons it won’t do it for me.

 

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Beauty-giver?

Months ago, I decided to bring beauty in this world instead of complaining about the ugliness of everything. I decided to be a beauty-giver. But I quickly learned that there is a big difference between dreaming of being a beauty-giver when lying on my couch and giving beauty.

When my coworkers began to bully me, I locked myself into my fears, making things even worse. No beauty came from that.  When I had to keep going to work even though things were getting worse, I let my fears lead me on roads of loneliness and stress. I could not see God, His love, His care in the midst of oppression.

Then God reminded me of who I was. I was His, meaning I am never alone. He is always there and there is a great big family around me. I don’t think so many people have ever prayed for me before. People have been praying for me from all around the world. And beauty I was not able to give has come to me through words of encouragement and grace, through other’s testimonies, faith, strength, and trust. I am easily frightened by what is frightening, but I have an army carrying me beyond fears and threats. I am not alone. I am a citizen of heaven and a member of the family of God, and for that, my heart is filled with gratitude, and I can smile, and through it bring beauty into this world.

And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:17-22)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:3-6)

Fears

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

What are you afraid of? I am afraid of being rejected, of being judged negatively, of being embarrassed, of annoying others, of making public mistakes, of heights, dogs, public speaking, and of things I don’t really want to speak of. I am a fearful person. So I am glad to have a God, a Father who has promised to calm all my fears. He knew I would be afraid and He promised. He knows I am afraid and offers help. He will calm my fears, all of them, even if they seem stupid.

Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:1 GWT)

Worshipping a holy God

“Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 15:11-15 ESV)

God is so amazing, so unique. He is a friend, a father, a brother, a helper, a comforter among other things. It is easy to focus on these aspects of His uniqueness and to forget His holiness. We tend to see His approachability as an invitation to do as we want in our relationship with Him. But there are rules to seek God. Repentance is one, faith in Christ another one, and gratitude and reverence others.  Grace is grace, but grace is holy. Love is love, but love does not mean disrespect, contempt, or right to complain or test God. There is a place for weakness in our relationship with God, but do not expect God to change His word, His rules for you. He did not even change them for David, the man according to His own heart.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

 

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

Without fear

It has been a while… One year I think. A year filled with fears, doubts, but also with love, grace, and power. A year filled with God.

Today, I would like to share with you verses that encourage me a lot. I just like them. They are found in Luke 1.

Zechariah, John’s father prophesied, praising the Lord. And he said,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1: 70-75

God’s will for us is that we serve Him without fear. Many times because of fear, we don’t serve God in holiness, we stop being righteous. We compromise and lie out of fear. We lie to get or keep a job, friends, respect, etc. We compromise to belong, to feel loved, not to be rejected or persecuted, etc. We sin because we are afraid of something or someone. If only we knew who is our God, if only we knew more about His sovereignty and love, then we would be faithful to Him at any cost.

We need to know him as the one who has all power, who is in control of everything, even of the number of our hair. We need to remember that nothing can happen to us if He doesn’t let it happen. And we need to remember how much He loves us. In Christ, God has shown His power and His love. Christ died because of God’s love and resurrected through His power. God sent His son so that no fear might prevent us to glorify Him.

I pray we will know God more and deeper and trust Him fully to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness.

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”” Daniel 4: 34-35

Why am I single?

Today I am tired and I am not sure I want to write. I am not sure I want to write but there are thoughts I desire to share.
I planned to write about the Israelites wailing in the desert because they didn’t have meat to eat and wishing to be in Egypt. However, this morning a sister in Christ asked me why she is still single. My answer was something like “because God gives us what we need and if we don’t need it He won’t meet it.”
Then, I got an email from a friend of mine. She was sharing about her sentimental life. She wrote about the “why” of her singleness. So I thought of of the “why” of my singleness. God may have others reasons… but for me I am still single because I don’t want to let it go.
I am afraid. I am afraid of being taken advantage of, afraid of not being loved unconditionally, afraid of… so many things. I am not surrendered. I don’t trust God to care enough to protect me, to guide me. I am the one in charge. Yet, My favourite love story in the Bible is the story of Isaac and Rebekah.

The Bible stated: ” Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her.Genesis 24 : 67
God chose her. God decided and Isaac loved her. Their marriage was not perfect but it was not that bad. 

I dream of God choosing for me. I dream of loving His choice. However I am afraid and I am not letting go. I don’t give God a chance. I don’t give brothers a chance. I want Batman but with Superman’s qualities and the faith of Paul. Of course, he must be a perfect stranger. I love them far and unapproachable. 

So now I need to learn to be surrendered in this area. It won’t be easy but “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13