2016 Reflections - God's Faithfulness

by Friday, December 30, 2016
2016 has been a year when I was broken down, and when I broke down the most. I was placed in situations where my strengths and weaknesses were made known, and I saw who I truly was on the inside. I was emotionally tested, worn out, and on the verge of giving up a couple of times.

In the midst of it all, I saw the faithfulness of God over my life. I have a good, good Father who watches over my every path and encourages me to persevere on. Even though I have not heard His loud, booming voice that explicitly, I saw His hands quietly and steadfastly working behind the scenes. In every waking moment, I am brought to thankfulness as I experience His Presence and realness. The greatest warfares I fought became the greatest breakthroughs I experienced in my entire life.

I saw God working to restore my relationships with different ones. It was heartening and touching as I saw God [finally] fulfilling the promises made years ago over some crucial relationships. Indeed, in His dictionary, there is no such word as impossible. As long as you do not set a limit to what God can do, He will work all things well, even beyond what you can imagine. “All things are possible to Him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

In this year, I found the love and drive for songwriting - in particular, Christian songs that declare God’s goodness, and the reality of hope in the midst of tough situations. One of the songs is titled “You Are Always Good,” completed in the later part of this year

On 2 separate occasions in different years, I was going through similar difficult situations. Every cell in my being cried to give up, but I knew there was a real hope I was holding on to. I mustered all the strength I had left, took my guitar and started praising God spontaneously with whatever I was feeling. Later, this song was crafted.

I came to realise in an experiential way (no longer just having knowledge in my head) that God gives His people the ability to be filled with hope against all hope. He gives them a reason to sing in the midst of difficult times. When all things seemed out of control, we can still praise because God is always good.

In the later part of this year, I was led to work in the recruitment sales industry. God blessed me with an amazing boss and colleagues who saw and believed in my potential. They are constantly giving me opportunities for good growth, building me to be a persevering person. By the grace of God, I found the ability to be disciplined in the mundane things of life. I found joy because I knew I was in God’s will. God brought me from a place of personal failures, aimlessness, hopelessness, to where I am today. All the glory really goes to Him.

In summary, I am very thankful to God for bringing me through this year. It was not an easy ride, but He sustained me. His promises never failed. There is just so much to be thankful for.

If you are reading this, I hope you will be brought back to count the blessings God has given to you. He really loves you. :)

Guarding Your Entrustment

by Thursday, December 22, 2016

A couple of days ago, I was updating about my life to a friend, recounting on the goodness of God in my life, and on career offers. In relation to what I shared, he shared a story on a man by the name of Ken Gott who was used mightily by God in Sunderland for revival, and on the lesson God taught him. 

“When revival broke out in Sunderland, people from all over the world were flooding to see what God was doing in that place. Meetings were run 6 times a week. 2 years into the revival, Ken honestly conversed to God, saying, "Hey God, look at the great revival! People are flooding to see your move! This is so awesome!"

He went on and on about the revival. When He was done, he felt the God saying, "So what?... Let me tell you how I created the universe..." Ken was taken aback, somewhat embarrassed about his boasting. Later, God spoke, "Why are you pursuing your enticements instead of the entrustment I have given to you?"

The direction of his ministry was then realigned to God's vision and plan for them. Priority seats were saved for the street and lost people of Sunderland...”

I realised the importance of hearing God's voice and following His will. Because our hearts can be deceitful, we may depict God's voice the way we want Him to sound like. The bible words we interpret becomes steered to the definition of who we see God to be / the life we wish to lead by. The sufferings we go through becomes unnecessary, but we think the sufferings are for Christ's sake. We think we are pursuing God's entrustment [His plan and purpose] for our lives; but we end up pursuing our own enticement [our own will; what we think God's will is]. We become exalted, not God.

I was reminded of the apostle Paul who was zealous and sincere for God. He went around persecuting the followers of the Way, thinking He was doing God's will. He sure thought God was pleased and his rewards were storing up in heaven. However, God was merciful to intervene. Paul was realigned in the right direction, and he began to truly pursue the will of God.

In this time and age, when so many options lay ahead, let us not forget to hear God's voice and pursue His will above all else. One may come to find that the roots of their enticements are their insecurities (like Saul, the king before David), fleshly desires (like king David), etc. Seek to remove those enticements; guard the entrustment He has given to us.

We die, so that He might live in us.
We die, so that we can truly live.

Oh How He Loves Us

by Friday, December 02, 2016

Comparison was an unshakable bitter poison that grew and manifested within because I always felt rejected. I felt I could not measure up, and I tried to prove myself in whatever means so I could be like the rest of them. It seemed that I could be happier being someone else because it looked like they had it altogether.

In this endeavour, I realised how tired I was because I was heading nowhere. I was moving out of God's original design of Joy, fitting into the shoes meant for someone else. Insecurity became more pronounced than ever, and I lost myself. “Who am I? What is my value” were founded in answers shaped by the world; by mainstream society that stated the must to have certifications, be rich, be a high flyer, etc.

I knew that I could not be like the rest of them no matter how hard I try. It led me to think that life was so unfair. I didn't want to have life harder than others. I hated injustice. I hated unfairness.

I recalled a time when a visiting pastor said the following comforting words as I was recounting my situation:

“If life is fair, we will all go to hell, because Jesus would not have died on the cross. Jesus was tried unfairly, and it was by the trial he took and the cross He bore that we can come into a relationship with Him and eventually be in heaven.”

When I felt injustice, I realised my Saviour felt it even more than I did. It is amazing how He did not lose sight of who He was when there was every reason to feel so. He know He is the Son of God, in whom God dearly loves and is well pleased with. That unshakable assurance and conviction of His identity as God's Son is what I always longed to have because I know I am His as well.

My heart wells up with gratefulness because I have my Jesus, the saints that lived before me, and the present family of God who understands. I know I am not alone, God has made me unique, and He wants me to be me.

If you are grappling with a similar situation, I hope you will come to realise how much God really loves you. His image is on you. I know it is hard to feel like you are worth something, but God will give you the ability to align your emotions with the truth of what He says about you.

You may go through bumpy and rough roads, but open your eyes and look closely, for there ahead is a beautiful rainbow. There lies His promises and plans over your life. Even if you would fall down, you would get up again and still see that rainbow in sight. He watches over His Word to see it come to pass.


A Lamp To My Feet; A Light To My Path

by Wednesday, October 05, 2016

In the psalmist' days, whenever people travel from one place to another in the night, they bring along a lamp, with a lit candle inside it.

Light from such a lamp illuminates the path ahead just enough for the person to take the next step. They may not be able to see their end destination, but they trust that every step they take will lead them to the place they desire to go. The light will reveal near potential dangers in their path to avoid.

As Christians, since we "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7), we may only be limited to see several steps ahead. But it is all the more vital to have faith.

Hold on to the lamp that is God's Word and His promises. Avoid the dangers and traps of the enemy. Let His Word be the lamp to your feet; a light to your path in every season.

Starting Again

by Friday, January 08, 2016

Scripture Reference: Exodus 13
Exodus 13:21-22 (NASB)
“The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt's bondage, He led them by cloud in the day, and by fire in the night. He was leading them to exit the past and move forward to what He had promised and dreamed of for them.

Instead of taking the short route, that is, the way of the Philistines, He led them around by the way of the wilderness, foreseeing that they may become fearful and change their minds when they saw war.

Many years of staying in the wilderness would have caused them to be convinced by God's power and assuring Presence. But, that generation never entered the promise land. 12 spies were sent out to spy the land, and 10 gave a bad report because they feared those giants in that land. Only Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. They were full of faith and courageous.

Even though the Israelites stepped out of bondage (Egypt) physically, their hearts remained in bondage (fear). They derived conclusions based on fear; not on what God has said to them.

Deriving conclusions from fear create boundaries that limit one from crossing over beyond that line. Many of us were in bondage before we knew God. We failed in some areas, got into sinful habits, and there remains a fear that we are not able to break away from that past. That conclusion haunts, blocking us from not wanting to step over to try something new, or hinders us from having faith to believe in God's words for our lives.

But this is the truth: Jesus died so that we can part with condemnation and the punishment of sin. What was done in the past was healed by Jesus' wounds. Because of the price He paid, we can start again.

Therefore, never derive conclusions from fear, but from the words of God. His words are stronger and more powerful than your fears and your past. His truth is even more real than your real or regarded fears. Let Jesus conclude the final word over your life today.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
"Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.”
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