Don’t abort your hope

Hope precedes faith. Without a living hope faith can’t exist and “those who have faith must believe that the things they are hoping for will come to pass”. (Hebrews 11:1)

Hope doesn’t grow on the ground that has not been melted by the fire of love and reshaped by the word of God. It’s in hope that we cry out, “Abba Father”, for our inner being seeks the one whose love draws us and whose presence makes us whole.

Hope makes us accept the truth that the Almighty and the creator of the whole universe is not someone who is far from us but he lives in us as its written “Your body is the temple of God.” It’s in hope that we long to go from one degree of glory to another to turn into the image of his Son Jesus. Hope is what bridges the gap between what we are to- day to what the heavenly father wants us to be in Christ.

Hope is alive and it waits to see the glory of the living God. It gets rejuvenated to witness things turning into reality and receives its strength from the irrevocable promises of God.  Hope needs to be guarded so that it doesn’t die without seeing its fulfilment.

Determination to see hope turning into reality comes by taking refuge in a place that has been built on the rock of the word of God. If you want to keep your hope alive, meditate on what the Lord says to you. Think about its implications, practise it in daily life, test it to see if it works or not, and once you have seen its power in your life, accept it.

Our hope has a great value in the sight of the Lord for it connects us with him in such a way that we begin to turn into his living abode, “We are his house, if we hold onto our courage and the hope of which we boast.” Hebrews 3:6

Hope that is alive keeps our faith in the Almighty active. An active faith shows itself through actions and waits upon the Lord to receive the promised blessings.

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Don’t worry about tomorrow

Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.”

Is Jesus asking us to do something impossible? Don’t we all plan for the future and work hard to bring those plans to fruition, and during the process of planning and  implementation, worry is inevitable! Thinking about how will it happen? what if things don’t turn out the way they have been planned? Will others make fun of us  if we are not able to finish what we have started? Isn’t it all natural. The problem begins when worry and doubts take over and convince us to quit before we have even started. We don’t realize that simple planning, feeding on fear of unknown, is gradually turning into the greatest impediment to our progress.

Worry, taking its strength from the inherent fear of unknown becomes our greatest resistance to to move any further. We don’t realize that it all started with planning for the future without including the counsel of the one who is the author of our days.

Jesus is asking us to base future plans on the word, “Don’t worry”. The one who is victorious over death and reigns in the future wants us to leave behind the fear of unknown to HIM.

A robust future plan not only include time tested strategies of success but also rests on the solid foundation of the irrevocable word of God.

When the word was spoken, the power to follow it was already granted. All of us are fully equipped to do what the master is asking us to do, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” 

If we try to do the contrary by worrying about things, the effort to resist the word of God, will take up all our energy and leave us powerless. The Word is the real bread today tomorrow and forever, and we receive just our daily portion every day. God never supply more than what we need today the way Father provided Israelites with fresh manna every morning and asked them not to store anything for the future. Our God is same who wants his children to trust on HIS daily provisions. Father desires his children to hold onto the giver of the blessings and not just the blessings that He gives.

Worry induced by unknown fear doesn’t do any good to us. All it does is to shut our eyes to see the abundance of blessings that Father has granted us in Jesus. Worry is an evil weapon that block our growth by resisting us to offer sincere thanksgiving to God, The Father.

Not only that, worry robs our peace and don’t let us see the opportunities that come to us every day. When we can’t see the opportunities, how would we make good use of them to turn them into prosperity.

Worry and doubts make us quit even before we have started off.

Don’t listen to your doubts and worry. No-one has seen the future except the one who is, who was and who is to come. Jesus, the truthful witness, is asking us not to worry. How can we not pay attention to His word!

Do not let your hearts be troubled

John 14:1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.”

Getting troubled about anything and everything is the tendency of human heart.  Jeremiah 17:9 says , “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”. Human heart is mysterious, it longs for the things it doesn’t have rather than praising God for what it has. It strives to reach from one height of success  to another rather than resting in the shadow of most high God. It has short sightedness and narrow focus that is restricted to the realm of its experiences. It is rebellious in nature and struggles to elevate itself even above God. It is restless and have no desire to come under the submission of  God. It knows the sovereignty of the word of God that we are his children yet tries to give its way to the deception of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Jesus is asking us to train our heart not to be troubled. The spoken word of Christ doesn’t do any miracle or wonder unless it is received with faith. Trusting God is the only remedy for an ailing troublesome heart as Jesus said in the next verse, “Trust in God”.

Our heart believes the patterns of life it has experienced. It makes plans for tomorrow with an absolute assurance that tomorrow is as certain as yesterday was, since it believes what it has seen (yesterday) and makes an imaginary path that tomorrow will follow. Unless the heart is put to strict training to see the unseen God working in our life today, it will have trouble seeing God working for us tomorrow.

God asked Israelites, Deut.4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Repeat God’s goodness day and night, until the subconscious mind begins retrieving the work of the Lord without conscious effort. Trusting God needs conscious efforts.

Jesus further said “Trust me.” Is trusting God different from trusting Jesus? Yes, If it were not so, Jesus would have never asked us to do so. Trusting God, his existence, his love and his works is the first step that is needed to trust His Son. Faith and trust need a foundation and Jesus by speaking the above verses was building on the foundation of the knowledge of God that disciples already had.

Trusting Jesus is a process that begins with knowing Him and advances as we continue to live in the light of His work. Knowing Jesus as the Son of God is not enough but believing that we (Jesus and us) belong to the same family. Knowing Jesus as a healer is not enough but trusting that he has delivered us from all present and future afflictions. Knowing Jesus’s sacrificial death is not enough but trusting that we, as covenant partners are more than victorious over the principalities and powers. Knowing the miracle of resurrection is not enough but trusting that we have been called to share eternal life with Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour.

How precious are the works that Jesus has accomplished on behalf of the children of God and how precious are those who train their hearts to trust him. My heart rejoices to see the great works of my Lord and saviour and a happy heart knows no trouble!

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy

Joy and tears go together as we want to live a Godly life, as Paul says in 2Timothy 3:12, “Everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Godly life in Christ Jesus comes with a cost that involves disciplined life and sacrificial obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifices but sacrificial obedience is what the Lord has called us for.  Sacrificial obedience may range from getting up early in the morning to spend time with the Lord, to using spiritual weapons to bind every imagination and thought that rise against the knowledge of God. Obedience is not easy but with persistent efforts it brings renewed strength that enables us to lead Godly life.

An undisciplined life begins with just one episode of careless disobedience that stretches itself into intentional resistance to the work of the Lord. How important it is to keep a watch on where we are going as Paul says in Eph. 5:21, “Watch your step.”

A soldier doesn’t get mixed up with the civilian affairs but keep himself focused on his mission likewise those who want to live a Godly life with Jesus need to keep their minds and eyes focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. One slip here and there might invite the raging waves of storms of disobedience into our lives.

An obedient life doesn’t bring an assurance of a life free from persecution or troubles. In fact the verse above says just the opposite that “those who want to live a Godly life will be persecuted.”

Why should one be motivated to live an obedient life if all it brings is persecution? What benefits are there for us? tremendous!

The persecution that follows obedience doesn’t necessarily come from outside. Our carnal mind perpetually fights against the authority of God and tries to elevate itself by not submitting to most high God. Mind that is filled with conflicting thoughts lives in constant persecution by deliberately ignoring God-given talents and spiritual fervour. Persecution begins when one knows what to do but chooses to go just the opposite.  Paul depicts it beautifully in Romans 7 when he says that “I delight in God’s law but I see another law at work in the embers of my body.” An obedient child of God deals with persecution every day. But those who have been trained by the word of God reap the harvest in the form of  righteousness, a renewed mind and a strengthened reliance on the word of God.

Persecution does make us weak but at the end we come out much stronger with a powerful faith that doesn’t just rest on the written word but on the life changing power that lies beneath the word.

God’s promises are easy to believe when things go right but hard when nothing seems moving despite heartfelt prayers. How difficult it is to trust when no sign of fulfillment of prayers appears for a long time. Those who focus on the word during hard times know that the word acts as the bread of life, sustaining the believer’s soul by fulfilling the spiritual need at the moment of desperation. The word becomes alive in the life of the believer by burning the conflicting desires of mind thus making peace in the members of the body so that the believer may offer perfect praise to the living God.

No persecution is dark enough to hide the rays of the glory of the living God that shines at the end. Day and night follow an order and so does persecution and deliverance.  Although night seems to be longer for some of us, lasting not just for days or months but for years. Be encouraged my friend, the deliverance is as sure as the coming of the dawn, those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy (psalm126:5).

Do not worry

Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Worrying about things is not a problem in its entirety but a symptom of something deeper. It is an outward expression of what is building up beneath the surface, that is insecurity. Insecurity is complex in nature, since its independent of what we have or where we are. We may be blessed with a big and caring family still feel being attacked by insecurity from time to time. We may be living the most comfortable life that could cause others to envy without a sense of security.

Insecurity is inherent and deeply rooted in human nature for a reason. Any measure to eradicate insecurity can only lessen the degree of insecurity but can never take it out. Insecurity, if not treated on time, grows exponentially and before it begins affecting the lives of others and those around us, it’s better to take help to deal with the problem.

Insecurity originates in our subconscious mind that is aware of the fleeting nature of worldly wealth. We might not acknowledge the transient nature of our possessions and try to get hold of them as hard as we can, but deep down in our hearts we know that nothing in this world is going to last for ever. Since we are created in God’s image who lives for ever and ever, our hearts search for the things that are eternal in nature. When we find nothing of that sort, we compare the worth of what we have in the grand picture of eternity, and find our possessions futile and feeble. It’s this realization that fills us with insecurity.

Insecurity can only be destroyed by shifting our focus from things that are going to destroy to the things that will remain for ever. Insecurity will run away if we find someone whose resources are unlimited. Who is not within the confines of time and space. Someone whose love always surrounds us. Someone who is always with us even until eternity.

Jesus is the only one who qualifies to give us perfect security, even until eternity, for he said, “I am with you till the end of the age”.

Trying to fight with insecurity is a waste of time. Just find the one who can give perfect security.