HAVE A REASONABLE EXPECTATION


I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33 NIV).


What is a promise? A promise is a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specific. Once a promise is declared, the person receiving the promise expects it to be fulfilled. But sometimes we have the wrong expectations. 

For example: when a man and a woman get married, both of them carry different expectations. The man may expect his wife to act like his mother, cooking and cleaning for him all the time. Upon realizing that his wife is not his mom, he may become disappointed. 


Most Christians get upset with God because they have wrong expectations. 

Many of us are taught to believe that if we follow Christ, our lives will be free from troubles, whether it’s financial, relational, or ministry related. However, Jesus did not say that we will not have troubles (John 16). He said that even when we are faced with troubles, we can still have peace because He is greater than any of the life challenges that we face. Be assured that He is always faithful; He will never leave us nor forsake us.


Today, we have learned not to have the wrong expectations from God and His promises. Once we understand this, we will not be disappointed in our walk with Christ. 


Prayer:

Lord, I pray for the wisdom to discern between the truth of God’s Word and the opinions of people. Help me to reflect on my life. If there is any bitterness that has not been healed, bring it to light so I may confess it and be healed. And help me to have accurate expectations for the next 21 days. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


THE WRONG MOTIVATION

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3 NIV).


Every human has desires, whether it’s wealth, fame, popularity or success. Is it wrong to present our desires to God? Before we can answer that question, we need to reflect on why we ask God to fulfill our desires in the first place. 


It is not wrong to have desires and goals in life. However, anything that takes priority before God is an idol, and idolatry is a sin. Moreover, idolatry prevents us from having intimacy with God.


When it comes to receiving God’s promises, we need to discern whether our desires are from God or our own sinful tendencies. And we need to discern our motivations. God loves us and will provide for us. Because of His love, He wants to protect us from anything that will separate us from him, even if that means saying no to our desires. And as we spend time with him, he will slowly transform our desires so they reflect

his own. 



Prayer:

Take time to reflect on your desires. Do your desires reflect God’s heart? Pray for

a pure heart that longs to glorify Him alone.


WAITING IS FAITH IN ACTION, NOT IDLENESS

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:8-10 NIV).


No one likes to wait. Waiting for God’s promises is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when we cannot see any changes taking place. For some of us, we might start to doubt whether God still remembers that promise, or whether God even made the promise in the first place.


In order to hold fast to the promise of God, we have to make sure that our focus is not in what we see, but in God’s word. What can we do to keep our focus aligned with God’s word?


1. Meditate on His Word

We have to focus our minds on what God actually says, not on the opinions of the world. The more we meditate on His Word, the better we become at filtering God’s voice from what the world teaches. 


2. Pray

When we pray, we shift our focus from the situation to God. Don’t just pray for a breakthrough to happen, but spend time praising and thanksgiving God as well. This allows us to set our minds on who God is: His nature, His goodness, and His sovereignty. 


3. Be rooted in a Christ-centered community

The devil likes to isolate us from our support system. It is always easier to hunt isolated prey than those in a group. The testimonies and fellowship of a community will strengthen and encourage us. 


We cannot control what happens in our lives, but we can control our response. Waiting is not staying idle and doing nothing. Waiting is living our lives and believing that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. 


Prayer:

Dear God, give me faith and patience to wait upon You and Your promises.


THE RADIANCE OF THE GLORY OF GOD

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3 NIV).


Sunlight that we see during the day is an electromagnetic radiation given off by

the sun. We cannot see the sun directly. However, we can feel and experience

the power of the sun through sunlight. Sunlight is the exact representation of

the power of the sun. 

1. The Sun and its sunlight are inseparable

Jesus has existed from the beginning, co-eternally with the Father (John 1:2 AMP)


2. Sunlight radiates the power of the sun

Jesus radiates the same character and power of the Father


3. The Sun rises and sets everyday without failure, and so does its radiance

Cloudy skies block radiation and hinder our ability to see the sunlight. When

the radiation is not blocked by anything, we have clear skies and see the sunlight clearly. Clouds do not change the fact that the sun and its radiation exist.


There may be clouds, such as challenges and disappointments, that hinder us from seeing and experiencing God personally. However, they do not change the fact that God exists. 


Entering 2019, maybe there are unanswered prayers or long-awaited breakthroughs that haven’t happened yet. Maybe you have begun to doubt God’s existence, presence, or promises in your life. Take heart. Delays and challenges do not change the fact that God exists and that He is still in control over your life.  


In the beginning of the year, let us strengthen our foundation in God by taking time to encounter Jesus personally, read His word, and understand Jesus’ characters. God’s characters, love, and promises are displayed through Jesus Christ who became flesh to show God’s glory in our lives (John 1:14). 


Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, let this year be the year where I truly encounter You personally every day. Let my heart understand Your desires, my eyes see what You want me to see in others, and my character reflect Yours. 



WORD OF GOD

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3 NIV).


When we have problems with our health, we go to the doctor to seek consultation for our physical condition. We often look to a business consultant to seek opinions on how to expand our business. To do our taxes properly and efficiently, we go to a tax consultant. To know what is going on in the world, we read media every day. However, news that we read from others may have bias opinions or use misleading data. The consultation that we receive may not be the best solution for our situation. 


God communicates to us, offers solutions, and even gives us direction through His word. God’s word is:


1. Trustworthy

Promises and words spoken by man have limitations. Human advice is influenced by past experiences, qualifications, or education. God and His word are limitless. His word has existed since the beginning of creation, tested through generations, kingdoms, and accepted in different cultures. His word is the only constant thing in this uncertain world. Similar to how we can trust that the sun will rise every morning, we can trust that His word will always prevail. 


Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35 NIV)


2. Creates things

In the beginning, God spoke and it came to be (Genesis 1). His word creates something out of nothing. Start speaking His word in your life!


3. Holds power

God spoke and the lame began to walk, the blind opened their eyes, and the deaf heard. 


Sometimes challenges or disappointments in our lives hinder us from seeing and believing that His word will come to pass. However, His word and its fulfillment do not depend on our circumstances but on the faithful character of God. Make a commitment to prioritize reading His word and let His revelations through His word guide your life. 


Prayer:

Pray that Psalm 119:9-16 would be fulfilled in your life. Let His word be our delight

and keep our ways pure. 


NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord

our God (Psalm 20:7 NIV).


Expecting parents always search for the best name for their babies. A person’s name and its meaning are very important because a person is referred to and described by it. Everything on this earth has a name. Whether it’s a disease, plant, animal, or machine, everything has a name. Jesus’ name is above all other names, principalities, and governors. 


A few of the names of God are:

1. Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6); 


2. The Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26);

His name is above all sickness, whether it’s physical, spiritual, or mental. 


3. The Lord your redeemer (Isaiah 43: 14);

He saved us through His death and made the devil powerless (Hebrews 2:14). 


4. The Lord my shepherd (Psalm 23). 


David, a powerful king and skillful warrior, did not rely on the strength of his horses and his own war strategy. He always consulted God before he had to go to a war (1 Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 5:19). Do not rely on the name of a famous doctor or the name of a famous ruler in our country to solve our problems. 


In every situation, let us run first and foremost to the Name above all other names. His name is greater than a doctor’s diagnosis, greater than a famous politician, or the most well known consultant. Do not fix your eyes on your circumstances but on the Name of the Lord alone. 


Prayer:

Lord Jesus, in every challenge we will run to you and call upon your name

(Proverbs 18:10). 

FREE PEOPLE

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV).


How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3a NIV)


People who are outside of Christ often wonder who they truly are, and seek their identity throughout their lives. For us who have accepted Christ, we should know

our true identity in Christ. God uses many ways to tell us our true identity. 


The book of Hebrews says that God spoke through His prophets and eventually through Jesus. God says that we are saved and free; saved from eternal punishment and free from every chain of sin. We are given a new status as children of God. 


Let us hold on to this truth and make an effort to live out this freedom in all areas of

our lives and wherever we go. That way we will know our identity in Christ and

other people can know Jesus through our living testimony.

 

Since we know our identity in Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin. Don’t forget that, as free people, God gives us authority to represent Him in the world. 


It is written in the Bible, “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV).

  

We have the responsibility to bring the good news about Jesus to the entire world. Jesus can set this world free through His redemption so more people can enjoy fellowship with Him and share His love to others.

 

Prayer:

Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice that enables us to have freedom and new status as ‘children of God’. Use us to bring the atmosphere of divine freedom wherever we go for your glory. At the same time, as your hands and feet, help us to bring the Gospel to those around us. Guide and lead us in the name of Jesus’. Amen.


SPECIAL EDITION

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:10-11 NIV).


Suffering sanctifies us and makes us holy. To be holy means to be set apart from sin, the power of Satan, and the way of the world. Precious metal, like gold or silver, needs to undergo the furnace to be purified. 


Similarly, there is no glory without suffering. So don’t be afraid if our close friends and family ostracize us on account of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed if we suffer because of Jesus. We are a ‘special edition’ of people because of Christ. Jesus acknowledges us with pride and has prepared a crown for us.


The Bible also says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV). The suffering that we face right now cannot be compared with the glory that we will receive later on. So our focus is no longer on our problems, challenges or suffering. Instead, we focus on Jesus and His promises.  


As we enter the year of greater promise, let us rest in the Lord by fully trusting that He is able to do exceedingly more than what we can imagine. 


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).


Let us celebrate and rest in His greater promises. 

 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, we are thankful that you are never ashamed to acknowledge us. 

Give us the courage to acknowledge you despite all the suffering that we endure. 

We believe in the future glory that is set before us. Thank you Jesus for the Year

of Greater Promise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


VVIP

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14 NIV)


The answers to life’s biggest questions can be found in Jesus. Living in this world can be challenging. In fact, even Jesus experienced challenges while he lived on earth. So today, Jesus sends his angels to protect and serve us. 


Similar to the special people who are referred to as VIPs, those who are in Christ are the VIPs of the kingdom of God. We have God’s angels who camp around us, always ensuring our safety. Thus, the words “don’t be afraid” can be found in the bible 365 times. Therefore, don’t be afraid of the situation surrounding you. God’s angels are ready to do every command that comes from His mouth.

 

Do you remember the story when Jesus was fasting and praying in the wilderness? Three times the devil tempted him, but Jesus resisted the devil with the word of God. The first temptation was food. The devil asked him to turn the stone into bread.


Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV).

 

The last temptation was worship. The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 


9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:9-11 NIV).

 

The bible teaches us that when the devil tries to tempt us we can resist him with the word of God. And as we obey Him, God’s angels will come to serve and protect us because we are His children.

  

Prayer:

Thank you Jesus, because you give angels to serve those who believe in you. We will not be afraid anymore. And we know that you give us power to resist the devil. Help us to stand on the word of God and resist the Devil. We believe your angels will come and serve us as our guardians. In the name of Jesus.  Amen.



REWARD AND ETERNAL LIFE

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (James 1:12 NIV).


God promises to give us the crown of life. Another word for crown is “prize” or “reward.” In Greek tradition, a crown is given to the winner of the Olympics. In real life, God will not necessarily put an actual crown on our heads but a “crown” points to special blessing, honor, privilege, or recognition in the future.         

To whom is it given? The prize is given to those who persevere in faith through temptation, tribulation and persecution (James 1:12). So if you are being insulted because of the name of Christ, or you face temptation or persecution, be encouraged and persevere. Like a runner in a race, run in such a way as to get the prize

(1 Corinthians 9:24).


It is encouraging for us to know that when we are facing trials, there is a safe hand to hold us securely. God will always be there to love, comfort, protect, and restore us. 

This crown encourages us to remain faithful, stay strong, and keep the course. This is

a special way that Jesus rewards and recognizes those who faithfully serve and honor him.


Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the founder and the finisher of my faith. Please help me to focus my gaze on you in the moments of trials. Strengthen my faith so

I remain faithful and finish the race. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


GOD IS FAITHFUL

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

(Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

 

“Life is unfair!” Fires devour cities. People lose their homes, businesses, family members and pets. Gunshots are everywhere in the news, taking the lives of loved ones. Diseases do not recognize age or status but ruin families and individual lives. The economy collapses, poverty rises, and anxiety and depression become more prominent. 

 

If God is a good God, why does He not prevent these things? God does not promise

a smooth life. In fact, trials are used by God to shape our character. Thankfully, 

He promises to be there to comfort, protect, and direct our paths during these trials. 


When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (James 1:13 NIV).

 

God is faithful. Although we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). This is the promise He gives us. Wherever Jesus is, the Bible writes, miracles happen. Every person who draws near to God never leaves disappointed. When we draw close, God also draws near to us (James 4:8). The question is: Where are we when God is present? Are we drawing near to God? We want the miracle but

do not want to be in His presence. It is like we expect medicine from a doctor but refuse to see him.

 

If you have questions, doubt God, or you’re frustrated about life, come to God and worship Him. He is faithful. He promises you that He will be there to give you assurance and security. He is holding you by your hand, protecting and showing you His righteous path. Trust Him. He is a faithful. 

 

Prayer:

Dear faithful Father, I come to you as I am. Forgive my attempts to avoid you and find solutions on my own. I acknowledge that without you I can do nothing. Open my eyes to see what you are doing. Help me to feel your presence. I declare that when you are present, miracles happen. I want to experience you miracles. I trust you. Amen. 

 


KEEP BEING ALERT

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled. 

(Joshua 21:45 NIV)


When someone makes a promise or we make one to someone, the recipient will wait expectantly. A promise is a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something. Many of the promises we give or receive are broken. But Jesus’ promises are never broken.


We all experience waiting. In times full of uncertainty, humans tend to think negatively. However, the Lord reminds us that His word cannot be altered and He will absolutely keep His word and fulfill it. It is only the “when” and the “how” that we do not know.

 

God promises to give us hope for the future. We need to trust in the Promise Giver and receive these things. When we ask God to show us what we should do, He will answer us through His word. Next, we meditate on His word and we begin to internalize His Truth in our hearts. Once He opens the door, we step in by faith. Then, He opens another one. As we learn to trust him, He confirms that He is faithful at all times.

 

At the same time, we need to be careful not to fall into an attitude of complacency. Once we receive His promises, we tend to take them for granted. We need to keep it in our hearts, work on what God has told us to do, and keep being faithful even after the promises come true. 


Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest

if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9 NIV).

 

Prayer:

Dear faithful God, I receive all your promises. Thank you for being faithful to me. Strengthen and make me alert to your word and presence, especially in the moments of waiting, so that I don’t miss your promises. Trade my weariness with hope, sadness with joy, and doubt with trust as I put my faith in the name of Jesus. Amen. 



BELIEVING WHEN THE ANSWER SEEMS TOO FARAWAY

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (Psalms 33:18 NIV).


Is there something in your life that needs a miracle? Have you been walking too long

to reach the winning line? Sometimes running towards our breakthrough is similar

to running a marathon. 


1. Preparation before the marathon is our faith in Christ and biblical values

(Proverbs 1:7).


2. Our energy intake throughout the marathon is our daily relationship with Him. 


3. Keeping stamina along the marathon is enjoying life and maintaining mental health. Hold onto the faith, pray and fast, and rest properly (Ecclesiastes 3:13, 

Ecclesiastes 5:19). 


4. Our proper clothing is letting go of every bad habit, and the wrong kinds of friends who might be a stumbling block to us. 


5. Keep a record of each breakthrough (small and big) so you can remember God’s faithfulness and presence in your life. 


6. Keep alert on every curve and turn. Many things can happen during the long run. 

Ask for guidance and wisdom. 


7. Keep your eyes on the finish line. Know God’s specific promises for your life, speak on it, and set the standard for it. 


And in all these things, know that God is there in each step to carry us when we're down. For the battle is not ours solely, but ultimately His. To everything He has called us to do, He'll provide everything we need (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).


Prayer:

Lord, nothing is impossible for you.  Help me to see your way and walk with me. 

Light the way and show your will.  In the name of Jesus, amen.


TRUST GOD BY HIS CHARACTER

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in

the Lord (Proverbs 16:20 NIV).


Life is easy when everything runs smoothly and fine. But when bad things happen to us, especially when they happen repeatedly, could we still praise Him?  When the promise takes longer than expected, how do we maintain our hope?  


Many have fallen into disappointment toward God and have gone back to their old ways. When things get overwhelming and you perceive His activity in your life, trust Him. 


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

(Proverbs 3:5 NIV).


Trust that God is kind and trustworthy (Psalm 84:11-12). His plans for you are good (Jeremiah 29:11). If he cares for the birds, how much more will he care for you? (Matthew 6:25-34)


Many people in the bible went through hardships but in the end witnessed God's power and faithfulness.  God never said our lives would be easy. He said He'll be there for us, and he won’t leave us or let us down.


Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).


Prayer: 

Lord, I may not understand why things happen to me, but help me to rest in you. I put my restless soul in your hands and I ask for your peace and joy, knowing that you are in control. Give me strength to face the hard times. Give me your wisdom in every difficult situation. In the name of Jesus, amen. 


LIVING IN THE FEAR OF GOD

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1 NIV). 


We all experience the first time God touched our heart as an indescribable moment leading us to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  And like many others, we were like babies so hungry for His word and truth; and even hungrier for His presence and joy.  


But after some time, hardships and temptations come and many fall away. Some people even choose to leave everything and go back to their old way of life. Others continue to show up in church yet live a double life. The rest barely drags their feet and wonder whether they are really living a victorious life.


It is important for us to understand that this new identity as God's children is received fully by His grace; it is only because of His favor and mercy that we can be called children of God (John 15:16). We're undeserving, so there's nothing for us to boast about. If we are still on the course, it is only by grace. But we should pay attention to our way of living. We are to discipline our spirit in this race and obey His calling day by day (1 Corinthians 9:25). Keep alert and be on guard. Do not compromise (1 Peter 5:8). 


We are not to judge our brothers and sisters because growing into maturity takes many years (Luke 6:37, John 7:24, 1 Corinthians 4:5, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9). 


But let us pray for each other and accept one another while also motivating each other to endure the faith (James 5:16).


Prayer: 

Lord, thank you for your love and protection. Help us to take heed and obey your voice every day. Give us your heart and teach us to see others the way you see them, and help us to reach out and not to condemn. In Jesus’ name, Amen.



LISTENING TO GOD’S VOICE

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (Hebrews 2:1 NIV)


Our life is a living testimony to show that God works perfectly. Sadly, we often live apart from His presence. Pay attention to God so you will not lose sight of His promise and presence. 


But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:27-29 NIV)


Do you remember when Peter walked on water? Peter and the eleven disciples were

in the midst of a big storm. They were all terrified. They were in that situation because they were obeying Jesus’ command to go ahead without Him. Then, Jesus showed Himself by walking on the water, but the twelve disciples thought He was a ghost.


Some of us feel that God opens new doors for us, but when problems arise we start

to doubt God’s faithfulness and activity in our lives. 


When Jesus says, “come” some of us only watch like the other eleven disciples. 

How many of us want to be like Peter who courageously made a step to do the impossible? Peter was shaken and sank, but Jesus was faithful to help him. 


In the end times, we need to listen to God’s voice correctly so we can stand strong

in faith. Let’s not be hearers of the word only, but be doers of the word as well.  


Prayer:

Dear Lord, we pray so that we can see and hear your promises and build our relationship with you. As a result, you make our faith stronger. Help us to become a doer of your word. Let us experience the impossible things because your promise is a yes and amen. In the name of Jesus, Amen.



OBEYING GOD

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 

(Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV)


Through this verse, we know for certain that God has given us one thing: His own Son. When we hear the message that God has spoken through His son, we have two responses to choose from: we can ignore it or pay attention to what God said. 


Do you remember the story of a rich man who wanted to follow Jesus? Jesus asked him to sell all of his possessions. He became sad and walked away. There was also

the story of Zacchaeus who was full of joy because Jesus dined in his house.


Do you want to obey God’s word spoken through Jesus? We do not follow Jesus due

to obligation, but because we love Him.  The Bible said, “His commandment is not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).


Prayer:

Dear Lord, help us to live according to all the commands that you have given through your son. We will not be ignorant, instead we will have a desire to fulfill God’s plan. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

LIVING TESTIMONY

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4 NIV)


Have you ever thought that your difficult situation was not only for you but also meant to benefit someone else through your testimony? 


Knowing that our lives will impact the lives of others, let us not be distracted by worldly things. As the Apostle Paul said in Colossian 3:2, let us think of things above and not earthly things. 


The Apostle Paul understood that our life’s purpose is more than achieving success and receiving compliments from people. The prison that Paul was staying in did not put extinguish his passion for Jesus. In fact, it caused Paul to praise God and get closer to Him. Paul’s situation did not provide him with many choices, yet he knew that he should not let this situation intimidate him. Paul truly understood his calling and potential.


Prison did not stop Paul. In fact, the head of the prison witnessed Paul praying and praising God, which led to a great earthquake that broke open the prison cells. 

In the end, the head of the prison and his whole family was saved.


Continue to stand firm on God’s promises when you face hardships. God can use every hardship according to His will, not only to mature us, but also to give hope and strength to others, which is ultimately for the glory of God. Continue to live as a living testimony!


Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to understand my calling. I believe you will use every hardship in my life to bless others. Every challenge that I face will be used for my good. In the name of Jesus, amen.


TRUSTING THE LORD  

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 

(2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV)


The Bible says that we need to always give thanks to God. Regardless of the situation we are in, we can still see the goodness of God. Why? Because the Bible says that

He will always leads us into a place of victory. He will lead us in triumph through Christ. Jesus always leads us into victory.


We will experience various challenges in our lives, but Jesus is with us and he will lead us to victory. We may not like the process but we must have faith in His word, not succumbing to the situation or our condition.  Do you remember the story about Jesus when He was sleeping in a boat while all His disciples were afraid because of the storm?


He replied “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26 NIV)


Jesus was telling His disciples not to be afraid for He was with them. He would never forsake or leave them in a time of storm. We may be going through some difficult situations in our lives, but remember that we are not alone. The One who loves you is there and he will lead you into victory. 


Prayer:

Present your challenges to God and ask him to reassure you of his presence. Ask him to give you affirmation about the future inheritance that he has prepared for you. And spend time abiding in God’s presence. 


FOCUS ON THE GOODNESS OF GOD

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11 NIV).


Hearing testimonies from other believers made me realize that God is working powerfully, and is still working although we may not perceive it. If we want to see miracles in our lives, we must focus on His goodness regardless of our situation. When we focus on the wrong things, we will probably fail to see the good things that He is working in us. Miracles come when we fix our eyes on Jesus and His truth alone. 


The Pharisees failed to see God’s plan. They were hoping for a Messiah but had the wrong expectation. The worst thing was that they crucified the very Messiah they were waiting for. When the Messiah was among them, they failed to understand and missed the opportunity to be saved. Judas also focused on the wrong things. He may have followed Jesus for the sake of getting a lot of money; that’s why he chose to sell Jesus.


For example, when we are driving, we can only focus on so many things at a time. That’s why we are told not to text or drive. Therefore, do not dwell on yourself and your problems. Our problems often seem big and endless, and impossible to solve. This brings hopelessness. It is hard to experience God’s miracles when we are too fixated on ourselves. Don’t you know that God can use your situation for your good? The problems that we face can serve as a stepping-stone for us to rise up and find our calling in our personal lives, families and careers. 


Prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe what Scripture says: all the work of the evil one has been destroyed through our testimonies and your blood. Allow me to experience the goodness of God as I choose to focus on you. Help me to see miracles and experience your goodness in my life. Problem is an opportunity for me to have more testimonies that can be shared with others. Thank you Jesus for your loving kindness, I receive it in Jesus’ name. Amen. 


THE LORD IS MY BANNER

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:1,3-4 NIV)


The war in this present time is a spiritual war and a war against our daily struggles. Our enemy is not against flesh and blood, yet God tells us not to be afraid, worry, or flinch when we face the enemy. God is with us and He will fight for us.


To not be scared means we trust completely in Him. We believe that His plan is powerful and wonderful for us. To not flinch means we stand firm and believe in what God will do in the process, that through challenges God has a good plan for us.


We need to learn from King David. When he received word that the Philistine army was planning an attack on Israel, the first thing he did was go to the Cave of Adullam and he waited on the Lord until he received specific instructions. Then he led the army of Israel into battle. In fact, this is exactly how King David handled every battle. He would wait on God for instructions. Then He would lead the army of Israel into battle. 


3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. 4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:3-5 NIV).


God is always with us through every season, in joy and in sorrow. He accompanies, strengthens, and gives us wisdom. Thus, we can testify to his glory and honor Him. 


Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, this is our prayer: let your grace work in us. Give us the courage to face all the challenges and wars in front of us with faith and a firm belief in your word. You will guide us in the path of victory. In the name of Jesus, amen.