Monthly Archives: November 2012
We all face disappointments in our lives. There are times, when we were expecting something good to happen to us, things go wrong and they just go completely wrong. How can one be not disappointed with God? How can one be not upset about how our hopes were thrashed? I mean, there is nothing wrong in expecting a little good to happen in our life, right?
Yes, there is nothing wrong in that. There are times when darkness surrounds us completely. Our hearts ache for a small beam of light. Nothing wrong in that. There are times when only failures seem to be the norm of our life. We wish that someone brings some good news to us. Nothing wrong in that. There are times when nothing goes according to our plans. Our studies, our jobs, our life… and our hearts hope that someone gives us a helping hand, a kind word… something, anything…
But when nothing happens like that, when you seem to lose that lost bit of hope… what do you do? Is it possible for us not to be disappointed with God? How can I not blame God for these things that are happening in my life? If God is so ever loving and He cares for me, why do I feel as if He has forgotten me – for good?
In the Bible, we read about Joseph. He was the favorite son of his father. And, he was also a favorite of God. He was blessed with God-given visions about his future and how the LORD is going to raise him up in his life. But, one day, everything goes wrong. His brothers, who hated him, sold him as a slave. In Egypt, where he worked so hard, he was falsely accused and was put in prison. No one to defend his case. Left in the prison for the rest of his life. All hope is lost.
Does it sound familiar? Do you feel the same way right now? You feel as if all hope is lost? Are you not sure how your life is going to turn around?
That’s when Joseph gets the first glimpse of hope in his life. The chief cup bearer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was also imprisoned in the same prison. Joseph, in the midst of all his hopeless conditions, helps the cup bearer. He shows him favor and gives him hope. And, all he wants is just one thing: “When all goes well with you, please remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” (Genesis 40:14) Nothing else. Just remember me, show me kindness and put in a good word for me. You know that I didn’t do any of the things that I am accused of. You know that I don’t deserve this punishment. Just put in a good word for me. How many times we have felt the same way? How many times we have told the same things to others? How many times we have hoped that a good word from someone, someone we helped in their dire situations and who owe us big time, might throw in a little sunshine into our hopeless conditions?
But when the cup bearer got favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and got his position back, the Bible tells: “The chief cup bearer, however, did not remember Joseph; HE FORGOT HIM.”
Yes, the one guy who was in any position to help Joseph, forgot him. How many times it has happened to us? People who were supposed to help us forgot us? Those who were supposed to put in a good word for us, forgot that we exist? Imagine how bitter Joseph would have felt? Imagine how upset we become when the LORD our God puts out even our smallest hope without any mercy?
But what would have happened to Joseph if the cup bearer remembered him? He would have surely been released from the prison. And then? Nothing. He would have done manual labor in Egypt and remained so for the rest of his life. Or he would have gone back to his father in Israel, empty handed. And when the great famine came few years later, he would have perished in that with his entire family.
Yes, when people forget you, when your tiniest of hopes is all but gone, don’t be disappointed with God because HE will never forget you. HE has plans for you, greater plans than we can imagine in this present situation. Plans to exalt you before the very eyes that saw you humiliated. Plans to exalt you to such a position, whoever turned against you, will be for you. The same way you got punished in an undeserved manner, you will receive honor and positions – by His grace, the love that we don’t deserve at all. Yes, when your family sees you, they will be proud of you. When those who put you in this prison hears what the LORD has done to you, they will seek your favor. When people forget you, remember that God always remembers you. A favor from people can do only so much, but a favor from the God can do impossible things in your life.
Bible Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Dear LORD, You never forget me. Yes, there are times in my life, I am confused, I am bitter and I am very disappointed. I have hoped that one way or another, I will be able to get out of this mess, but at every turn, I see my hopes being dashed to the ground. I see people who I have trusted turning against me or forgetting me. And, now, in all these bitter disappointments, I realize that You, the eternal God have a plan for me. A plan for something that is behind my comprehension. And, I hear Your loving voice telling me, “Be still and know that I AM the LORD.” Yes, Father, You are the LORD and You are opening the doors in ways that are beyond any human understanding. I praise You for that and I thank You for having such great plans for me.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
During the early days of the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist, launched a series of meetings in Chicago with promise of the largest crowds that he had ever addressed up to that time. He was speaking of the life of Christ, and on the first Sunday night, October 8, 1871, he took as his topic the trial before Pilate. As he came to the end of his message, he turned to Matthew 27:22, “What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?” He concluded, “I wish you would take this text home with you and turn it over in your minds during the week, and next Sabbath we will come to Calvary and the cross, and we will decide what to do with Jesus of Nazareth.”
It may have been an artistic device. But speaking of it in later years, Moody called that conclusion to his morning’s address the greatest mistake of his life. Even while Mr. Sankey was singing the final hymn:
Today the Savior calls;
For refuge fly;
The storm of justice falls,
And death is nigh-
the fire engines began to sound on the street on their way to their first contact with the great Chicago fire in which Moody’s hall was laid in ashes, and in which it is estimated that over a thousand persons lost their lives. Moody never saw that congregation again, and some of those to whom he spoke on that night doubtlessly died.
Yes, the psalmist says in Psalms 95:7-8, that if you hear His voice, TODAY, do not harden your hearts. Don’t harden your heart by saying, “Okay, I will wait and see how it turns out.” Make a decision today.
Probably, God is telling you to reconcile with someone who has hurt you badly in the past. Do not harden your heart and wait for tomorrow. May be God is telling you to forgive someone who has betrayed you. Do not harden your heart, hoping that you may never have to do that. Probably the Spirit of God is moving in you, asking you to tell someone how much they mean to you. Please do not harden your heart today.
Most importantly, probably Jesus Christ is calling you now into His fold. Do not harden your heart.
Bible Verse: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. – Psalms 95: 7 – 8
|1 John 2:15-16“[On Not Loving the World] Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
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A native of interior China wanted to become a Christian but couldn’t understand how Christianity was superior to Confucianism and Buddhism. One morning he came to the missionary in a happy mood saying, “I dreamed last night, and now I understand. I dreamed I had fallen into a deep pit where I lay helpless and despairing. Confucius came and said, ‘Let me give you advice, my friend; if you get out of your trouble, never get in again.’ Buddha came and said, ‘If you can climb up to where I can reach you, I will help you.’ Then Christ came. He climbed down into the pit and carried me out.” It takes the Savior of man to do that. Only a Savior would stoop so low as to save a sinful soul like yours and mine.
Yes, Jesus came and died for our sins… He paid the price for all our sins, both small and large. And there is a beautiful illustration of this in the Book of Revelation.
In Rev. 3:4, Jesus says that we will walk with Him, dressed in white clothes. Yes, we will be wearing white clothes, showing the purity of our souls. But we are not pure and we know that. Then how do we become pure, whiter than snow? Rev. 7:14 tells how. We wash our robes in the Blood of the Lamb and made them white. Yes, because He shed His blood and washed our sins, we are pure and our robes are white. But, any idea how Jesus is dressed? The Son of God, the Holy of holies? In white?
Rev. 19:13 says “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.” While we are dressed in white robes, He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood… Why is His robe not white? Why is His robe spotless? Why is His robe dipped in blood? Because… “He became a curse for us.”
Bible Verse: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” – Galatians 3:13
Our Father in Heaven, the Source of all comfort and grace, how do I thank You for the great gift You gave us through Your Son Jesus Christ? You showed Your love for us, by making Jesus Christ carry our sins. We thank You for that and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and the salvation that He has provided us by His sufferings. Thank You for forgiving our sins, both great and small and thank You for the peace of mind that You have given through Your Son.
Through Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, Amen.
Few years back, when my life was in turmoil, I was worried about many things. I didn’t know what to do and I was scared. I didn’t know who to turn to, as my family was in much pain already, seeing my suffering. I didn’t want to burden them more. And, a thought crossed my mind: Does the LORD even care? I was wrestling with the LORD about that for months, without a single soul knowing my conflicts. It was slowly killing me.
And just then it happened. We had just brought a small kitty to our home and it was cute as a button. And our neighbors had this huge cat which saw this kitty as a competition. As I was upstairs, struggling with my faith, the cat came chasing the kitty. The kitty took flight, but the cat was not going to give up. When I saw that, I started chasing the cat. When the cat realized that it was being chased, it ran away. The kitty came to me, with its body shivering. As I held that little kitty in my hands, I felt a fatherly affection. It was shivering with fear and as I held it closer to my body, I could see that it was actually being comforted.
Then, I heard the voice of our LORD in my heart: “If you care for this kitty, which you know only for last two weeks, imagine how much I care for you… all you have to do is, instead of questioning My existence, come to Me. I care for you so much, that I gave My life for you, I shed My blood for you.”
I have no clue what you are undergoing. But I can tell you one thing. Jesus cares for you. All you have to do is call for Him, cast all your anxieties on Him and He will sustain you, He will comfort you and He will take care of you.
Bible Verse: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
– (1 Peter 5:7, NIV)