Blog Archives

Childlike faith

In January, I wrote about a believer in this blog, but forgot to follow up. Her name is Mary and I wanted to write something that happened in her life four years back. In 2013, her Christian daughter was engaged to get married. The wedding was to take place on the second week of February, 2014.

Weddings in India are very different from weddings in western countries. In India, the dowry plays a huge role in marriages and it is quite expensive for the bride’s side. Some 20 years back, Christians would not give or accept dowries, but nowadays, except few believers, everyone gives and accepts dowries.

In Mary’s household, her husband and her son are not saved. Her husband is a drunkard, but her son promised that he would take care of the wedding expenses of his little sister. So the wedding arrangements were being made and as the new year ushered, they received a set back. Mary’s son fell in love with a girl, eloped with her and got married. His sister, the bride-to-be got upset that he married a Hindu girl, as she was hoping her brother would be accept Jesus before she got married. So, she said few things and that upset her brother and his new wife. So, they decided not to help with the wedding expenses.

Then Mary’s husband informed her that he had saved some money for his daughter’s wedding and that weekend, he would bring that money for the wedding expenses. Except he never reached home. News reached Mary that her husband was out drunk in the road, wearing a garland made up of the most expensive liquor bottles available. All the money had gone.

By now, it was the second week of January and less than a month for the wedding day and Mary had no money to start any arrangements for the wedding. And she came for a prayer meeting in the church and I led the prayer based on Psalm 55:22: Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55_22

After the prayer service, all the women had gathered around her and were feeling pity for her condition. They were offering to pray for her, by binding her son, by binding the evil spirit that was working inside her daughter-in-law, by binding the drinking spirit in her husband, by releasing money for her son’s savings and all that. If you are Pentecostal, you would know what I am talking about.

As I was going upstairs, I saw all these women gathered around her and she was telling her sad story about how her son had betrayed her trust, I was moved in my spirit and told her tersely, “So, it is your son who is your trust. Jesus is not your Trust, then. If Jesus is your Trust, cast your burden on Him and He will sustain you” and I walked off. Later I found out that the women were very upset with me, for not understanding the “real” problems that people face in the “real” world and for being so insensitive to a believer’s suffering. However, Mary did not utter any word and she left.

Three days later, she came back for Friday prayer and told my mother-in-law, that when I asked her who was her trust, she felt as if some hot coals were kept deep in her heart and she could not help saying, “Jesus is my Trust. Jesus alone is my Trust.” And she told that from that day on, she is in a spiritually calm place, that Jesus would take care of all her needs. She refused to ask anyone for any money; her village people asked her to seek the help of her son, but she declined.

Then the first week of February came and all of a sudden, the flood gates were opened. Not literally. Suddenly money and help started pouring in from all directions, though she asked for none. Three days before the wedding, all the wedding expenses were paid, all the dowry was settled and every thing they wanted to buy for the wedding, they bought only the best. How it happened? She is not even able to recall.

However, she had one more prayer for the wedding day. Since her husband and her son are not Christians, she wanted the pastor, who is my father-in-law, to give the bride’s hand in wedding. Now, this is sort of a big deal in our male-dominated society. The man would do nothing for the family, but this is his chance to show the world that he is the “man” in his family. This would even cause blood baths in certain places. Since it was her simple trust in the Lord had helped her so far, we asked her to simply pray and wait for the Lord.

On the day of the wedding, we all had assembled by 5 in the evening. It was 5:30 and there was no sign of her son or her husband. So, the wedding started and, still they had not arrived. We tried calling them; but all their phones were switched off. Some of the villagers were supposed to come with them; we tried calling them, and again the phones were switched off. And the time came for the bride’s hand to be given in holy Matrimony to the groom, and since there was no “men” from the girl’s side, her pastor gave the bride away as per Mary’s wish.

After the wedding, the reception and dinner got over and by 8:30 in the night, Mary’s son entered with those villagers and his drunk father. Apparently, these villagers were very upset that a woman, who had left their religion and became a Christian, single-handedly managed to arrange a wedding. So, they went and told her son and her husband that if they did not do something about it, the women in the village may stop respecting men, after all. And they came up with a brilliant idea. The wedding was scheduled to start at 5 pm, let us go after 8:30. They had to wait for us, and by that everyone would know that we, men, wear pants in our family. But by then, the Lord changed their plan to humiliate Mary, to humiliate them instead. Those villagers who had attended the wedding started telling her son how grand the wedding was and how irresponsible he was to miss his own sister’s wedding and he left with his head down.

All these happened because of one woman and her childlike faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Praise be unto Him forever and ever. Amen.

Childlike faith

Day 33. Psalm 55:22

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

I used to worry a lot. As if the entire universe depends on me. A perpetual frown would be on my face. And then, a friend (who is now my wife), asked me if I have never heard of Psalm 55:22 and, yes, I had never heard of that verse before. It took a while to accept that God is willing to carry my burden and most importantly, that most of my worries are nothing but my own imaginations. And, now everyone complains that I do not worry enough. Smile

psalm-55_22

My burden – Painful heart

When our life faces certain betrayals, when people who we have trusted turn against us, we our own family does not understand us and rise against us, when our friends who know us better become bitter enemies, we may put up a brave face before them. We may behave as nothing has managed to affect our composure. But there is one part in our life that feels the pain: our heart.

The Psalmist knows about this pain.

My heart is in anguish within me… – Psalm 55:4 (NIV)

The word “anguish” translated here, literally means, “twisted” or “whirled” or “to writhe in pain”. hand_crushing_a_heart___colored_by_nnylear-d687cyx

You may have tried your best to move on. You have tried all you can do to forgive and forget. But, when you see those people who have hurt you, who have said those mean things about you, who have betrayed your trust, those who have persecuted you – though you manage to keep a smile in your face, your heart is in pain, as if someone physically is squishing your heart in their hand.

Dear friend, you have lived with that pain for so long. No matter how hard you have tried, it still hurts and hurts big time. You have done everything that has been suggested, yet it looks like as if there is no way out for you from this pain.

But there is. There is one way and only way.

Cast your burden, this burdened heart, your anguished heart, on the LORD and He will sustain you. (Psalm 55:22)

Yes, dear friend, give to the LORD your broken heart. The LORD heals the broken hearted and binds up the wounds of our hearts. (Psalm 147:3) The LORD is waiting right next to you, to mend your broken heart. Just cast your burden on Him.

104245_12712924_lz

Colossians 1:28“He is the One we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

My burden – Persecution

Cheetah-Chasing-Gazelle

“… in wrath, they persecute me.” – Psalm 55:3 (AMP)

When a friend turns against us, it hurts a lot. Betrayal of trust is one of the hardest things to digest in the world. When they speak ill about us, it is very difficult to accept it. But more than all that, when they persecute us…

Probably you have tried your best to be at peace with them. It could be a friend of yours, someone at work or even your own family member. No matter how hard you try, they always hold a grudge against you. You don’t want to do anything with them – neither good nor bad. But, they won’t let go. They keep on persecuting you. They are finding ways to hurt you, they keep on hunting you and you cannot keep running forever. Are you carrying this burden? The Psalmist gives the answer to this burden too.

“Cast your burden upon the LORD and He shall sustain thee…” – Psalm 55:22

Don’t lose heart. Cast this burden upon the LORD. The LORD our Righteousness will reward you according to His promise in due time. Amen. Yes, dear friend, the kingdom of heaven is yours.

matthew-510_3202_1280x1024

John 14:23“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

My burden – Oppression of the wicked

A-bus-stuck-in-the-mud-on-the-road-to-Arughat

Imagine a bus load of passengers on a muddy road after a severe rain. At some point or the other, the bus will get stuck in the mud. Will not move an inch forward or backward. The harder we try, the deeper the tires get stuck in the mud.

One of the burdens that we, Christians, carry in our lives is something similar to this:

“Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.” – Psalm 55:3 (KJV 2000)

What does oppression of the wicked mean? The same word for oppression in the original manuscript is used only twice in the Bible – in just one verse.

“Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.” – Amos 2:13 (NIV)

Probably you already know about this in your life. Where the oppression of the wicked has crushed us so much, we just simply cannot go ahead with our life anymore. We also don’t know how to go back and make things right. We are stuck in the same place for so long. The harder we try, the deeper we go down. Are you there, my friend?

The enemy has crushed us so much, we simply don’t have the energy to go ahead. We have no desire to proceed any further. And you have absolutely no idea what to do.

Been there, done that. But then I found the Savior. The LORD God, Who is humble and meek. Jesus Christ, Who jumped into the mud to lift me up. It took a while to understand that the only thing I had to do was to cast my burdens on Him and He will sustain me.

Dear friend, are you stuck in your life? Has the word, deeds and the unnecessary anger of the enemy has crushed you? Are you not able to move forward nor retreat? Has the crushing taken the will to live out of you? Don’t lose heart. All you need to do is:

Cast your burden on the LORD and HE will sustain you. – Psalm 55:22

Psalm 55.22

Psalm 95:6-7“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if only you would hear His voice,”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

Cast your burden on the LORD

I once went to a gym. Decided to get rid of my tummy that is with me since the day I was born. Bad idea. My tummy is still with me, the way to gym – long forgotten. But something happened there that got my attention.

I have been taught since childhood that when you workout, you need to move the weights slowly and smoothly. But as I was doing biceps with a 50-pound dumbbellSmile, okay, a 15-pound dumbbell Sad smile, I heard this shattering sound that rattled me. Someone who was working with a 75-pound dumbbell (why would anyone want to do that anyway Sleepy smile), dropped the dumbbell on the floor. He kept doing this often and I didn’t understand why. So I asked a friend of mine who actually works out regularly. He said that this guy was dropping the 75-pound dumbbell because it is heavy (duh) and he was not able to hold it any longer.

The surprising fact is that most of the Christians are actually stronger, much stronger than we think we are. I mean, we carry so much burden and so much load on our shoulders. Even when the LORD says, “Just throw it on Me, I will carry it for you”, we refuse to yield. We may complain, we may murmur, but… no, we will not cast our burden on the LORD.

I was surprised to find out that one of the literal translation for the word “cast” in the original script actually says “to throw down” or “to hurl” – just like that guy was doing in the gym.

Yes, dear friend, the burden we are carrying is too heavy for us. It is slowing us down, it is wearing us down. We are losing our hopes. We are not interested in our lives any longer. All because of this burden that we are carrying.

I don’t know what your burden today is. It could be an emotional burden. It may be some spiritual problem. It could be something financial or something to do with the family.

Whatever be it, it is time for us to just drop it. Don’t carry it even for one more second. You have already carried it too long. You have already suffered enough. The LORD is standing right next to you, to give you rest. Let us throw our burdens on the LORD. And partake in His rest.

Psalms_55-22

Galatians 3:28“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.