When God answers differently

Hi there.

Ever feel like God is silent in your life? Ever feel like He’s been MIA? Well, I have one question: How is your quiet time? How is your relationship with Him?

Seek Him First

First things first. Relationships go both ways. You can’t keep on “crying out” to God and not spend time to wait for His answer. You can’t keep on praying and complaining (or maybe even grumbling), “Where is Your promise?” if you haven’t been reading your Bible and actually seeking Him. Now, I hope we don’t do it ONLY when we are asking something from Him. The famous verse from Matthew 6:33 says this “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” It may sound easy, but when God tests you of your faith and what you really want in life, are you still willing to seek Him with ALL your heart, soul, and mind?

God’s “silence” might make us impatient and unfaithful at times but remember that it also reveals something. Silence or the absence of something doesn’t actually mean there’s nothing there. Sometimes it is necessary for us to be able to listen closely to what really matters.

1. Silence Reveals Our Hearts

Few days ago, I was having this battle in my heart of where should I belong. Now, we all have that question or questions like “Why am I here?” “What am I doing with my life?” “Where should I go?” “What should I do with my life?.” (Or am I the only one? If you have the same question/s as I do, then keep on reading.) Back to the questions at hand, I was actually questioning God. I have to say that I’m not proud of that. But it’s human nature to question things “why,” “why not,” or “how.” And do you know what happens when you keep asking these questions? It burdens you! It weighs you down and it is not healthy for all the aspects of your life, especially spiritually. It happened to me. Where’s the faith in there?

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’
and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46.

When we ask God for something and He doesn’t respond in a way that we want to, what does that tell us about our hearts? What does that reveal to us? I hope and pray that whatever it is that you’re praying for doesn’t reveal “worldly” things. I hope that it doesn’t reveal our bitterness and dirty attitudes. However, the good news is even though it reveals those things in our hearts right now, He is more than willing to cleanse our hearts so that it He may reign over our lives once again. Whatever it is that you’re praying for and God’s response isn’t something you were hoping for, I pray that you’ll have a change in perspective about it. That you would see things the way God would want you to. I pray that you will be grateful for all the answers God has given you, whether you liked it or not. I pray that you will see things through God’s heart for you.

2. Silence Reveals God’s Glory in Our Lives

Whatever it is that you are going through right now, God is telling you:

“Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;” Psalm 55:22a

Is it that simple? Yes. In fact, it’s all He ever wants us to do. We have to acknowledge in humility that we are weak so that we may experience God’s strength and glory over our lives. This season will pass. Whatever trials you are in right now, it will pass. Embrace that season of hardships because once you get through that, His glory will be revealed and then all the more that we will realize that we are indeed NOTHING WITHOUT HIM. All the more that we will praise Him in every trial that we are going to face because the moment we realize in our hearts that we need Jesus, we are never going to stop praising Him for everything that we are going through. We have to know in our heart that as Christians, we must reflect God’s glory and character in us so that people who doesn’t know about Him will be amazed at who He is. And God is more than willing to guide us through that. He is more than willing to pick us up every time we fall short of His glory. He does not condemn us of our sins but He forgives and He loves us no matter what we have done against Him. And when we experience that love and forgiveness over our lives, He wants us to show others of this great love and forgiveness that we have experienced.

“Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.” Psalm 51:13

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I prayed and asked God for certain things, yet He gave me so much more of what I needed and wanted. He gave me Jesus and indeed, He’s all I ever need.

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Praise and Thanksgiving

Hi everyone! It’s been a while. There are lot of things I want to share with you, but we shall take it step by step. First things first: I might be back from regular blogging. Or wait. Did I ever start at all? Nevertheless, this will be another one of those “new beginnings.”

Let us celebrate this milestone by talking about praise and thanksgiving.
After a long day of work (or school), have we ever got the time to thank God that we’re busy? Or do we rush with “homework” or drop on our beds because, duh, we’re really, really, really just tired.

We’ve all been there. Going home after a long day and just lying straight to sleep without even having time to change or have our quiet time. Ouch. Or is it just me? That was me few hours ago after I got home. But thank God for this grace that I finally understood what a joy it is to say “Thank you Lord for today” and really mean it.

“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭106:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This verse might be so common for us. We always hear it at church. But today, reading those words, just wow. How many times have we thank the Lord for He is good? Most often we only cry out to God when we need Him because of our struggles. But have you realized how much more should be praising Him just by Him being good? We not only praise Him because He provides for us, cares for us or because He never forsakes us (of course we should praise Him in those situations), but also because of the fact that He is Lord. That’s it. His love for us endures forever. If He loves us regardless of our sins, how much more should we love Him because He is our God! Praise Him that because of His love, we are saved, redeemed and made perfect in Him. All because Jesus died the death we should have died. That alone gives us so much reasons to praise His name! How much more in our everyday lives where He continues to give us mercy, grace and love?

Let this be a reminder for all of us that Christ’s death on the Cross did not end there. He rose again, just like He said because He is an all-powerful and all-knowing God. He deserves our praise to Him each and everyday. Not just when He blesses us, but all the more when He gives us those trials to shape us into the person He wants us to be–and that is being Christ-like.

Let’s develop that attitude of praise in the midst of the storm. Gratitude in the middle of trials. And a heart that’s full of joy and peace from God because we know that He is in control of everything in our lives. Let’s begin to have that heart that always desire to please and worship our One true God.

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Grace, wonderful grace.

Sometimes we forget to look at people with grace. We start judging and hating. We need to see them just as how Jesus sees us because they need Jesus as much as we do. Just because we don’t like what that person does, doesn’t mean we judge them for what they are doing.

I know it’s not easy to look at someone with overflowing love for them. But taking a moment to see them and understand why they are doing what they are doing makes a whole difference. We must show them the compassion that God has given us. There are a lot of verses in the Bible that shows how God shows compassion for people. The Bible tells us to not judge one another.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1-2

God even tells us to to forgive one another.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32

The moment we received that salvation that God so lovingly gifted us, we begin to experience grace, oh so wonderful grace, that He just shows us. As Christians, this should manifest in our character and attitude. We become so full of grace and love that Christ has for us that we begin to see other people who haven’t experienced it yet just like how Jesus looks at us.

Eph 2-8

Oh, this sweet, sweet grace that God has given us as a gift (that is of course, if you receive and accept it)! This is not a product of our good works, because if that is the case then we don’t deserve any of it, but this grace that God has given us is because of His great love for us. That is how much Jesus loves us! He doesn’t look at how sinful we are, He just gives it to us out of His love. Do we deserve it? Of course not! Who are we compared to His glory? But our Father gives it freely to us. And not just once. But. Every. Single. Day.

Now, who are we to judge people about their actions?

Who are we to look at them with disgust?

God gave us this amazing grace because He wants to show people this gift of love and life. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we begin to understand how His love just abounds everything. I mean EVERYTHING. This is the kind of grace we need to start showing people. Give them a smile when they look tired and angry. It may not be easy, but the moment we remember what Christ has done for us, it will be easy.

There is no condemnation in Christ. He loves you and me no matter what our past was. He loves you and me not looking at our sins, but our current heart situation. Our hearts that repents. God wants our obedience. Of course we stumble here and there, but He picks us up no matter what. He just there guiding us in every step of the way.

God loves you no matter what you’ve done 5 years or 5 minutes ago.

He just does.

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Today, I choose to praise.

How many times have we waited till we can’t do it ourselves before we come and kneel before God? How many times do we have to cry out by ourselves before we cry out to God?Why does it take us so long before we draw near to God? Why do we have to burden ourselves with worries before we surrender it all to Him?

Have we ever tried praising Him in the midst of all the hurt and pain? In the song, “Even When it Hurts,” there’s a line there that says:

“Even when my strength is lost, I’ll praise You. Even when I have no song, I’ll praise You. Even when it’s hard to find the words louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”

Then it goes on to say:

“Even when the fight seems lost, I’ll praise You. Even when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise You. Even when it makes no sense to sing louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”

Have we tried this? Praising God despite our defeat?

Personally, that is one thing I thought I can never do. How can you thank God that you’re hurting? How can you praise Him when all seems not to be the way you think it would go? How can you remove all the worries and fears, then still praise Him?

Lately, my situation has been all sorts of turns and no matter what angle I look, I am just defeated by my fears and doubts. It’s so exhausting to try to do everything with your own might, you know! But one thing God keeps on reminding me is that everything is going to be okay because He has already taken care of it. I just have to trust Him.

“But, but…how, Lord? I can’t find joy in my situation much less praise You for something that I’m hurting.”

One thing God told me, “Surrender them all to me my child. You have been carrying so much weight on your shoulders when you know that my burden is light. Surrender it all to me.”

Then it hit me.

I’ve been doing it the wrong way all along. I’ve been looking at my situation from my perspective, not God’s. No wonder I was hurting myself more. I wasn’t trusting Him enough that He could redeem me from this situation. I was relying on myself and what my mind can perceive of what will happen. All  I have to do is to surrender everything!

As easy as that may sound, it wasn’t. It was a week of tug of war between God. Trusting Him one minute and then doubting the next. It was so exhausting! But once I understood that God is sovereign over all things, it wasn’t as hard as the first time. The moment I realize that I’m just a mere human without all understanding of God is about to do, it was easier to surrender it all to Him.

Sure, there has been doubt that creeps along the way but God keeps reminding me that He got this. He has taken care of it. All I have to do is praise Him in this situation even though I don’t understand what is going on. I have to choose to praise Him or else I’m going to be fed up with lies of doubt, fear and worry.

The moment I chose to praise Him is also the time where I experienced peace and joy through His presence. It was magnificent. It was a refreshing feeling. My heart is full of joy once I started to chose to praise Him.

Whatever your situation is right now, God is telling you that you have to stop doubting Him and start trusting Him. He is sovereign and you may not understand what is happening right now, there may be feeling of hurt, pain and betrayal, God is our redeemer. He will restore you with so much gladness in your heart that even in the midst of trial, you still can’t help but praise Him with so much joy!

Whatever is your struggles, surrender it all to Him. It may not be as easy as it is, but once you acknowledge that only God can bring you out of that pit, once you surrender every little thing of your life to Him, He will take care of it.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a]for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

You’ve got nothing to lose when you choose to praise Him right now. Instead, you will be filled up with His wonderful presence.

 

What’s the next step?

Recently, I posted this tweet:

I’ve been thinking so much lately about what is my next step. I thought getting a few months off after graduating and passing the board exam would give me time to think. Apparently, I have too much time to think, leading to overthinking. Sometimes, thinking too much could cloud your thoughts of who really should be in the big picture; and that is the glory of God.

It’s never about who you are or what you’re capable of but about what your God is capable of. I’ve been a lot of things that God has worked miracles in my life with, am I going to start to lose faith now? NO. I have yet to see how great and awesome my God is and He knows what’s best for me.

The best thing to do right now is trust His will. It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride, but as long as I don’t look away from Him, I’ll be okay. And I’m looking forward to years from now and realizing, “That’s all I ever need to do! To trust Him!” All I ever need to do is trust Him.

I might lose heart sometimes, but all the goodness that He has done in my life would make me see (again and again and again) how He has been faithful to me, even when I’m not. So yes, I’m going to trust in Him on my next step. Just as what the Bible says,

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Now that is some good news! I know that whatever plans I may make, He will guide me to the right path. All I have to do is have faith in Him!

Oh and by the way, if you haven’t followed me on Twitter yet, you may do so. Also, my other blog has some interesting things as well.

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My God is great. Why am I still doubting?

If you know you are serving an awesome God, do you have any room for doubt? In fact, it’s simple. All you have to do is trust and obey. Stop worrying and doubting and asking God so many “why’s”. Stop thinking what might go wrong. You’re God is all-powerful and all-knowing. The key is to know God every single day. You’ll be amazed at His surprises and promises for you.

Doubt is there. Sure. Let it last for only a second and realize how great and awesome the God you are serving. The more you know Him, the more you realise that, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10. Even “…long ago”, he already has plans for us. For sure, it is pleasing and perfect and also will glorify Him only. Besides, aren’t we living for Him and not for ourselves? When was it ever about us?

Sometimes doubt is just a way to test our faith. When you doubt about what God has planned for you, think about this, “Is your doubt greater than your faith? Or is it the other way around?” Knock, knock: reality check! It’s like setting aside your 10% for God but also at the same time thinking, “I could use this for something else more important. I’ll just tithe next month.” See the faith in there? The Bible says that even though our faith is as little as a mustard seed, it’s enough. How much more if our faith is bigger than our boulder-sized doubt?

Everything happens for a reason and that is God’s pleasing and perfect plan for us. He already planned it. Meaning, everything is already laid out in front of us. It might be a little unclear to see right now, but that is the whole point of faith. It is looking at Who holds your future, not What your future is ahead of you. If you can see everything right now, where does God fit it? How does His glory shine in your life if you do not experience everything in details?

If we can see what our future holds us right now, we will be complacent knowing that that’s our future. But if we do not know yet, what’s in store for us, we would be holding on to God every step of the way. We would experience Him in hard times and in good times. We would be able to see God’s glory in every ups and downs in our lives. We would see clearly how incredibly detailed His plans are for us, and we would experience it on the front seat.

Trusting God is more than just trusting Him. Trusting him is faith, discipline, prayer and obedience wrapped in one. Trusting Him is not only knowing that He has perfect plans for us, but trusting Him is experiencing how great He truly is! It’s your relationship with Him that’s strengthened. It’s knowing that although at this point in time everything is not making sense, you know that with God, you are okay and not alone. It’s not a journey all by yourself.

God is there to comfort you when you’re brokenhearted, to provide for you when you’re in lack, to be with you when you experience joy (even though sometimes we forget to thank Him) and so much more! He is basically with you every step of the way, sometimes we don’t notice it because we get too consumed with earthly things. If we learn to focus our eyes on things above, other things won’t matter anymore because we know we are secured in everything as long as we trust God.

So here I say to you…

Trust God and keep that faith firm on solid ground.

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In Christ Alone

Worries arising, fears escalating but I know I have a God who has unlimited wisdom and knowledge. A God who knows all things. I know that with Him all things are possible, even the wildest of my dreams. I know He will not leave me nor forsake me and that His promises are true. His will is good, pleasing and perfect and I know all hard work will not be in vain as long as I do everything for God’s greater glory.

10 more days till board exam. And I know I can do all things through Christ who has every wisdom and knowledge and that He strengthens me in every step of this journey.

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Heart check: Knowing Pain is Essential

Maybe that’s why this process hurts. Maybe it’s because God is trying to put you into a mold (which at this moment you do not like) for you to become more like Him and yet you are not acknowledging it. You’re being resistant and disobedient. God is telling you to trust and obey Him, but you keep on insisting your own ways. And now you end up being hurt because of it. Who’s fault is that? In this process of God creating in you a better daughter of Him, it will hurt. He is disciplining you for greatness.

There are a lot of things and attitude that He needs to correct and develop in you. There’s that character of yours He wants to get rid off, just obey. That thing you do when you get annoyed and impatient, God wants to change that in You, too. Maybe there are prayers unanswered at this moment because of those. Maybe deep inside of you, He wants to change something because He is just preparing you for the great things He planned for you. Accept the pain, embrace it even. Know that through that struggle and difficulty, He is trying to show you the way to the plans He has for you. Just be patient.

Please, please be patient about all of this, it’s all for His glory. It’s not about your wants and your plans, it’s about His. Because He knows what’s best for you. And if you obey and follow His will, He will give you the desires of you heart–according to His plans. All of the pain will be worth it, He promised. For as long as you obey in His words and trust in His promises, you are in the right path for He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Just trust and obey.

Trust and obey.

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Surrender EVERYTHING.

When God says, “Surrender to me everything.” What does EVERYTHING mean to you? Is it all of you–your wants, your desires, your plans, your life? Or do we only surrender things we want God to control over our lives? What are those? Do you enumerate them? Do you choose which things you surrender to God?

If you do, maybe you need a heart check. Who or what is reigning over it?

When God tells us to surrender everything, He means E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Our wants, our desires, our plans, our schedules, our future, our past. In short, our lives. He doesn’t want us to surrender them to Him because He wants to make us His puppets, but He wants us to surrender EVERYTHING to Him because He wants us to know that He is Lord of all things in this universe. Of course, as long we willingly give our lives to Him. Once we’ve decided that we want the Lord to take control over our lives, He is sooooo delighted in us. God doesn’t want us to surrender to Him just because He says so. He gives us freewill over this and He wants us to experience His unending grace and love to us.

This is what the Lord says–your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 48:17

God loves us sooooo much that He only wants what’s the best for us. He doesn’t want us to go to the path of the wicked, for He knows how awful it is there. He just wants us to keep holding on to Him and trusting Him with His promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us no matter how sometimes we tend to disobey. And even though sometimes we go the other way, He never fails to extend His love and mercy to us.

I am the Lord, there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:5-6

His mercies just endure forever and ever and ever. And ever.

But  you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses. I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 43:24b-25

Even though we are the ones who have sinned against Him, He is still extending this mercy to us.

Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.

Isaiah 46:12-13a

All God is asking is for us to surrender our lives to Him. All of it and in it. If we acknowledge in our hearts and minds that He is Lord of all, then it wouldn’t be so hard to surrender EVERYTHING to Him. Once we do this, we are able to humble ourselves and tell God that in all the things that we do, we are giving Him control over everything. Otherwise, if we are not able to surrender all that we are and all that we have to Him, maybe He is not Lord over our lives at all.

Let’s check our hearts. Whatever or whoever is reigning in your hearts right now, God is telling you to surrender it/them to Him and He will grant you all the “…new things, of hidden things unknown to you.” Isaiah 48:6. God should be the One and Only sitting in the throne of our hearts. If not, maybe the one sitting there should be surrendered to Him.

And then, I leave you with thing song with heart-striking message:

No one else in this world will do. I’m captured by Your love and Your truth.

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“I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me…”

How sweet it is to be loved by God! No matter how stubborn we are, no matter how disobedient we may be, he is just always there to embrace us in His love. His promises are just sooooo full of grace and love, no matter how much He hates the attitude that we are giving Him.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22
This promise just makes me cry a bucket of tears. And if that’s not heart-breaking (in a good way) enough, he says:
Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel. Isaiah 46:12-13
Ahhh! God is indeed the best lover of all! He gives us this promises that no matter how broken, how wretched, how dirty we are in front of Him, He is still there for us! Now, where in the world could you find such love? He just loves us so much to the point that He willingly gave His Son for us to be saved! This just reminds me that we can never find comfort in the company of friends, even our our family, but it is only in Him that we can find rest and peace in our lives. So soak in His presence, meditate on His Word at all times, and you will find the best comfort and the best resting place in the world and you would never want to leave Him.
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