When I pray for something and I don’t hear from God, I just keep on praying hoping He’ll answer. The answer I am expecting is the one I’ve already imagined or created in my mind. So whenever I didn’t get “my version” of an answer from God, I have this tendency to think that my prayer is not yet answered. I wait and pray a little more. Until I am tired of waiting, I do it on my own. And when I do it on my own, I will always end up miserable, unhappy, discontented. That’s when I’d realize that God has already answered me with a “NO”.
Sometimes, we keep looking for an answer. We rationalize our circumstances even if it already suggests a “no” from God or often times even if His Words are clear, we ignore it. We want what we want, no matter what, no matter how. We cannot accept a “NO”.
As I go deeper in the Word of God, I now understand that accepting no for an answer is allowing God to give what’s best for me according to His will and standard, not mine. It is accepting His plans to prosper and not to harm, to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). In other words, He knew best. He always does.
Lord, thank You that you don’t always answer my prayers with a “yes”. Teach me to trust You in all aspect of my life and with gladness, accept whenever You answer me with a “no” knowing that you want what’s best for me. Amen.
Few weeks ago, I’ve been privileged to hear from two sisters in Christ how the grace of God abound in their lives. Over and over again, God has turned their sinful situation into something useful and life-changing. No, they weren’t celebrating that they’ve committed sins but they are emphasizing His grace towards them. They were very quick to acknowledge that only by the grace of God they were able to stand again after such a hard fall and become useful for the glory of the Lord Jesus.
All of us had done something in our lives we wish we didn’t do. The consequences of our wrong choices seems unbearable. We think we are already useless. We become hopeless. We want to hide. We want to run. We become tired of hiding and running and yet we go back to the cycle of hiding and running.
Why do you run away when you can run to God? Why do you hide from God when you can find comfort and refuge underneath God’s everlasting arms? No matter what we’ve done, we can be sure that God is able to change and use us for His purpose and glory because He is God. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) says, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Read that? I am comforted every time I feel depressed, hopeless and useless and every time I am reminded of my past sin. God’s grace is so enough for me to overcome all these thoughts and feelings. God’s grace is all the more powerful whenever I boast about my weaknesses – that is when I humbly come to God for forgiveness, when I acknowledge my need of His grace to turn away from my sins. God’s grace is sufficient to erase all my unworthiness and renew my life and make it useful again.
God’s grace abounds. There’s no good reason for us to stay in our sinful and desperate state. Find hope in God alone. Experience His abundant grace. No matter what we have done, we are loved by Him. We do not need to prolong the pain, we just have to go to God and receive His grace.
- Image from: http://www.holleygerth.com/your-mistakes-can-be-used/
Today the standard of living has become satisfying not only what we need but what we want. Simple living is not that simple anymore. We crave for more. We want more. We spend more time and money on things we can live without. I can live without watching the latest movie but I want to watch it. I can live without midnight snacks, without Instagram, without the latest gadget, without an expensive vacation trip, without soft drinks, and many more but I want all these things. Pondering about these, I realized how foolish I am to want the things of this world and not want Jesus the way I crave for all these. There is more to just needing Him as my Savior saving me from all the penalty of my sins and securing me a life in eternity with Him. I should want Him more than anything in this world because I cannot live without Jesus.
- Wanting Jesus is giving Him my full attention, my whole heart just as I have given it to my husband.
- Wanting Jesus is desiring to know Him more just as I would love to know more about a friend or the latest trends and news.
- Wanting Jesus is yielding to His will, doing what makes Him happy just as I will to the people I love.
- Wanting Him is devoting more time with Him than the time I spend on television and social media.
- Wanting Him means breaking up with my old self, with my wrong relationships, with my bad habits.
- Wanting Him is giving Him full control not only on the major things but all the details of my life.
- Wanting Jesus is not looking for love from anyone else because His love is already sufficient for me.
- Wanting Jesus is doing what is right in His eyes even if it seems I am the only one doing it.
- Wanting Jesus means being excited to read His word and talk to Him.
- Wanting Jesus is choosing Him to be Lord over my life.
- Wanting Jesus is not wanting a day without Him
- Wanting Him is acknowledging He is the source of everything in my life and nothing can satisfy me more than He does.
All of these are easier said than done. Only with His grace and mercy I will be able to overcome self together with all its craving and desires so that I could live a life pleasing to Him, wanting Jesus and only Jesus.