Does having Faith mean denying Reality?

Holding-on; having faith blog

God blesses those who realise their need for Him

I have been a Christian for a substantial amount of time yet I’m still trying to grasp unto the idea of what Faith or having faith really means. Growing up in a Christian fold, I have been taught on different ways to exercise my faith, what having faith can do for me and what I can do with my Faith.

Despite my “faith saturated” environment I still managed to be a ‘semi-realist’. And although I consider myself quite an optimistic individual if there’s an actual problem at hand I very well acknowledge it and do not pretend it’s not there. Take for example- I know people who when they are ill and visibly so, and are asked how they were doing will respond with “I am well”. Some may go as far as to even add “in Jesus name” at the end of that statement- reason being they are confessing the faith they have that they will be fine. Now I’m not against any of that and the bible does tell us how powerful our tongues are and even further teaches us that by our words we are either acquitted or condemned.

Nonetheless I was never satisfied with the idea that having faith meant denying reality. So I talked to God and studied about it because I didn’t want to think I was missing out on something; and this is what I came to understand (by God’s grace).

According to Hebrews 11:1 (nkjv);” Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. I actually prefer the NLT version which lays it out as – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see”.

In order for one to have and exercise their faith, there is first a need to. God helped me to understand that pretending the problem is not there or refusing to acknowledge whatever our circumstances are is not what he is calling us to do. I may even go as far as saying accepting there is a problem is key; although need I point out that acceptance may not necessarily translate to being happy with the current situation. I was reminded of the verse Matthew 5:3 which says “God blesses those who are poor and realise their need for him for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”. Another verse that caught my attention is “God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness”.

I learned that I needed to realise my need for God in order to actually exercise my faith in Him. In other words if I am in trouble I need to acknowledge and accept it and then go ahead to find a solution. We have a God who has so graciously made himself available to us as our helper, our guide, our protector etc. now this will not be necessary if we lived in utopia. God very well acknowledged that we live in a fallen world where wars, sickness, and death are the order of the day so we gave us access to his life giving grace through his son Jesus Christ.

So Faith does not necessarily mean we make light of reality; if anything, having Faith enables us the opportunity to truly cast our cares on Jesus because He truly does care for us  (especially by giving us the priviledge of Himself) .

Again like I earlier highlighted I’m still growing and learning about the concept of Faith so feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you have come to learn about Faith.

 

Love and Blessings…

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Fight for Your Peace

peaceful blogSo I woke up one morning, trying to figure out how my day would progress while trying to get ready and all. Then I started to feel this heaviness and I felt my attitude was turning towards a direction that I didn’t want it to go. Funny thing was, I had no reason to feel the way I felt and I knew if I didn’t watch it, my day would turn sour. I started realising that lately at the time it had been a hassle to keep my peace so that morning I decided to play a sermon by Joyce Meyer to distract me while I continued getting ready. Funny thing was the broadcast was about fighting for your peace and one of the ways she suggested we do that is starting your day expecting something good to happen. She also suggested we start our day saying out loud “this is the day that the lord has made and I will be glad and rejoice in it”.

Well later on that morning I went ahead to study Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus was teaching about not worrying for our basic day to day needs but what especially caught my attention was verse 34 (MSG); “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time come”.

From that scripture I was reminded how easily I lost my peace and joy because I kept trying to figure out what will happen tomorrow and how I may be able to control the outcome (I am not God so I don’t know why I even try); and the more thought I would put into it the more I started to worry about things that may or may not happen. I also realised that I had started psyching myself to not expect my day to go the way I hoped so as not to get disappointed hence my occasional sour mood; and I came to realise that mindset is a twisted perspective that will make you lose your hope.

Joyce Meyer said something that morning that resonated with me. She said if we are worried about something happening or not happening, chances are it may well happen or not happen; so what’s the use of getting yourself worked up- up until the time it does or does not happen. Instead give yourself the gift of a positive mindset, not allowing yourself to lose your joy and peace because it should in the first place not be based on your circumstances but on Jesus Christ the prince of peace.

I know it’s easier said than done because even the devil will not be at rest until we lose our hope, our peace and our joy. He plants thoughts in our hearts that if we are not careful would make us start getting agitated over nothing and that’s why scriptures instructs us to cast down imaginations, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). The book of Psalms goes further to tell us to “search for peace and work to maintain it”.

It is a continuous effort to maintain our peace and joy but by the grace of God it is possible because His strength is perfected in our weaknesses. Some of the ways I find works for me is continously giving my self to God’s word, through bible study and sermons, church fellowship, talking to friends/ family especially  those in the faith, confessing positive thoughts also helps.

There are obviously a host of things that can cause us to lose our peace such as sin, strife, pending obedience (disobedience), etc. and we have to also be sensitive enough and ask God what exactly it is that is making us lose our peace; and Him being a good God would always show us if we listen closely/ honestly enough. His thoughts for us as thoughts of peace and not of evil to give us a future and a hope and as we set out to fight for our peace we have to also trust that God himself is in this fight with us.

 

Love and blessings…

Trusting God and His crazy plans

When you go through the waters I will be with you

So I needed my brother’s help with some techy stuff and I headed down to his room but he was not there. I then heard some noise in the kitchen and thought to myself that’s him in the kitchen. Now to get to the kitchen in our parent’s home, you have to go through the lounge. So I went towards the kitchen fully convinced that he’ll be there but to my surprise it was my dad instead. Then I came right out into the lounge and there he was. The weird thing was the whole time he was there sat in a very obvious position even while I passed to the kitchen the first time. Oddly enough I didn’t see him while going by until he called out to me and you can imagine my shock.

I kept thinking about how my heart was so convinced that my brother was in the kitchen that I didn’t give chance to the thought that he could be anywhere but the kitchen.

Then I felt God take advantage of the situation and whispered to my heart that sometimes we can be so focused doing life our way that although we pray about it yet we could still miss God and only realised it when we hit a wall.

Sometimes I feel God leads us to take certain plunges in life that our only saving grace is our faith in Him. Sometimes His route to the destination we believe He had laid in our heart may well not be anything close to how we pictured it. It could be that his timing may be far different from ours or maybe we ourselves are not fully equipped to handle getting to that destination just yet.

There’s a scripture that says the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow. And I’m beginning to believe that maybe one of the reasons why God takes us through crazy routes in life sometimes is to equip us to handle whatever blessing he has in store for us; to avoid viewing his blessing as a curse.

However easy it may sound telling you to allow God stretch your faith I can say firsthand it’s not the easiest of decisions to let go and let God. It requires a lot of trusting and encouraging yourself in the Lord because the night can last a long time before your morning comes. The comforting thing is God is right there with you throughout the night.

I recently had to deal with a drastic change something I’d call a detour in my life and when it happened I remember telling God “whatever plan you have Lord it better be good”. I was chatting recently to a friend about it and he said to me does God ever have bad plans for his children? prompting me to remember what I heard in church the Sunday before and what the bible says that God is thinking good thoughts for me for us his children (individually).

And yes indeed my friend was right, God never has bad plans for his children, He loves us way too much to let anything pull us from his perfect will  and although I’m not sure what tomorrow may bring but I’m sure of one thing and that is – God loves me and He’s got me.

 

Love and blessings….

 

 

Fear (pt 2- rejection)

fear-isola

He will never leave nor forsake you

So I was chatting to a friend and she called me out on an obvious wrong in a kind way but I went from chatting to having anger bouts and getting all defensive. All the while I was arguing I kept thinking to myself who is this girl who couldn’t get a grip on her emotions.

I couldn’t recognise that part of me because it is very unlike me to pick up a fight over something very fickle.  I apologised but kept mulling over it so I prayed.

I had started noting parts of me I didn’t recognise from time to time. I had started being unnecessarily on the defensive. I had started being this angry person whenever I didn’t get my way, I had started shielding myself from God knows what, in bid to avoid having to deal with anything/one that had the potential of hurting me.

I did pray about it and I’m sure it’s because God started being involved that’s why I even noticed these character traits.

Time passed and there was this Sunday I sincerely did not want to go to church but I asked God the night before if He thinks it’s the best choice and He said no. So I went to church regardless.

God spoke to my heart that day, through the message and He pointed out to me that the reason I had started being on the defensive all the time and I insisted on my own way and I started trying to shield myself from hurt was because…

I was afraid of rejection.

You see what made me to hurt so badly in the first place was because I had been rejected time and time again and had my hopes tarnished over and over and I was sick of it. So I was done.

God told me that if you are secure in who you are i.e who God says you are, you have no reason to fear. God never really promised that life would be safe but He did promise that when we go through life and circumstances it throws at us He will be with us. And the only hope we can hold on to is the love He has for us.

Not everyone will accept your love yet that does not mean you stop loving. Not everything will fall into place as you have hoped for; again it does not mean you stop hoping and not every dream will come to pass the way you planned and still yet it does not mean you stop dreaming. You are who God says you are and don’t let anything or anyone change that.

This brought me to the next fear I had to confront –Failure and that is a whole different story. So I will stop here for today and will continue over the next few days about how God helped me confront and defeat fears that had lingered…

 

Love and Blessings…

 

Fear (pt1- walls)

clouds2I had been hurt deeply and in bid to avoid it ever happening again, I put up walls. In my mind I called it guarding my heart after all scriptures says to guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life. So in my head, setting up walls was directly proportional to guarding my heart.

What I didn’t know was that setting up walls meant having a heart of stone which is the opposite of having the heart of flesh. Setting up walls also meant shutting people out before they even get the chance to knock. Setting up those walls also meant I couldn’t fully forgive because what if that meant giving people the chance to hurt me again.

Worse of it all was that I had set up those walls and I didn’t even know it myself. All I knew was that I made up my mind to guard my heart but wasn’t sure how I went about it.

Thankfully I didn’t shut God out and I’m not even sure how that happened.

Someone once said showing who you truly are is a risk. God already knew too much of who I was for me to shut him out too maybe because I still had hope that He was my saving grace out of this overwhelming cascade of unpleasant feelings.

Remember I said I didn’t know I had set up walls well that was the case until God opened my eyes to simple yet deep truth.

I was afraid.

This was the fear that Paul wrote about  to Timothy in the bible letting him understand that God had not given us that kind of fear and if it’s not from God it can’t be good. Have you ever wondered what fear the scripture (1 John 4:18) was directed to when it says “perfect love casts out fear”.

Now God helped me to realise that first of all I was not really guarding my heart but rather I was living in fear and hence the walls. I was afraid of letting people in, I was afraid of opening up and most of all I was afraid of truly loving all because I was afraid of getting hurt again.

So I came to the realisation that the opposite of real love- the love of God is not hate but it is actually fear.

Now this opened up a whole new chapter of fears I had to confront and conquer in order to truly be set on a path of healing and this I will share over the next few days.

 

 

p.s  I’m sorry its been a while since I posted on the blog, I’ve just rounded up my final semester at Uni and you can imagine the kind of busy I’ve been. however God has been faithful and by his grace I’m hoping to graduate in July eek!

 

 

A vulnerable God

How can you truly understand what I am going through after all you’re God. I’m not sure you understand how hurt and pain feels. What it means to have your heart broken over and over again. What it means to have your hopes shattered.

vulnerable

Through his death, we received life.

So don’t tell me it’ going to be ok and Joy comes in the morning because the night is enough to kill me.

Some say you’re the all-knowing and the only truly wise God. I have no dispute against that but I doubt you understand what it means to be human else you won’t be able to casually just say I will be Ok. Of course I know I will be, after all nothing lasts forever but the scar will forever be a reminder and maybe ‘it’ will pass but I will never remain the same again.

So I had a mouth full. God told me to be honest with him and I took honest to a whole different level. So here’s his reply

I know what it means to be fully human as much as I know what it means to be fully GOD. It clearly didn’t sink when you read that I came to earth; born fully human.

Faith, I was rejected by those I called my very own, do you understand how that hurts? Though God I made myself extremely vulnerable becoming like you (mankind) in order to truly feel your pain.

I prayed so hard for the father to take the cup (suffering, pain, anguish) away from me you know why?

I was scared…

Yes I was scared… I had become fully human and I felt every emotion possible. I gave up whatever spiritual defences I had to overcome whatever suffering lay ahead and though I had the choice to pick them back up, I chose not to because I really did want to be able to relate.

It hurt me to see my earthly mother hurt. I had so much love and affection for her yet at the time I could do nothing to take away the hurt in her eyes when she saw the fruit of her womb treated like a dunghill.

My very own friends & companions were not even able to stay up with me and pray with me that night at gethsemane. If at least they had kept awake and stayed by me it would have helped but no they slept off. One of them even denied ever knowing me.

Now the physical pain, oh beloved you don’t want to get me started on that one. Imagine pain that transcends the physical into the spiritual. That’s how much it hurt.

So yes I understand what it means to hurt both physically and emotionally, I understand how it feels to be rejected, to not get what you truly want because God has other ideas…

Most of all I understand what it truly means to trust God and press into his comfort.  Believing Him because Joy does come in the morning even though it takes a while. I guess that’s why I was able to say- “nevertheless not my will but Yours be done”.

 He has handed every power to judge humanity to me because I was human.

I am that part of Him that truly gets you and everyone else Faith, hence I AM the mediator between God and man and no one comes to the father except through ME.

That’s why you can trust that my judgement will be fair and just.

So beloved, I get you, I can relate, I understand and most of all I can heal you and make you whole if only you’d let me all because I LOVE YOU.

 

That was it for me guys, so I’m able to truly trust and relax in his comfort because I know He made himself real to me ( scripture references for everything- Luke 4:14-30, Luke 22:39-45, Matthew 26:39, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 2:18, John 19:25-29, John 19, John 5:22)

Love and blessings…

You and me (poem)

For this entry ”Me” refers to all of us seeking hope in this lost world…

I wonder what I did that you love me so,

I search, I think, I analyse, I add, I subtract,

I hypothesize and try to work it out

Yet  my conclusions point to the fact that I still cannot fathom why you love me so.

Your love is so deep that I can literally feel its touch on my palpitating heart.

It is so overwhelming and that it’s beginning to get hot in here.

I don’t get this, and I’m not sure I ever will understand why He says to me

You’re forgiven yet again.

So I tried to get away from this love, and just be me

But the further I go, the more Romans 8:38-39 becomes a reality.

I tried to hide in my darkness,

cover myself with my shame and close my eyes to life

may be avoiding to actually live it.

Yet you run into my darkness

You wrap your arms around me with so much love

That I begin to wonder,

What is wrong with you? Why me?

Why do you decide to step into my darkness making yet another reality of 2 Corinthians 4:6.

You told me to wrap my arms back around you and receive the love

But I was too worried I’d smudge your white garment with my exuding darkness.

Neither did I know that the whiteness of your garment was contagious.

I caught it

It got infused with my blood and hybridized with my DNA

Making me realise that from the inception of time it was meant to be.

The love became the epigenetic factor that mutated my entire genome.

This mutation however made me a hybrid of your kind.

I no longer fit in this world;

I started understanding for myself the phrase,

I am in this world but not of this world.

I began to see for myself what you were showing me all along.

You became vulnerable for my sake because you really wanted to.

You told me I was worthy and showed it by being hurt and broken all for my sake.

You were shattered oh so shattered but you kept your eye on the price- Me

Yes Me; the unworthy price that even angels and demons didn’t seem to get it.

The demons thought they were getting rid of you and your plans,

Unknown to them they were helping You get Me and Me- You.

The Angels were ready in anticipation for your command

Hoping you will summon their intervention that night at Gethsemane

But you kept your eyes on the price-Me.

So Lord I come before you today because you came before me first.

I call you Lord, because your love has the authority

And power to transform my darkness into your light.

I’m still a flickering candle but me + You = Fire storm.

I’ve learnt to say I love you and truly understand it’s because you loved me first.

I trust you because you trusted in me enough to die for me.

I want to go on, but life calls

However you give me the comfort that with you is the life I live

And for that I thank you.