So, here I am going through this cycle of pain again. I murmured and complained in my heart against God. I threw my bitterness at Him. I was passive-aggressive in my conversation with Him.
“Why God did you do this to me?” I murmured in my heart. “Oh right, yes. You are God. I am just clay. Who is this clay talking back to her Potter?” And then, I back-pedalled to apologise to Him, “Father, if I am not honest with You and tell You how I feel, I don’t really know how to have a relationship with you.”
So, when things go wrong, the first person I blame is God.
“Don’t you think that God is innocent in this issue?” my friend asked in a conversation. “Haven’t you choose this road to follow Him and now, you beat yourself up for suffering in it?”
This process was all-too-familiar. It’s funny, almost déjà vu. Years ago, I underwent the same process of over-stretching and over-spending myself, steadily compromising my time with Him.
In the name of defending the good name of Christianity, I said yes to every obligation and request that came to me.
But the truth is I could not stand letting go of my ego in failing to fulfill the promises I made. I did not pray. I did not consider carefully. I wanted to please people more than God. I failed. I fell. And then I blamed God, when He need none of my defending or my contribution in life.
So, as I walked through this worn-out path, I heard God said to me in the stillness of night, “My child, what do you think I want you to learn from this?”
As I repeated this question, I was amused with myself. I saw this recurring pattern of behavior towards pain. “Why am I doing this over and over? This got to stop!”
And then, I found hope in the middle of my pity pool. There is a reason for my pain! God wants me to learn something! And this time, I shook my fist at my pain, “You will not get all my attention this time! I will now turn my eyes to the lessons God wants me to learn.”
For the pain you are going through now, what is God wanting you to learn?
For me, this time, I will not be the same again.
This time, I will learn the art of rejoicing, worshiping, and praising God in all circumstances. (Phil 4:4, Phil 4:11b-13) No longer will I be a Christian soaked in pickle juice, but I will ooze an unstoppable love, joy and faith. (Col 3:12) I will walk with lightness in my feet and a tune in my heart!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Phil 4:4)
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:11b-13)
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zeph 3:17)
This time, I will not sulk or mourn over a negative comment or an unexpected situation. But I will be like a wide-eyed child, ready to learn and be enchanted with the world. I will see problems as opportunities to discover, experiment, and grow in God. I resort to be a learner in all situations from God, counting everything and everyone as worthy of lessons to be learned.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:29)
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 18:3-4)
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. (Prov 9:8-9)
This time, I will cease my complains to God. But I will sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, waiting and expecting Him to speak to me. I will ask the Holy Spirit to give me His Eyes and His understanding to see my Father’s majesty, beauty, and glory in everything and in everyone.
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. (Psalm 5:3)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put in practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:8-9)
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. (Prov 25:2)
This time, I will cease to have my eyes look covetously at others but I will set my eyes on every good and little thing that God has granted me, taking every opportunity to thank Him. I thank God for being alive! I thank God for my wonderful family and friends! I thank God for knowing Him and giving me the most precious gift of having a relationship with Him!
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes 5:18)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim 6:6-10)
This time, I will draw close to God and not turn away or hide from Him when things go wrong. I will lay hold of every promise with a bold faith. (1 John 5:14) I will make my requests and petitions to God. I will make known all my desires to Him. (Phil 4:6-7) I will let Him know my deepest hurts and anguishes because I know He cares for me. (1 Pet 5:7)
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)
This time, I will stand in hope of my future – not because of my prowess or strength – but because of His Strength! I know that in my weaknesses, His Strength is shown. (2 Cor 12:9) I can put my trust in Him and I can depend on Him.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa 40:28-31)
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. if anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet 4:11)
This time, I will not listen to what the world tell me who I am. But I will accept and embrace my true identity as the chosen one, the set apart, (1 Pet 2:9) the heir of Abraham’s rich inheritance, (Gal 3:29) the co-heir of Jesus Christ, (Rom 8:17) the beloved vessel of God’s mercy and glory (Rom 9:23), and the child of God (John 1:12, Eph 1:5). I hold the same power that resurrected Jesus Christ from death! (Ephesians 1:15-21) Because I am in Him, I am a new creation. (2 Cor 5:17) I can look to the future with hope and boldness. I will trust in Him. He will do what He says.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Eph 1:15-21)
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psa 37:5)
This time, I will conquer my emotions of defeat with the truth of God’s Words. (Psalm 18:30, Prov 30:5) I believe in every word of the Bible as truth, and I wait and expect God’s Promises to unfold in my life. (Psalm 33:4-5) I believe that God will do what He says in His Word, for He spoken the world into existence. (Psalm 33:4-5) Nothing is too hard for Him. (Gen 18:14, Jer 32:27) His timing is perfect. (Rom 8:28) His works are great and his thoughts are very deep! (Psa 92:5) I wait to praise Him again and again! (Psa 43:5)
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Prov 30:5)
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. (Psa 33:4-5)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psa 43:5)
Trust in the LORD forever, for in God the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock! (Isa 26:4)
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