Saturday, 23 November 2013

Random Chance? Think again!

'It happened by random chance!', these are the five words every science student can testify to hearing a zillion times! While these words initially evoked outrage within me, reading about Jacob's struggle with Laban extinguished the flames.

From Genesis 29 to chapter 31 we see Jacob's struggle with his father-in-law in order to obtain his rightful wages. Laban, who had already deceived Jacob numerous times, tries to do so again, suggesting Jacob take the speckled, streaked and spotted animals of the flock as his wages. Remarkably however, we see that immediately many of the 'normal' animals began mating with the already streaked, spotted or speckled, producing a far greater proportion that would belong to Jacob!
Mating happens by random chance and so it did in this case; but later on God reveals to Jacob that He was indeed behind it. God working through what we perceive to be random chance! What a baffling thought!

It doesn't stop with Jacob.
Jonah ran away from his God-given duty by hiding in the lower deck of the ship to Tarshish. Nature, by 'chance' was very unkind to the men as they faced a violent, raging storm. In order to identify the culprit who was behind such misfortune, the men cast lots and by 'random chance' it fell on Jonah! Really, 'random chance'? No, we see God's hand at work again.

Proverbs 16:33 confirms this by saying, 'A thing may be put to the decision of chance, but it comes about through the LORD.' In addition, the Bible is filled with ample evidence pointing to a God who mysteriously executes His purposes with probabilities.

Random chance isn't that random after all!
Could evolution have occurred as a random chance event?
I've learnt to consider not 'whether life arose by random chance' but that I serve a God so mighty and incomprehensible that He is in control of randomness and chance. It does make sense! Who are we to confine God to our boundaries of time and space anyway...remember He was behind those too! 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Embrace Your Inner Catholic

'Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel' - Isaiah 7:14


The 'Virgin Birth' - perhaps one of the most fundamental, debated, unfathomable doctrinal strands of Christianity that does not cease to amaze, confuse and intellectually challenge individuals.
While there are many conspiracy theories around seeking to explain this mind boggling phenomenon, it is vital as Christians that we understand the significance of the virgin birth and the reality of it.

'Immanuel' - God with us
This very name from Isaiah's prophecy indicates the incarnation of God in human flesh, implying that Jesus was 'fully God' and 'fully human'. I'm not sure about you but this alone is enough to confuse my incompetent brain!

Jesus as Lord and Savior
Salvation pivots on ackowledging Jesus as not only our Savior (someone who died in our place to set us free) but as our Lord (one who is in-charge of and holds our lives). His divinity makes all the difference; if Jesus was not divine, we believe in vain! 
For Jesus to be 'divine', He had to be born of a virgin, but why?
Normal Birth = Normal Human Being 
Hence Jesus' life and teaching would have been the result of the Holy Spirit working in Him. This makes Him no different to the prophets, whom God used as instruments through His Holy Spirit.

Cutting Adam's line
Romans 5:12-21 reminds us that sin is an innate quality in every human, it is written in our genes (so to speak). This natural inclination to sin needs to be broken in order for us to be saved, as we will view God's law with a renewed reverence.
If Jesus was a part of Adam's line, i.e. had earthly parents, he too would have this predisposition, hence His sinfulness would have resulted in an insufficient sacrifice. However, Jesus was God incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He lived a sinless life and presented Himself as the Lamb without blemish at the altar - a sacrifice plentiful for the human race!

Prophecy fulfilled
Finally, in case you did not notice, the verse at the beginning of this post is from Isaiah, a prophet who lived around 700BC. The prophecies about the Messiah had to correlate with the birth, life, death and ressurection of Jesus.

Yes, it is a far fetched concept that is out of the ordinary, but is God ordinary? 
Yes, it is scientifically impossible, but is God bound by the laws of science, space or time?
NO and NO!
We serve an almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth, when He could breathe this cosmos into existence ex nihilo, what stops Him from causing a virgin to bear child? Nothing! God is a God of miracles.

The virgin birth is not a basis for salvation but it is a Biblical truth we ought to embrace. As a Vicar at Christian Union illuminated this truth, he also mentioned how unlike Catholics, Evangelicals often ignore, hence devalue this miraculous event, robbing it of its due splendour. Thus I invite you to join me in searching for, finding and embracing that inner Catholic in you, that holds dear this illogical, rationally challenging concept with chains of faith!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Big Ben's Desperate Chimes

The Big Ben is the Great Clock Tower of Westminster in London; it is the largest four-faced chimming clock in the world and the third-tallest free standing clock tower. Not only is this structure one of magnificent beauty, but its familiar chimes resonate through flesh and bone evoking awe. Little did I know that its chimes were in fact a clamarous call to Londoners to turn back to their Maker!

The melody is traditionally thought to have been taken from one of my favourite classical oratorios, Handel's Messiah. The lyrics that correspond with the melody are also inscribed on a plaque in the Big Ben clock room and are as follows:

All through this hour,
Lord, be my guide;
And by Thy power,
No foot shall slide.
 

I am enthralled by tradition; I love digging deeper into the significance of ceremonies, hence to me these lyrics are no coincidence but are purposeful. The Big Ben was part of a new design to reconstruct the ruins of the old Palace of Westminster after a fire. These words to me seem rather apt, pleading God for His power and guidance through the fire, to remain unharmed.

What a prayer! A good reminder that we need God's guidance in every area of our life, every hour. Not only to help us in times of trouble but also to equip us to steer clear of temptations. Today, the Big Ben chimes every day, every hour to the melody of those same words, but only to be ignored by the ears of the millions that hear it each day. I can imagine its frustrations as it desparately tries to get the message across to a generation and society that is in need of it. Sadly, they are also ignored by the Members of Parliament who have chosen to reject God's guidance in the laws, values and principles they enforce or advocate!

The next time we hear the desperate chimes of the old Big Ben, may we remember to seek God's guidance, the only One who can keep our feet from stumbling. May the Big Ben not chime in vain!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Don't lose that 'First Love'

Recently, it dawned on me that my faith flame had been dimming for quite a while. Having had one of the hardest years spiritually, it was no surprise to me that my relationship with God felt far from passionate - it was empty religiosity and dutiful worship that consumed my time rather than the awe-struck wonder with which I used to gaze at the Cross. I realised that I lost my 'First Love' - I was letting myself grow out of love for the Savior. Some thing had to be done, fast!

When married couples complain about growing out of love, what do they mean?
The fire or passion with which they loved each other initially, dimmed - it did not die, but the 'dimming' felt like 'death'.

While our relationship with the Savior is similar, it differs in one way - God never stops loving us with the passion with which He loved us first; the love that brought Him to earth and took Him to the Cross is an unfathomable, unchanging, ever-exuberant love. If friction develops in our relationship with Him, we alone are to blame!

In moments such as this, one can choose to give up assuming the love is dead or, one can choose to make an effort to reignite the passion that once robbed their heart. I am glad that I chose the latter!

God understands that often we can be a Martha - busily trying to serve the Lord 'correctly' and forget to remain at His feet. Thankfully, He gives us the remedy in Revelation 2:1-7.
The Ephesian Church the apostle John was writing to, faced pretty much the same problem. They worked hard for the progression of the Gospel and to eliminate false teachers, they ensured their lives were embellished with good deeds, they persevered through trials and were even intolerant to sin. While this sounds like the resume of the 'perfect Christian' (if there ever could be one!), God said, 'Yet I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love.' This implies that it doesn't matter what we do but why we do it; it doesn't matter how we start but how we finish.

God's two-step solution soon follows, 'Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.'

1. Reflection
Take some time to pause, think and make a note of what you did and how you did it at the start of your journey with the Saviour.
For me this meant things like longer quiet times, reading more Christian literature, praying often, enthusiastically evangelising (not with fear or out of compulsion).etc.
It's not that I had stopped doing the things above, but somehow now it felt like A LOT of effort. I started off doing them because I wanted to but ended up doing them because I had to!

2. Repent and do the things you did at first
What does He mean? It took me a while to realise that this command consists of two parts...
'Repent' - this is at the heart level. We need to place God at the centre of our lives again, this can only be achieved through confession and prayer.
'...and do the things you did at first' - If we truly repent, this will automatically follow! You'll effortlessly want to delve deeper in love with the Saviour, hence serve Him wholeheartedly!

Losing our 'first love' is equivalent to letting ourselves be overcome by apathy. If you find yourself in such a position, I plead you to give it your all to get that love back. Reading the passage in Revelation shows us that this loss comes with a repercussion - God warns the Ephesian Church that their lampstand will be taken away, meaning they will eventually burn out of faith and no longer be lit for the Saviour. What a shame that would be after a wonderful start, knowing what the Saviour did and yet be doomed for all eternity! However, take heart, for if we overcome this apathy, He promises that we shall partake in what is rightfully ours through His blood.

Don't lose that first love!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Exercising Trust

Whether it be uncertainty about what will happen in a few years' time or in a few minutes' time, uncertainty is one of those things in life that I just cannot bear. I mull over it, get moody, upset, aggressive...it just drives me mad!

I know that God is in control of the uncontrollable; He is faithful and gracious, hence I can trust Him completely. However, this knowledge isn't always easy to exercise and honestly, I have been struggling to exercise this trust over the past few months.

Problem

In Psalm 55:22 David beautifully encourages us to 'cast [our] burden upon the LORD as He will sustain [us] and never let the righteous be shaken'
If you are anything like me, casting your burdens onto Jesus is the easy bit...but you struggle with something else...to LEAVE your burdens WITH Him! It shocked me to realise how rude this actually was...
Imagine entrusting something to someone but constantly going back to check on it...what does that show?
We don't actually trust them, our trust is superficial as we imply that we doubt their expertise. Hence if I was God, I would be offended!

Solution

Although I have been struggling in silence for a few months, it wasn't until a few days ago that I finally listened to what God was trying to tell me all along, thanks to 'Lift My Life Up' by Unspoken playing on the K-Love radio station
The secret to getting rid of an earworm is to replace it with another, likewise I realise that the only way we can rid ourselves of distrust and anxiety is by focusing on the goodness and faithfulness of God to us in the past. Yes, the devil will try to remind you of unanswered prayers or of times when God said 'No' but surely God knows best, and why be disheartened, NOTHING comes to pass without His approval!

Uncertainty is inescapable but holding on to His promises and reminding yourself of His faithfulness will get you through each day in relative peace. Trust me, exercising trust in the Savior isn't easy, but neither is it impossible!
Finally, never forget that 'all things work together for good to them that love God, for them who are called according to His purpose.' Romans (8:28)

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Promiscuity - is it worming its way into the norm?

Over the past few weeks I made some disturbing observations. They made me think about where our society and country as a whole are headed - if these observations persist, I can assure you that the future looks VERY bleak!

My aim through this article is to alert you with some 'food for thought', about matters that are often swept under the carpet or ignored altogether. While worthless celebrity gossip robs headlines, these issues are forgotten and not made a bigger fuss out of, a fuss that they deserve and require!

Come Dine With Me

'Come Dine With Me' is one of my favourite shows on Channel 4. Watching it for over 3 years, I have seen it evolve. I noticed that in recent episodes, the contestants saw it essential to entertain their guests...well nothing wrong with that! After all, it is a show about hosting! What troubled me however is what they considered entertainment and how it was received.
The contestants began hiring strippers for the night, as disturbing as that itself sounds, I was even more shocked to see the way the contestants reacted...while most women awkwardly acquiesced, most men would shamelessly flirt...my concise description is purposefully implicit, but I'm sure you will get the gist as I had to switch channels!

Did I over react? Now what is wrong with a little bit of fun?

Fun! Seriously! Since when did promiscuity become permissible? Since when did being entertained mean arousing lustful desires? These folks could have easily well entertained their guests with a good old singer, karaoke or even a game of some sort...was a stripper their ONLY available option? No! They chose the 'popular' option! Well, most things that harm society ARE 'popular'...drugs, drunkenness, the list goes on...

Now what's wrong with lusting? No one is hurting anybody?

Jesus said, "...anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart"

Do you still not see it? God considers lust sinful as His Law applies at the heart level. While all of us are guilty of this crime, it does not encourage us to continue sinning; walking into the pit ourselves or leading another into it! We must seek to repent and abstain.
If you're willing to play the secular card on this issue...my argument still stands. Lust is not love. It is selfish, it craves something superficial and temporary. It has been the root cause of adultery, divorces and break ups in innumerable cases, and openly encouraging this 'natural propensity' isn't going to help fortify the family unit, relationships or the community as a whole. It is a destructive, detrimental deception that seeks to disintegrate society.

Think about it! Act on it!

No More Page 3

It's not all bad news! Our apathetic society is beginning to awaken! Hence I'd like to close this post on a positive note, with an opportunity for you to actually 'Act on it!'
The 'No More page 3' campaign started by Lucy Holmes, has been gaining momentum over recent days in Britain, with many uniting their voices against a tabloid newspaper, The Sun, to remove the infamous 'Page 3' - a page dedicated for topless images of women!
'The Page 3 image is there for no other reason than the sexual gratification of men. She's a sex object. But when figures range from 300000 women being sexually assaulted and 60000 raped each year, to 1 in 4 who have been sexually assaulted, is it wise to be repeatedly perpetuating a notion that women are sexual objects?'
~ The Independent
There is a lot that this pressure group-campaign has already achieved, but your support will help make a greater difference. For more information and to sign the petition please follow the link: http://nomorepage3.org/ - It is that simple!

Monday, 24 June 2013

'There never was a man or woman truly converted, from one end of the world to the other, who did not love the revealed will of God. Just as a child born into the world desires naturally the milk provided for its nourishment, so does a soul "born again" desire the sincere milk of the Word. This is a common mark of all the children of God - they "delight in the law of the Lord".
Show me a person who despises Bible reading, or thinks little of Bible preaching, and I hold it to be certain fact that he is not yet "born again". He may be zealous about forms and ceremonies. He may be diligent in attending sacraments and daily services. But, if these things are more precious to him than the Bible, I cannot think he is a converted man. Tell me what the Bible is to a man, and I will generally tell you what he is. This is the pulse to try - this is the barometer to look at - if we would know the state of the heart. I have no notion of the Spirit dwelling in a man and not giving clear evidence of His presence. And I believe it to be a signal evidence of the Spirit's presence when the Word is really precious to a man's soul.'
~ Bishop J. C. Ryle in his book 'Practical Religion'

Marriage without fidelity?

I was shocked to learn recently that Lady Stowell had made a statement that, "In terms of the law, marriage does not require the fidelity of couples."

Marriage is a union between one man and a woman; it's a covenant of  commitment. The very nature of such a promise requires one to be faithful, taking that element out of it results in a shallow, meaningless formality that is merely comprised of words - in my opinion, such a promise cannot be considered 'marriage' and as a result, is utterly worthless!

Lady Stowell believes that couples should 'decide for themselves the importance of fidelity'.
The law exists to discipline and direct society by establishing morality...unfortunately our law makers themselves need a lesson on morality! With people who possess a defective moral compass in power, no wonder society is spiralling down a detrimental bottomless pit!

As Christians, it is imperative now more than ever, to stand firm in what the Word of God has to say about issues such as this. It is our duty to direct people to Christ and hence to what is right, because those in power have themselves forgotten what 'is' and 'is not'. Even from a secular point of view, infidelity does no good! It may satisfy our fleeting lustful nature, but it hurts hearts and breaks families - the very institution we must be seeking to fortify.

Think about it! Act on it! The fate of the next generation depends on it!

For more on this: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/faithfulness-not-necessary-in-a-marriage-says-govt/

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Visual Development - Connecting with our 'Spiritual Cortex'

Biology revision covered a variety of topics, one of which was on visual development. As I tried to make sense of it all, I realised that visual development is very similar to spiritual growth or 'spiritual development'.

The critical period of visual development is a time in post natal development in which the eyes need to be exposed to light, in order to refine the overlapping connections various neurones from the optic nerve, have with the columns of the visual cortex. The neurones compete for connections with the cortex. Depriving one eye of light (monocular deprivation) during this critical period, will sabotage its chances of acquiring connections with the cortex. As a result, when exposed to light after this period, even though the photoreceptors in the retina respond to it, the visual cortex does not. This is because stimulating neurones strengthens synapses, and the stronger the synapses the better the connections made!

Likewise, once we decide to walk with the Lord (the post natal development in Christian terms), we decide to strengthen our relationship with Him. In order to do so, we must consume ourselves with His word, regularly associate with firm believers and whenever possible, encapsulate ourselves with His presence by worship. Our souls need this spiritual stimuli in order to grow in the Lord so that we mature as Christians. Fortunately, the 'critical period of our spiritual development' does not last a short while but our whole lives, until we're united with the Savior, who is our 'spiritual cortex'.

Don't put it off too late, you may find that you've lost your connection!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Antinomianism - A Big Mistake!

Many of my posts feature the word: 'Antinomianism' - sadly my usage of it, I have learnt recently, has been terribly wrong! I apologize for this error and felt compelled to dig a little deeper into the roots of this misleading word...here is a summary of my findings.

Antinomianism stems from the Greek word meaning 'against the law' or 'lawlessness'. It is a concept that branched out of the Christian doctrine of 'Sola-Fide' (which states that salvation can only be attained by faith in Jesus Christ) shortly after the reformation, budding from Germany and penetrating every nation and generation of Christians to have ever lived. Its proposal that Christians are under no obligation to follow the moral laws due to faith in Christ, is a fallacy of the greatest kind; sadly, perhaps due to its appeal, it still lingers amidst us today, and as Christians it is our duty to rid evangelism of it and undo the damage it has caused.

Sadly this concept is used by many in the Catholic church to accuse Protestants. It's also not surprising  that unbelievers refer to it as a common cause of deterance - who can blame them when many evangelists seem to purely focus on 'Jesus loves you as you are!' swallowing perhaps the most important part... 'But He loves you too much to leave you unchanged!'

Surprisingly, antinomianism isn't a recent concept, it is an age old issue that can even be found battled against in Acts 21. However the Bible is very clear on what Salvation is, how it can be attained and the life that should follow as a result. Just like the apostles, we ought to address it too, and do so quickly. 

Salvation is indeed the outcome of faith but that's only part of the picture...
In Paul's letter to the Galatians he writes:

'...know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.' 
'...by observing the law no-one will be justified.' 
Why?

'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law'
So who has kept everything written in the Book of the Law? 
No one! 
Because 'there is no one righteous, not even one', and we can testify to that with our own lives!

Then what is the purpose of the law?
'...the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith'
The law serves as a pointer, to highlight our need for a Savior. 

However, just because salvation is a matter of faith, you cannot happily gallop off into a whirlpool of sin! Repentance is key! Jesus Himself said in the sermon on the mount, that a man is known by his fruits. Moreover, James reminds us lucidly that 'Faith without works is dead' - good works justify before men our faith after salvation. These good works result from a change of heart and an observance of God's holy law. 
Salvation DOES NOT give us a licence to sin but highlights our liability towards our sin; it DOES NOT overthrow the law, but perfects it! Antinomianism is classic case of 2 Peter 3:16 where the 'ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.'

As I am a novice, I should probably stop ranting, hence I'll leave you to ponder on this Facebook status posted by a friend and young pastor, Ryan King:
'Antinomianism: the sacrifice of godly purity on the alter of 'gospel' passion. It twists propitiation into permission, expiation into an excuse, liberty into licence, and freedom into foolishness. By effectively turning our redemption by Christ's substitution into reason for Christians to sin, it perverts God's grace, denies Christ's Lordship, profanes Christ's blood, and grieves the Holy Spirit. If you want to be truly passionate about the gospel of Christ, you won't go here!'

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Not his head, nor his foot, but out of his rib...

While focusing on Genesis 2:21-23, my study guide 'Engage' makes what it calls, 'a very cheesy point'! However, I loved the way it expands these well known verses, highlighting aspects I was previously oblivious to, hence I couldn't help but share it...

Genesis 2:21-23:
So the LORD God made him fall into a deep sleep, and he took out one of man's ribs. Then after closing the man's side, the LORD made a woman out of the rib. The LORD God brought her to the man, and the man exclaimed, "Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones. She came from me, a man. So I will name her Woman!"

Engage: Woman was taken out of man - not out of his head, to rule over him; nor out of his feet, to be trampled on by him; but out of his side, to be equal to him - under his arm, that he might protect her, and near his heart that he might love her.

Who knew that the simple image of God creating Eve from Adam's rib could have so much to it! From the beginning God wanted to accentuate that we are all equal in His eyes, yet we have been entrusted to different roles in our relationships with each other, within the Church and in society as a whole, according to our overall strengths and capabilities. While these roles can differ between individuals, generally speaking, the gender-specific roles are not intended to undermine the other, but are meant to support them, so that united, we can serve the kingdom of God efficiently.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Purposeful Death

Reading Paul's epistle to the church in Galatia highlights an age-old issue in the history of the Church. In Galatians 2:21 Paul beautifully summarises the essence of this post, 'I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!' He does not stop there, but goes on to make a very striking statement, 'Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God's grace.' Reading this sent chills down my spine, especially because there are many I love who oppose the doctrine of Sola Fide. It saddens and frustrates me to know that many today still miss the point of the greatest event in history!

If we were able to work our way up to heaven, why on earth did Jesus have to be born, let alone die? The Christian faith, unlike any other, offers redemption; it is built on the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. Christianity is robbed of its worth if Jesus' death was purposeless and if He remained dead!

One of the most common oppositions refers to the law - the ten commandments: 'Why would God give us His law if He didn't want us to follow it? If we had to follow it, surely it determined our eternal well-being.'
While He does want us to follow it, the purpose of the law was not to save, but to lead to salvation. The law humbles one and reiterates their need for a Savior; it is also what characterises repentance, the result of salvation. Can any of us boast of observing the whole law? No! James in his epistle to the scattered Jews reminds us that 'whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.' Hence we're all law breakers.
God's judicial system does not differ greatly from ours, in fact it is the perfected version of our own. A law breaker is not justified and set free by his 'good deeds' elsewhere - a mass murderer could have been a very charitable man, however that by no means dismisses the fact that he has taken lives away! Like wise, no matter how many of the laws we have observed and no matter how good a life we have lived, we are still obliged to serve our sentence.
Forgiveness does not work in a court, but redemption does...He was our ransom; He paid our fine so that we can go free. God graciously in His love, offered us an easy way out. It is up to you and me to accept or reject it.
Obedience to the law needs to be the RESULT of our FAITH in Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross - salvation leads to a change of heart, brought about by God alone, making obedience possible. He HAD to die for you, for me and for humanity itself. If there was a better way, any other way, by which we can be saved, He need not have come! 

'Twas indeed a purposeful death. Don't you agree?

May this Gospel truth continue to fill each of us with wonder and gratitude this Easter and Good Friday as we never cease to recognise our need for the Savior. 

Happy Easter.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Our Response to a 'No'

Entering the new year, we all are forced to look back on the year that has gone by. There is one particular event that truly shook me at the end of last year - a forceful lesson that God decided to teach me. While I struggled learning it, and still struggle digesting it, I'm grateful for it as it has surfaced my incompetency and my constant need to trust the Savior.

There were prayers last year, which were answered with a heart breaking 'No', regarding my university applications. I'm ashamed to say that I was slightly upset with God for not fulfilling a dream I've longed for, for over 10 years. 
When life slumps down on us, dropping us into such pits of despair and disappointment, there are two common responses...
1. We can choose to let our anger and resentment towards God fester and grow our heart cold.
2. We can trust Him, despite our disappointment and hold onto His promises.

The first option is the easier, however, on the long term, it is spiritually unhealthy - in fact it is the carnal option out of the two. By growing cold towards God, not only do we fail to see His beautiful and powerful hand at work in our lives, we also close the doors through which He blesses us. Eventually, we will lose the joy of our salvation - King David will be happy to tell you and me that, that is the worst experience ever, hence his heartfelt cry, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation".

The latter option, is what I eventually chose. God promises Israel through Jeremiah, that He has 'plans to prosper [them] and not to harm [them], plans to give [them] a hope and a future'. Elsewhere, He promises that 'all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and seek His purposes'. His 'No' and 'Not yet' should assure us that He has a better plan; it should lead us to trust Him and rely on Him more. His ways ARE higher than our own and thus we cannot question Him. Also, He uses these periods to draw near to us, He teaches us a few lessons to make our walk with Him more worthwhile, meaningful and enjoyable.


Looking back, I am glad it was a 'No'. My university applications are still uncertain, however, there is a peace within me which He has given. I am assured that He has the best in store and is weaving this situation into something beautiful which He will unveil to me soon. I have learnt to trust His ways more and have recognized areas of my life where I had slacked and need to amend.

If you are in a similar position, dealing with a 'No' or a 'Not yet' from God, remember, you can go down one of two paths, the one you choose will make all the difference.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

While I pondered on what exactly to write on this post, my mind was just consumed by the hymn with which we began the new year at church. This beautiful hymn summarizes all I want to convey - this is my prayer for you and for me.
For those who do not know the Savior, make haste, time is running out! My wish for you this year is that you open your heart to what He has done for you on the Cross. Those who truly seek Him, find Him.
For those who profess to follow the Lord, reignite the fire! My wish is that we fall deeper in love with the Savior and courageously proclaim it to win many souls for Christ. May we also practice what we passionately preach.
Wishes for a happy, prosperous, blessed and a God-centered New Year.

May the mind of Christ my Savior
live in me from day to day,
by His love and power controlling
all I do and say.

May the Word of Christ dwell richly
in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph
only through His power.

May the peace of Christ my Savior
rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me,
as the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
this is victory.

May I run the race before me,
strong and brave to face the fog,
looking only unto Jesus
as I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon on me
as I seek the lost to win,
and may they forget the channel,
seeing only Him.