Before affliction…

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word.- Psalm 119:67 (NIV)

I went astray. Often, it has a negative connotation. It means that we have chosen the evil paths of this world. We have become adulterers, liars, thieves and murderers, by the standard of this world. But, a Christian life has a higher standard. We may not do any of these things that are considered evil in the eyes of the world; actually we may be living a moral life, yet in the eyes of the Lord, we may have gone astray.

Isaiah 53:6 says, that each of us have gone astray and the prophet goes on to explain that – each of us turned to his own way. Now, nowhere it is said that our own ways are evil and immoral. But just simply that we turned to our own ways. We turned away from the Way, from Jesus Christ and we have gone astray.

Sometimes, we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and realize that we have left His guidance and turn to His ways. But at times, we become strong headed, as in our eyes, there is nothing wrong in the way we are travelling; actually everyone is telling us how good we are and how we have chosen wisely. And, to abandon all that and to follow the voice of the Lord, actually, looks like foolish and we are worried about what others would say… and then the tender hands of our loving Father afflicts us in a sweet manner… now we obey His Word.

Oh, heavenly Father, thank You for Your infinite love and mercy. We thank You for giving us Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. We also thank You for Your loving hand that afflicted us, so we realize the folly of choosing our own ways over Your way. Now, we obey Your Word. Thank You. Through Your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Psalm 119_67

Take hold of His feet

She took hold of his feet. – 2 Kings 4:27

1. It is well.

2. Don’t slow down.

When the Shunammite woman reached Elisha, the man of God, she just took hold of his feet. That was all she did. She did not cry or weep. She did not lament. She just held on to his feet. Though she did not express her anguish, the LORD revealed the distress of her soul to the prophet and as she had confessed, “It is well”, so it became so in her life.

Dear friend, you may not know how to express your grief in words. You may not have words to explain what is going through your heart. Even if you know the words, your soul is so broken, only tears are flowing from your eyes as you are gasping for a word to get out of your mouth. Don’t despair. Just take hold of Jesus’s feet. There is no other place for us to be. All our sorrows and grief, we don’t have to express. Jesus Christ knows. And with a tender smile, He looks at us, and says in a gentle, but firm voice, “It is well.” So be it. Amen.

At the feet of Jesus

Genesis 22:8

God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.

The aging father. His only son. A 3-day arduous journey. At the end of the journey, awaits the heart-wrenching sacrifice. The servants who were left at the bottom of Mount Moriah were probably wondering, “But what about the lamb for the burnt offering?”, but they were afraid to ask the patriarch. And finally the innocent son asks that one question the father was afraid to answer. Yet from his raging heart, comes these words of faith – God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering. And He did then at Mount Moriah. And He did again at Calvary.

When the struggles of this life are too much for you to bear, look at the Calvary. When you are pressed from all directions and you have nowhere to turn, turn to the Cross. When you are not able to come to the LORD because of your sins, look at Jesus Christ, Him crucified. When you are in need of true love, look at God our Father, Who loved us so much, He gave up His only Son for us. HE is Jehovah Jireh – the LORD Who provides.

Genesis 22.8

4. Faith–what do we believe?

In 2014, a huge storm was moving towards India. It was predicted that half of India would be destroyed, especially the Southern India would be completely devastated was the forecast. If you take a look at the satellite pictures, you will understand why.2014 storm

Hudhud CIMSS

For more than a week, the TV news was filled with the impending doom. The experts looked so serious and every word filled with the gravity of the situation. Then the day arrived. Even a seasonal rain would have caused more damage than that, as the December rains in 2015 proved. Every expert and news analyst were left red-faced.

The problem was the Indian Meteorological Department had told that the storm would not be severe. Yet, everyone talked about the devastation as if it is the Gospel truth. Why? Because, the warning of impeding disaster came from NASA. Since NASA was issuing such an alert, everyone believed it strongly; yet, that belief left them embarrassed.

We saw that faith is the surety of hope. But believing in something is not enough; Titanicit is also important what we believe in. Most of the Indians have so much trust on NASA, but on that day, their trust and belief came crumbling down.

No matter how much we want, there is nothing on this earth that can be trusted completely. Because nothing in this world is permanent. Remember Titanic? Remember all the trust and faith everyone had on that “ship that even God cannot sink”? We all know the end result of that faith.

Yes, the value of faith depends on what we believe in. So, as a Christian, what do you believe? I have seen Christians having their faith on their ministers and preachers. Don’t get me wrong. Give them the respect they deserve. But do not put your faith on them. Once I was talking about a certain misconception about a theological view point. And, immediately a believer said, “No, that is so correct.” I asked her how and she said, “I don’t know. But my pastor and many other servants of God have told me so.”

The Israelites put their trust on Moses. They believed him completely. And what happened? Moses was spending 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai with the LORD. They were able to see the presence of God through the lightning, thunder and dark clouds. Yet, they tell Aaron this: “Make us gods who shall go before us. For this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” – Exo. 32:1

Moses was a leader and a man as they themselves point out. So if they don’t know what happened to him, they should have elected another leader. Instead they asked Aaron to make gods for them. So if you have so much trust on your ministers, it will lead to idolatry, in one way or another. It could be even certain concepts in which your church believes in; or certain spiritual deeds that you are involved in. What do you believe in?

Your faith is priceless. God Himself adores your faith. So, why don’t you believe only in Jesus? For, He alone does not change yesterday, today and forever. His love for you does not change. So, let us not keep our precious faith on people who perish and teachings that change; instead let us keep on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let us say with the psalmist: So, Lord, what hope do I have? You are my Hope! (Psalm 39:7, ERV)

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