My Comfort and Hope

Meditating on Psalm 119: 33-56.

36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word. (Ps. 119:36-37, 41)

As we read and discuss these verses in Psalm 119, I would like to remember and share with you the days approaching my salvation. Those were days of enormous difficulties accompanied by fears and trembling and great confusion. “Birth pains” I call them now. I was to be born again of the Spirit and “labor pains” surrounded my delivery. But I didn’t know that then.

As I had written a few times before, one moment my life was at the peak of career and business success, the next moment, I was stripped off of all strength – physical, mental, emotional. During the years of my worldly success, I had beheld vanity and lived in covetousness, whether consciously or unconsciously. But all that ended in my sick bed, when, a day after my 36th birthday, my family and office staff surrounded me and looked at my state helplessly.

It was at this time that I was already seeking God’s salvation desperately. In the midst of my utter weakness, something powerful was telling me to seek the Lord Jesus Christ for He was my only hope. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word (v. 41). I told everybody that I was looking for a Christian Church where I could go and serve the Lord. I needed His forgiveness so much.

When everybody went out of the room, one of my senior employees stayed behind and asked if I wanted to be prayed over by their Church’s prayer warriors. They are from the Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry. This was the answer to my cries to God. And thus, I received my salvation. The complete forgiveness of my sins healed my soul, mind, and heart. Later on, my body received gradual healing, too.

And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed. (vv. 45-46)

With my salvation came my liberty. And I have walked therein to this day. I live to give glory to my Savior. I testify of His unfailing love, goodness, and miracles to anyone who will listen.

But with the difficulties that accompany my incomplete physical healing and the daily challenges and struggles of walking in faith and holiness, I wrestle in my prayers to God just like the psalmist who clings to the Lord in all his afflictions. So, I too, cling to His Word. To His promises that He will not let me be tempted and tested beyond what I can endure, but that He will always deliver me.

49 Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life. (vv. 49-50)

The Lord Jesus Christ is, and always will be, my hope. He is my comfort in my affliction.

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Beyond Comparison

This conversation I had with my sister ended (I hope!) my practice of looking at people of the world and comparing my life with them, often, me, feeling and believing that they have it better than I do. So, as I had written in When We Look at the Temporal Instead of the Eternal, I used to look and think that these people are so abundantly blessed despite not serving and worshiping the living God in spirit and in truth. And as I had come to realize, our vision is sometimes shortsighted: tending to focus our attention to what is seen and not  to what are unseen which are the eternal blessings our salvation brings.

And as I had experienced amidst the trials, there’s also a great possibility that we may overlook the instantaneous gift we have received when we surrendered our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is our liberty. Sometimes, it’s easy for us to take it for granted, even forget, until we see someone struggling to obtain it.

People can be held captive by the enemy in many different ways: drug addiction, alcoholism, chain smoking, gambling, materialism and covetousness, promiscuity, womanizing, etc. One may not be looking like the wretched person that we know of. And that is exactly what the Lord has showed me lately. I had admired her; she seemed to have it all (well, except maybe true salvation), until I learned that she is chained to something destructive that she’s completely powerless to extricate herself from. Her addiction is so pernicious that no amount of rehab can save her.

I’m not happy that I learned she has a huge problem, but this has taught me never to think that there are people from amomg those who have not received salvation who are better off than those who have. This has made me realize the fact that the life of the redeemed is in no way comparable to others. Truth is, it is beyond comparison. The redeemed life is a freed and powerful life. It is a life free from bondage. It is a life sealed with the Holy Spirit and closely guided by it until we reach eternity. 

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

And because of these realizations, my gratitude to my Savior and Healer has grown deeper. I have gained fresh new appreciation to my salvation and the new life it brought, despite the many trials. The glory of this liberty that I have obtained and hold has shone brighter. I will in no way trade it for the world. Having a deep, steadfast gratitude and appreciation to what the Lord has done for us helps us run the race with endurance, rejoicing all the way to the end.

I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.

Journey with Jesus,