When The Answer is No

The irony of it all, when I have started writing regarding the word Wait, then I received an answer from the Lord which is No. I am sure it was God that woke me up very early this morning – when I am supposed to pray and look up and wait for my answer expectantly. Instead, I received an answer of No. My thoughts raced like flashes of light of what to do. Then my spirit told me, “Thank God”. I kept repeating the words:

In everything give thanks. The Lord is good all the time – my God is all-powerful and an all-loving God.

And then I cried. I am now back to zero but still, I prayed and open my window curtains and literally look out at the horizon. This is not the first time I have received a No from the Lord – to be honest, this is the second time I received a No from Him on the same prayer. But the truth is, God is still Faithful whatever the outcome of our prayers and nothing can compare to His promise I have in Him.

In dealing with the answer No – I always look up at the scriptures about hope, His faithfulness. Meditate on those words and I tune my spirit what God has to say. I was brought to the words of Paul to the church in Rome:

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5)

What an encouragement that whatever hope I have placed in His hand, though I have been waiting for it for over a year now, I know that hope will not be put to shame – not because I twisted God’s hands to give me that blessing. God will not put that hope to shame because of His great love – His love is more than enough for me. My heart may grow tired, my eyes may turn puffed, but His love and power and mercies are never-ending, never failing and never changing.

Another way I deal with God’s No is by surrounding myself with Christians that will uplift my spirit and give the encouragement I needed. In my case, it is difficult – my family is not here; and sometimes, I couldn’t bear my heart to the people near me because I don’t want them to think that I am being emotional and needy and pessimist. I am not like that. But I thank God for my biological family and few prayer partners that when things happened like this, they will give me scriptures to ponder on. The theme of their encouragements are almost the same – if I think this is good for me, then God has something better for me for He is good. Then my dad reminded me of one of my life verses:

I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread. (Psalm 37:25)

And while I nursed my broken heart, I always put myself into the spirit of singing – I listen to the songs that speak of God’s greatness in my life. As of the moment, I have been listening to the song More Than Enough of JPCC, on repeat – the very same song that I was playing when I received the first No this year. I know that one day, I will understand why He said No again, just like I understood why He said No the very first time. I may be overwhelmed right now, but truly, His grace will overflow in my life.

Word for the Week: Wait

Sometimes, I wonder how to really wait well on God’s answers to our prayers. While I was browsing at my bible today, I saw a reminder of God’s instruction to me a year ago – September 18, 2017. The Lord has told me to Wait Expectantly from Psalm 5:3.

I don’t think it’s just a happenstance that I stumbled again on this verse while I was in another season of waiting. This week, I would like to reflect on the word “Wait”.

Again, God is telling me to wait expectantly – and I asked God but how do I actually do it? I searched in the different Bible versions on how to be actually expectant and hopeful.

Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch. (Psalm 35:6 ESV)

God knows our prayers but we need to articulate it every day. As what Paul has instructed the church of Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, I am too have to rejoice and keep praying until I receive from the Lord. Once the psalmist is done with his prayer in the morning, he kept an eye on God’s answer. God is asking us to look up and watch at the horizon, the answer is coming; it will surely come. To wait expectantly is an expression of the psalmist of his confidence that surely the answer will come; certainly, help is coming.

And when the time my sight is faltering – when my mind is messing up with my faith, I will tell myself to keep the faith – grow more in my faith. I know that His grace is sufficient for me, for God’s power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9). All I need is a daily dose of His grace for me. My God is an answering-prayer God. I have seen Him move. While I am on this waiting season, I can be assured that God has an answer for me.

The psalmist ended the chapter with an instruction to rejoice in the Lord and sing for joy for indeed, His protection and blessing will be upon me and His favour will be my shield in this waiting season.

 

Weekend Worship: Surrounded – Upper Room

I loved this song! This has been one of my anthems for this year especially when I lift up to God the biggest prayer I have said in my life.

I have been sharing with my small group mates about the biggest prayer I have in accordance with Ephesians 3:20 “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”

My biggest prayer is that for one of my loved ones to be delivered from depression, that Christians and pre-believer to be delivered from depression and that suicide caused by clinical depression will stop and tremble at the name of Jesus. Sometime in July, I have waged war against that spirit and while at the church that time, this song was being sung, and then God clearly spoke to me – “Daughter, the war you have waged against depression, I will win that war for you, because I love you”. I may not see the complete answer to my biggest prayer into fruition, but I know my God is able to accomplish it, maybe not on my lifetime, or not in the next generation – but this I know for sure, it shall come to past for my victory is in Jesus’ name.

God is Faithful Even If My Faith Tank Is Low

At times, I feel that my faith tank is running low. I have been honest that at times, I get anxious.

As my last day at work is nearing, I had mixed emotions causing me to be anxious. I am sad that I am leaving my current job; I am happy that I am looking forward to something new from God; being worried about coming out of my comfort zone and the worst, me getting my brain overworked because of the waiting.

Many times, God has put us into waiting. And to be honest, I am a person who is not really good at waiting. I remembered when I was in college if a friend of mine is late by few minutes, I would leave her and would send her a message to catch up at school. Two weeks back, I was in Manila and living in a country where convenience is a necessity, I find absurd to stay in the queue for 30 minutes only to get an answer as No. I have been tested on waiting, again and again, and most of the time, I failed the test. And God is putting me again on another waiting season in my life. I wonder how other people do it; do they get anxious too? Do they overthink? At times, I wonder why I can’t wait gracefully and faithfully. I wonder why my brain acts up and kept me awake at night over the things that I have already placed in God’s hands as if I have any control over those things.

Then last Sunday, the preacher brought us to the scripture in Hebrews 11:11. Sarah, though she had struggled at her own faith, she was considered to be a person of faith. Not by her own merit; not because she has her faith in full-tank but because her faith rested to God who made the promise and she considered and judged God as ”Faithful”. This encouraged me to go on and wait upon the Lord, to have more faith again; to fill up my faith tank again by celebrating His goodness and mercy because my God who is the author and perfecter of our faith, is Faithful. I will keep trusting God that He will answer me in His perfect time; not on the time, I deemed fit. For indeed, God has made everything beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Worship Weekend: Miracles – Jesus Culture

This morning, as I anticipate the Lord’s day and Holy Spirit Encounter after the church service, I played the song Miracles by Jesus Culture.

I didn’t know that this song was also part of the worship lineup for the afternoon service. God has spoken about my prayers that I know will take time. But I take heart because my God is faithful, not because I have a lot of faith, but because Jesus is the author and the perfecter of my faith.

The God who made the blind eyes see before is the same God who will remove spiritual scales in my eyes that hinders me to keep my sight unto Him. The God who brought life to death is the same God that will restore broken relationships caused by family feuds. The God who made the deaf to hear is the same God that is whispering to my ear, ”Do not fear, do not be dismayed, because I am the God of miracles. Rejoice in me, I will turn your fears to faith; your mourning into dancing; your sorrow into joy”.

I pray that whoever is reading this post right now that God will minister unto you just as He ministers unto me through this song. Have a blessed Sunday.

Encounter – A Poem

In anticipation, I sought and prayed

A manifest presence to be felt;

A sound of a rushing wind to be heard

Or a tongue of fire to be seen.

I rose up to my feet, seeking Your face

How could it be?

That You would take notice of me,

Amongst the six thousand saints.

As I build my throne of praise,

I lift my hands to reach Your grace

By Your great mercy, my desire is Your delight

Amongst the six thousand saints, You inhabit my praise.

My heart’s desire is to encounter You

Like a wind that will swift me away.

And then suddenly, a gentle wind came blowing my way

Swaying me off my feet as I pray.

My heart is overjoyed, I sought of it for more.

I leaped to my feet, and draw closer to You in a beat.

I am like a feather swiftly swayed off my feet,

The gentleness of Your spirit, brushed my heart’s tears away.

In Your presence, it’s where I want to be

To meet You face to face.

** I was inspired to write this poem of my encounter with God last July 2018**

Joy In Evangelism

I grew up in a Christian family. My mom and my dad would buy two Bibles, one for me and one for my sister so that we have something to use for our Sunday schools. My sister and I would end up with no Bible after a few months because my mom and my dad would give our Bibles to people that they have invited to church. I also remembered our summer school holidays, my mom and dad would ask us to answer some Christian booklets so that we could get free Bibles and give it to people who will surrender their lives to Jesus during one of the street evangelism in our area. As I grew up, the mission to share the gospel was instilled in my mind. I was always part of the “back office” of the mission up until last year. I thank my parents for teaching us to be generous in this ministry and for encouraging us to obey the Great Commission at our best effort.

But this year, I asked God that I wanted to be part of the “front office” of going into the mission field. I started praying in February and I praised God that He sent me twice already to two short-term mission trip. As I study the book of Acts and how God used the apostles, I am being encouraged all the more to be in the mission. Despite that I am an introvert by nature and most of the time, it is difficult for me to initiate conversation, but God’s love for me is overflowing that I couldn’t but help to desire to go for street evangelism. No, I am not always brave – days before the street evangelism, most of the time, I get nervous. During my last mission trip last Saturday, a few hours while waiting for my flight to that city, I got so nervous that I had to walk and keep praying to God to empower me. Truly, when we asked the Holy Spirit to empower us, He will not fail us especially if we are doing the work of God.

The crowds were eager to receive[a] Philip’s message and were persuaded by the many miracles and wonders he performed. Many demon-possessed people were set free and delivered as evil spirits came out of them with loud screams and shrieks, and many who were lame and paralyzed were also healed.[b] This resulted in an uncontainable joy filling the city! Acts 8:6-8 (TPT)

Acts 8:8, is my “mission vision” – for me to share the gospel and make disciples so that the city (my harvest field) will encounter the joy of our Lord. So I keep trusting that the God who started this mission work in me, will carry it to completion until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.