Faith

When Your Faith Doesn’t Make Sense!

faith sonu

A couple of weeks back we had an appointment for the assessment of our 6 years old son in relation to his inattention and performance issues in School. The assessment went on for more than two hours including separate counselling and Q/A sessions for both the parents. The assessment was much needed to help us understand his challenges and help him improve and perform well in all activities.

I sat in the glass cabin of the assessor at the assessment centre with my daughter on my lap as my son played in a room filled with toys, books & puzzles outside of the cabin. The assessor brought in a few questionnaires and began asking me questions. She asked about the family history, pregnancy complications, medications, challenges at home, Asher’s performance at home and school, difficulties he is facing, home atmosphere, family support etc. She filled all the needed information in the forms and gave one questionnaire for me to tick my choice of answers.

After completing all the questionnaires, and perhaps getting a glimpse of the depth of my emotional state, she couldn’t stop herself from asking me a very personal question – So how are you coping emotionally with all these challenges? What is the source of your strength?

….I told her that I have a faith in God and I believe He gives me strength to face each day.

I wondered how much my secret of strength made sense to her as all she knew about me was that I was someone who was in a complete mess – “a 4 years old child on my lap who is almost in a vegetative state, another child who is struggling to fit himself into a world which doesn’t function as per his system and I am a wornout mom, sitting in the assessment centre hoping that they track his uniqueness and not just his flaws and give me some handy tips to parent him well.”

….But to my surprise she nodded her head with a smile and tear-filled eyes, agreeing with me as to what I claimed to be my source of strength.

I thought my complicated life might disqualify me from sharing my faith in Jesus. But sharing my faith through my brokenness actually revealed His strength and power in my life. As Paul rightly says, His power is made perfect in our weakness.

“My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

Often we want to glorify God through our strength and we wait till all things get better in our lives. But God wants to use our brokenness too, for His glory. He wants us to share our faith right in the middle of our trials.

I love the words of Rick Warren in his book “The Purpose Driven Life”

Your weaknesses are not an accident. God deliberately allowed them in your life for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you. Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”

If you are in the middle of pain and the darkest moments of your life, don’t waste your experiences. Use them to glorify God. Don’t wait till everything gets perfect. Let Him minister to others through your very chaos. Let His strength be shown through your brokenness as you lean on Him for courage. The very thing you feel disqualifies you from sharing your faith is the one thing which will become your biggest testimony. I hope this message encourages you today.

 

 

Faith

Anchoring Your Hope in Him!

Beach Sunset Lanterns Landscapes Nature Free Download Hd Wallpaper Of

Last week has been very challenging for me, because my daughter fell sick all of a sudden. She had vomiting and an episode of seizures. She slipped into a critical state so we had to rush her to hospital to sustain her health. It was painful for me to see her frail body hooked to the tubes and wires. The doctors and nurses were trying to figure out what went wrong with her with one blood test after another.

20180625_151934 (1)

Hospital stays are always hard but it’s even much harder when you see many people suffering from different ailments. Looking around the Emergency Room, I was feeling much pain seeing the suffering of people and their loved ones. Being inside the home, I always thought I was the only one struggling greatly and I often complained to God to ease my challenges. Hospital visits always give me a glimpse of how trivial my struggles are…

As we were taking my daughter for an E.E.G., we happened to meet a lady and her 10 years old son in an elevator. She looked very weak and fatigued. Her hair had all fallen out due to chemo. I could hardly see any hope in her eyes. I knew she must be fighting for life at this time, struggling to face the reality of her life. She touched Jennie’s face and said she will pray for her. I looked at her and smiled as we got off the elevator. A few seconds of meeting made me look at life from a different perspective.

In this fallen world we will have sickness and pain. We may encounter life’s most challenging and heart-breaking realities. But there is still a hope.  A sure hope of His healing, comfort, strength and peace. This hope is eternal. Even after our earthly being passes away, we will still live for eternity…a glorious life with our King.

In the midst of all our trials, Jesus brings this hope to our heart: all God’s promises are possible through Him.

“For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

He assures us that our hearts should not be troubled. We are to anchor our hope in Him when we face hardships because He alone can give us strength for our weakness, joy for our sorrows, healing for our sickness, peace for our anxious heart and comfort for our weary souls.

His hope reminds us that we are not alone. His hope leads us to trust in His promises. His hope reminds us of the greater purpose we have in Him to share His promise and assurance with the suffering and broken-hearted.

which hope

When the winds of adversity,
throw you off course . . .
there’s an anchor that holds
no matter its force.

When the seas of calamity,
toss you all about . . .
there’s an anchor that holds
till the danger runs out.

When the storms of life,
catch you off guard . . .
there’s an anchor that holds
to make them less hard.

When the hazards of living,
come straight at you . . .
there’s an anchor that holds
till you pull your way through.

The only anchor that holds,
is strong, sturdy and sure
Jesus is that anchor . . .
keeping you safe and secure!

– Deborah Ann 

 

Faith

His Immeasurable Grace

Man feeling freedom on open sea

Recently I have come across a beautiful hymn written by Annie J. Flint.

She was born as Annie Johnson. Shortly after that was orphaned so she was raised by the Flint family and so became known to the world as Annie Johnson Flint. She suffered a lot in her life. She developed rheumatoid arthritis till she was twisted up in bed for many years. She had cancer inside her body. She was bedridden and lived with diapers. Then blindness started to overtake her. Before she died, from head to toe there were so many boils and marks on her body caused by constantly lying in bed that she needed many pillows to just cushion her body. She was a beautiful hymn writer and this is one of the most beautiful hymn she wrote.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

No matter how hard your trials are whether they are physical or emotional, God will bestow His immeasurable Grace upon your life to get through them. He never leaves His children abandoned in their sufferings. He gives more grace when your burdens grow greater, He sends more strength when your labors increase. He adds His mercy to your added afflictions, He multiplies His peace to your multiplied trials. And the grace of God which sustains you becomes your testimony at the end of the day.

A few days back I was having a talk with my friend who is going through a situation similar to mine. Her 5-year-old daughter is suffering from Rett’s syndrome (a severe & rare neurological disorder and it’s a lifelong condition). She was sharing with me how challenging her life has become with each passing day. It breaks her heart to see her child suffer. It’s a very overwhelming experience for her as a young mother. But she has also shared how God is strengthening her to remain hopeful and joyful in the midst of her sufferings. She says, “it’s because of His grace alone that I am able to come this far believing and trusting Him to unfold His plans for my daughter’s life in His time”. I was so encouraged and blessed to know about her faith.

Indeed, God never leaves His children abandoned in the trials.

In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy, when I called to you for help. Psalm 31:22

We might think He has left us abandoned but He is always with us. In the midst of our sufferings, when we look to God for His strength, He helps us to get through those difficult cicumstances. When we rely on Him for emotional strength, we will have great courage to face our trials with boldness.

It’s because of His grace alone that we can stand firm in the midst of our trials and praise Him despite how we feel.

It’s because of His grace alone that we can hope for good and not for worse.

It’s because of His grace alone that we come to His throne with faith in our heart.

It’s because of His grace that we pray the same prayer again and again without getting tired of it.

It’s because of His grace that we can see God is at work and He is able to bring us through those hard days.

It’s because of His grace that in the midst of utter darkness we are able to see His light and hope to comfort us.

It’s because of His grace that we rise out of our ashes believing that He who promises is faithful.

If you ever find yourself in the valley of sorrows, rest assured that He is with you. He will strengthen you to get through all challenges no matter how hard they are. Remember, out of His infinite riches He is able to bestow His immeasurable grace upon your life. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

 

Faith

But…the story doesn’t end there!

but

A few days ago, when I was having playtime with my 5 years old son, he wanted to have a drawing & colouring activity as a part of playtime. I gave him a few sketch pens and chart papers to draw pictures on. As he got engaged in drawing, my mind unknowingly slipped into some thoughts.

I was thinking (maybe worrying) about the future life we are going to have as a family. I was wondering about the daily challenges I face, the family finances, my daughter’s health condition and the future ministry and plans God has for us. Within a second my mind was filled with uncertainties, fears and insecurities.

I felt so many more impossibilities than possibilities in my situation. Fear of the unknown troubled my heart. I found myself completely caught up by my worries and I didn’t even notice my son had finished drawing his pictures and he wanted to show them to me.

He first showed me a drawing of Jesus hanging on the cross.

asher2

I was surprised because he usually likes to draw rainbows, house or shapes in his drawings. He tried telling me the story of Jesus- which he watched on YouTube I guess.

He began saying that Jesus died on the cross, he shed his blood for us….Jesus saves us.

But one thing brought a sparkle into my eyes and a great hope in my heart

When he said  “But wait…..

the story doesn’t end there

He rose again from the dead!”

And with a wide smile on his face he showed me his next drawing of Jesus risen from the dead.

asher3

Even though I know the truth but that very moment when fear and uncertainty entangled my mind what I needed most was someone to remind me that Jesus is a risen God, He is alive, he has conquered the power of death and darkness and that’s the reason I have a future, a hope and His perfect plans for my life. His story didn’t end in defeat; neither will mine. Death couldn’t hold Him in the grave; neither will my adverse circumstances hold me to doubts, fears or uncertainties. The power which resurrected Jesus from death, the same power is imparted in me.

My son’s simple drawing spoke a great message of God’s hope, unconditional love and promises to my anxious heart. As I focus on the little sentence he told me “but wait! The story doesn’t end there” that itself is a great proof of God’s faithfulness in my life. Because two years ago my son couldn’t even speak a single word. His story didn’t end in dumbness but by God’s grace he is improving and amazing us by his words every day.

In the midst of life’s challenges, it’s easy to shift our thoughts into negativity.  It’s easy to get so carried away by our worries, anxieties, and frustrations and believe things will always be the same, I will not make any difference or I will always be going to drag through life.

There are seasons in our lives when the other half of the story is unknown. Fear of the future sometimes overpowers our faith and trusting an invisible God becomes illogical. But here’s the assurance…a firm assurance we have in Christ Jesus “THE STORY DOESN’T END THERE…HE ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD!” And when we focus on His Story which was unfolded for us, we can be sure of our story which will be unfolded in victory too for His glory.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1 Peter 1:3 NIV

asher 1

This post was featured at Alisa Nicaud’s Blog https://flourishingtoday.com/how-god-shows-up/

SLbutton

http://www.marriedbyhisgrace.com/category/salt-and-light-link-up/

Faith

Hope in His unfailing Love

I am glad to have my friend Louja Blesson sharing her story with us this week. Let’s read how God has helped her to soar on the wings of Faith in the midst of her trials.

Welcome Louja!

I had many dreams about my life. I shared them with my Lord always. Whenever I prayed, I earnestly ask for His will to be done in my life than my desires. I got married to a committed missionary who was ministering in Gujarat, the northern part of India. Our new life was happy. I suffered with jaundice twice, so we waited for a baby for two years. I remember the day when I knew I was going to be a mother. We were so happy with the news. But fourth month’s scanning report brought fear and grief to us. The report showed our baby had Chiari II Malformation with spina bifida. Doctors suggested us to abort the baby. They said she may die, she may be paralyzed or may have severe abnormalities.

I and my husband took a decision which was foolishness to medical science. We said we need our baby. It’s only God who can give her life or take her life away. The one who created her can heal her. We were not ready to abort her. We shared this with few people who could earnestly pray for us. I did not know how I could face those days. I can say His grace and His presence led me through the valley of agony. God helped me to accept the situation. He talked to me personally and encouraged me through His Word and servants.

Scanning reports were coming with negative impact. But we believed in Jesus and His promises. On 2nd November 2016, I gave birth to my beautiful Elizabeth. I remembered the first words of the doctor, “You got a baby girl, and the defects that we found through scanning are there”.

She had the same problems. We were shocked by hearing those words. I asked Lord, why it happened to me? She was in the ICU for two days. She had a wound on her back. Every day they dressed her wound. Her left leg only had movements. It was difficult to control her cries.

Weeks and months passed by, we were in different hospitals. We were keep praying for her. Her first surgery was done when she was one and half month old. There were 14 stitches on her back. She got infection on it and it was really worse. But my Heavenly Father did not give her to death. She was getting good treatment and recovering from the infection. Slowly she came to life and started to smile.

bible-verse-15l

Now she is six month old. Doctors suggested many surgeries. But we trust in our Lord who has given us promises. He will heal our baby. She has no movements in her legs. But she will walk one day. Her other activities are normal not according to the MRI report.

Sometimes the answer of our prayer and faith may have to face challenges. But keep trust in Him. He never leave us in the midst of red sea. He will be with us always. When our hope is in heaven, it helps us to get through the hard days. The hope of God is sure, real and made possible by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. It not only enables us to get through the hard days but also helps us to have the joy and peace in  the valley of sorrows.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10).

18623052_747112678795417_483905976_n

                   Louja with her husband and their seven months old daughter Elizabeth.

Faith

Be bold by His Grace

Today I am honored to share my story at my friend Rachel Britton’s Blog.

Fear, heartache, questions, and uncertainties filled my days. I knew there was only one place to go where I could find peace and comfort for my agonized soul and that was at the feet of Jesus. I brought my burdens to His cross. As I prayed and cried out to Him in my anguish, He whispered His calm assurance to my weary soul that He was beside me throughout the storm.

Please read it here: https://rachelbritton.com/be-bold-by-his-grace/

127