Tag Archives: faith

The Rustling of the Leaves

11 Aug

I like to compare things from the spiritual world to things in the natural world. Spurgeon was known for his timeless comparisons. I don’t think you can read a paragraph of Spurgeon without at least one simile. I’m going to now build something up and try to make this kind of comparison, so brace yourself. I may fail, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I took a math class recently and unfortunately I had a very bad teacher. Her name was Ms. Veres.  Her voice was so monotone and uninspiring and her rough Portuguese accent didn’t help one bit in understanding the already complicated material.

I knew most of the basic material because of my previous math teacher, Mr. Mackenzie, who insisted on teaching more than what was required. He was an old man with white pearl-white hair and a short beard. It’s a pity that his beard was short because if it were just a few inches longer, he would have looked like a real life Santa Claus. He loved to make jokes in class. Sometimes his poor memory was the butt of our jokes but we never felt guilty because he would always laugh along with us. I loved that guy. He made math fun but in a good way– a way that motivated us to solve problems and prove difficult theorems.

I had already learned almost all the material that was being taught by Ms. Veres in our first week of class. So instead of studying and getting ahead of the class in the curriculum, I would whip out a good book or just drift off in my thoughts. College students are very sleep-deprived, so yes, I did sometimes get a few minutes of shut-eye. I know, shame on me.

One day, as I was drifting off, I looked out the window and soaked in the view of downtown Montreal. I don’t live near many tall buildings so it’s fascinating to me how architects and city planners build those sky scrapers. What holds those buildings together? How are they so sturdy?

It was windy that day. Wind I think is one of the most fascinating things in all of God’s creation. Here’s something made up of tiny moving particles that we cannot see (because they’re so small and spread out) but we know exists because it affects other things that we do see.

Think about it.

When you look outside, how do you know if it’s windy or not? Is it a windy day because you see the wind like you see the sun on a sunny day? Of course not. The only way we know that it’s windy outside, or that wind even exists for that matter, is by looking at the trees, among other things. If the branches and the leaves are rustling and moving, then yes, it’s windy outside. Is there any other natural way? If there is, please fill me in. I’m always interested in new ways to defy the laws of nature.

In some weird way, our faith can be like the wind. Faith is not something tangible, but we know it exists. How do we know this? We know this because when we encounter times of struggle and trials in our Christian walk, our faith keeps us focused on the prize. Just as the trees do not stop the wind but reveal its existence, so do trials not hinder our faith but expose it and strengthen it.

Hebrews 11:8-9 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.”

Abraham left his home, his land, his family and all his possessions and followed God and obeyed Him by faith. You try to leave you home and all that you love and follow some voice you heard without faith. Faith keeps us on track, focused on God despite the struggles that come our way.

“Even If They Kill Me…”

27 Feb

I was at the computer today doing my daily routine when I stumbled upon a video on YouTube. This video brought me to tears. It shows Christians in India and how they are hated and beaten by the Hindus. This is happening all over the world, not just in India. In fact, by the time you finish reading this post, at least one Christian will have been martyred in the world.

Please watch and see how it is to truly be like Christ.

“Even if they kill me, I am not going to leave Jesus.”

This sentence brought me to tears. This boy was clearly about to cry as well as he recounts the events that transpired at his church which was burned while his pastor was being beaten. And we’re too tired to wake up Sundays to go to the house of God? We’re too busy with our homework and housework to pray? We North-Americans have Christianity all wrong. We’re too caught up in winning a life for ourselves that we have no idea what it’s like to fully depend on God for our lives. These Indians can’t walk down the street without fear of losing their lives, but they will never leave Jesus. This little boy probably glorified God with those words more than any of us have since the beginning of the year. He’s truly showing the right way to live, putting  Christ above all things every day. What are you doing for God today?

“I have forgiven them, let them be blessed.”

Not only are these people faithful to God and His promises, but they bless their enemies. Those who take bats and beat them and kick them and punch them, they bless. Those who burn their churches, burn them alive and cut them into pieces, they bless. With every one of those blessings, they punch the devil in the face. Satan thinks that he can rock their faith with this persecution, but it’s only making their faith stronger.

These martyrs are literally taking up their cross and dying alongside Jesus Christ every day, but as Paul says, they “rejoice in their sufferings” and count it a joy and honor to suffer like Jesus Christ. In the end, God is glorified, and in this, I rejoice.

May this challenge you to step up and be the disciple whom you were called to be. These Christians are dying and hurting every day. Why is it that we only think of how the world is hurting when something like the earthquake in Haiti happens. God’s children are hurting every day while we listen to our worldly music and waste our lives in front of technology. Pray for them to have boldness and to not stop preaching the gospel even in the midst of this suffering and pray for us to realize this truth every day and to live radical risky lives for Jesus Christ.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

A Test For Glory

11 Jan

Don’t you hate it when you’re writing a test and you know you could have done better. Whether it’s a final exam in a tough subject or a simple blood test, you always hate that feeling of disappointment in yourself when you don’t get the result you wanted. You keep telling yourself “Why didn’t I work harder?”, “Why do I let myself get these marks?”, “Why can’t I be more disciplined?”.

We often experience spiritual tests. Some last a day or two, and some weeks, months or years even. Some are minor, others shake your faith completely. Spiritual tests come and they all serve one same purpose: for God to mold His people. God gives us new and wonderful graces every morning so that we can face tests, but it’s very important how we react to these trials.

I don’t think we should react with the same pessimism and disappointment as we do for other failed tests. Instead, I believe God wants us to react to tests with optimism. We must know that by God’s unfailing grace, we can get through anything. He doesn’t want us to pity and be down in the dumps because we did not get a perfect mark once again. Aren’t we human? It is absolutely impossible for us to be perfect. We all fall short of perfection and God made it that way so that we can realize this truth and make it our goal to strive for a Christ-like perfect life. That is the sheer beauty of God’s love. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and because of that, we know better how to strive for God’s holiness.

Pray for trials. Pray that God might show you how to walk out of tests praising His name even more than when you walked in them. Pray that God might use trials to mold you into a stronger disciple of Christ. We are in a spiritual war, and God knows that the best soldiers are developed in battle and not in times of comfort.

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