These past couple of weeks and months have been a HUGE whirlwind of emotions and suffering. Yet I learned the essence of rejoicing, leaning, and praying. Through the chaos, the Lord had taught me to pray fervently in the Spirit without ceasing and to read the Word deeply to know Him more. I desired to seek Him not because I wanted answers or something miraculous to happen.. because all I knew at that moment was I couldn’t do anything in my life without seeking Him or knowing Him. He is more than just a God who answers prayers or a God who tends to my needs. He is a God who loves me regardless of my what’s in my heart and where it stands. Since I know that knowledge, my one and only desire is to know Him, love Him, and love others. My gaze towards Him has sparked a hunger within me that I cannot explain or contain. I must know Him.. I must love Him.. I must… I must..
I’m not gonna lie and say that I am perfect & holy, that I do a good job of loving people, loving God. I do get lazy, tired, mean, complain and grumpy. I let my soul get in the way. Of course, I fall. It’s hard to love people, it’s sometimes hard to love God. But that’s what the beauty of this walk is. It’s a process. People often give up on the process but it’s often the Lovers who endure through the process.
My life at CFNI has been stretched and has challenged me in my faith especially because it was the hardest time for me to leave my family. I do go home every weekend and boy, was it warfare. I have hope in greater things yet to come for He is stronger and lives in the inside of me. No matter how many times I fall, I will get back up and fight. The enemy can NEVER push me to the ground. I think I’ve made that very clear to him.
Anyways, the Lord (as always) has been teaching me so much about all these crazy things. The only challenge is applying it daily. To transform my mind by renewing it daily. Taking my soul to the Cross and being led by the Spirit of God. One glance away from the Lord, I am back to my old self which I loathe. It’s no good. But this morning I was marveling at the word SUFFERING.
I have gone through a lot of suffering whether it be alone or with my family. However, it hasn’t been easy year after year but I’ve grown stronger and stronger in the Lord. I cannot turn my face away from Him.. I’ve come so far with Him and I believe with all my heart, soul, mind and strength that it’s worth it all.
This morning, I studied the book of Job. I read the part in chapter 7 when he was complaining in anguish, grief, and bitterness about why he has to suffer, what did he do.. he was basically confused and hurt by the Lord. I cannot even imagine how it feels to lose EVERYTHING including his own children all at once.
Reading Job’s complaints, my first reaction was, wow, I bet Job will regret all that he has said because we know what happens at the end of the story, at the end of Job. Yet I know God isn’t hurt by it. He just wanted Job to war on and persevere. To trust Him . And I believe that God believed with all His heart that Job will come back to Him.
However, I thought about it and realized that I tend to think the exactly same way at times whenever times get overwhelming. Although not verbally, I do think it in my heart. God knows our thoughts and motivations of our hearts exactly. I would think “Man, is this life only but sufferings? When is He gonna pull through.. Is He even listening? I think God also wants to hear our the true states of our hearts rather than putting a front and acting like we are holy individuals. It’s all about being honest and vulnerable to the Lord. For in that state of weakness, we are able to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Who are we fooling? He is a God who knows things before we even think or speak it.
I can testify that my faith has become stronger towards the spiritual rather than the physical. The physical is momentary and nothing but a vapor. My heart and its motivations will be revealed time and time again until it is completely set towards the heart of God in purity, holiness, and abandonment. I’ve been learning in my dynamics class that Jesus came to cause things to fall in order that the hearts of man would be revealed.
This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:24-25
But why the suffering? We know that God wants to reveal our hearts so that we can become more like Him and think like Him.. I would always think, I MUST SUFFER BECAUSE JESUS DID. No, that is a wrong worldview. He suffered, died on the Cross and resurrected ONCE and for all that we may live in victory, joy, and hope. The last thing this world needs is man to save this world. Only Jesus can and HE has.
It may be that we from the beginning were never meant to live here, to be of this earth. We belong to someone bigger, something better. There is a battle of the evil one wanting to steal our hearts to bondage. But there’s an echo, a beautiful whisper of love summoning us into discovering an all-consuming fire that will light up our hearts for eternity. It will be through suffering that we may hear two voices because that exactly reveals our hearts and who it beats for. It’s a choice to rejoice and live out in continual thanksgiving or it’s a choice to live in bondage.
We weren’t meant to live here. We were meant to live in harmony with the Lord walking in that garden. Our hearts and Spirits know of that. It LONGS for that peace. No wonder we are always waging war against the earth, other people, and suffering. We were never meant to be one with the earth. We were meant to be one with someone who is beyond our thoughts and ways. Someone Holy, an all-consuming fire, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.. the fearless, the loving.. must I go on?
Thank the Lord that He has grace and calls us into greater understanding of what it means to suffer. Thank Jesus who has suffered for all mankind. The victory is here and it has already been won. Look to the future, the hope of our glory. It’s just a little while longer until we see His face.. He will reward us for our perseverance and the hope which transforms our characters.
Keep on pressing on. DON’t give up, DON’t give in, if you don’t quit, you WIN. It’s already won.
There’s a war for my heart. I will either burn for the Beloved or smoke away into eternal death.