Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not Giving Up

It’s not fun when a person plans and works hard on something for some people who just do not appreciate what’s been done for them. It’s hard for a person to keep going when they know that the very people they are working for will constantly reject what they are doing. It just makes a person feel like giving up! Well, I know a man who did not give up on his good works, even when those whom He was working for rejected Him and did not appreciate His sacrifice. His name is Jesus.

The night before Jesus was arrested was a tough one for Him. He knew what He was about to go through. His physical and mental strength were decreasing incredibly. He asked Peter, James, and John, hoping that they would realize how much He needs their support, to stay awake with Him in prayer. Unfortunately, they fell asleep along with the rest of the disciples. The book of Matthew tells us that three times Jesus went to the them hoping that they will be awake praying for Him and themselves, but every single time He found them asleep. Just imagine what was going on in Jesus’ mind. The very people whom He was about to die for cannot stay awake for few hours to pray with Him. Do they even appreciate what He was about to do for them? Not only that, He knew that one of these very close friends was finishing his last deals on betraying Him; and not longer after that another one will deny that he even knows Him. Why would Jesus keep going when the very people He planned to die for do not appreciate the sacrifice?
If Jesus did it then I can do it. If Jesus was willing to die by the hands of those very ones He wanted to save, then I can put more effort for those people who do not appreciate. Praise God that Jesus did not give up on us when we did not deserve His sacrifice. He loved us so much that He decided to die for us even when we did not appreciate His great sacrifice. It is true that Jesus would have died even if there were only one person to die for. And for those who did not accept Him He prayed and said, “ Forgive them for they do not do what they are doing” Luke 23:24.  I’ve learned to keep putting effort in my work even if it was going to affect one single person. I’ve also learned to pray for those who keep rejecting that one day the words would touch them and they would understand.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We Can Only Fear The Future If We Forgot How God Lead Us in The Past

Lately I’ve been reading a book called ”Man of Peace”; it is the contemporary version of the “Desire of Ages” that is written by Ellen G. White. The book states, with details, the life of Jesus. It explains the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John on a deeper level. Two days ago I was reading chapter 35 about the storm on the sea. After long day of healing and talking about God’s word, Jesus needed some rest, so He asked the disciples to take him to the other side of the lake. As soon as Jesus got into the boat, he fell asleep. The evening began really calm and peaceful, but not too much longer, a strong storm started. The disciples were experienced fishermen who handled many storms before, but that was a different one. It was a rough one. When the disciples failed to save the boat, they started calling Jesus. After several times of trying to wake Him up, He got up, looked at them with love as peace covered his face, then lifted His hands and ordered the wind and waves to be still. “Instantly, the wind stopped, the waves sank, and the clouds dissipated. The boat bobbed on quite waters under a sky full of stars.” P. 96 All the disciples were amazed at Jesus’ supernatural power. “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” The storm pushed all the other boats near to the boat where Jesus and the disciples were at, and they all witnessed the miracle. Because of the storm, it took Jesus and the disciples a while to get to the other side of the lake. They arrived as the sun was coming up. When they got to the other side, they found two wild men with broken chains trying to attack them. Here comes the interesting ping. The disciples forgot what just happened a few hours ago and how Jesus calmed the crazy storm. Instead of depending on Him for another challenge and trusting that He will act, they were terrified and ran to the beach. However, Jesus stood calm and “ held up the same hand that had quieted the waves in the storm and they could not come nearer.”
I found myself in the same situation as the disciples this passed week. New challenges and storms started to rise again in my work. Instead of realizing that the same God who calmed the previous storm is the same one who will calm this present one, I focused on the storm itself. All the problems I faced became my reality; I was not able to see beyond them. It was not until I read this chapter that I realized how important it is to remember how God has been leading me in the past. One of my favorite Ellen G. White quotes is from Life sketches, p. 196, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has lead us, and His teaching in our past history”. Why should I be worried of my future or even the present time when I know that the same God who lead me in the past is the same on who is leading me now and will continue to lead me? I love the fact that Jesus didn’t just give up on the disciples and tell them, “ Well, because you still don’t believe in my, I will not help you”. He stopped the wild men with the same hand that calmed the storm. It just gives me hope to know that despite of my unbelief, God is still so patient with me. He is still willing to give me strength to face my storm.