Saturday, October 22, 2016

When Problems Persist

Some problems are short term, such as a bout of flu or a temporary falling out with someone at work. Others may last much longer: a chronic illness, a disability or an addiction, the loss of someone dear, or an ongoing battle to overcome a personal weakness such as anger or moodiness. You may have to struggle with such difficulties for weeks, months, or even years.
Sometimes problems persist even when you feel you’ve already done all you could: You’ve been praying, reading and following God’s Word, claiming His promises, and trying to trust Him. Still you see no answer, which can be discouraging.
In cases like that, God may be testing you to see whether you will continue to trust and believe and thank Him for all the other good things He sends your way, even when it seems He is not answering your prayers about a certain thing. “We walk by faith, not by sight. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” God loves to see His children’s faith manifested, and He promises to greatly reward those who bravely endure the trying of their faith.
If God is working in your life to bring out a special quality, the process may take some time. Lumps of coal aren’t turned to diamonds overnight; so it is with our lives.
When you think you’ve reached the end of your rope, just hold on a little longer. Patience is often the key that opens the door to God’s blessings, and sometimes we must be content to wait for His answer. While we may expect God to put an end to our problems right now, He may know that later is a better time. God’s timing is impeccable. “He has done all things well.” Trust Him!
Faith is believing. Faith is trusting. Faith doesn’t quit. Faith refuses to call anything impossible. Faith refuses to be robbed of its joy and peace by circumstances or battles.
If we refuse to concede defeat, but rather hold on to God no matter what, if we determine to believe His promises, even though we may not see the fulfillment immediately, victory will be ours in the end. Such faith cannot be defeated. God will always come through for us.
What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step to something better.—Wendell Phillips
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) For we live by faith, not by sight.
John 20:29 (NIV) Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Mark 7:37 (NIV) People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Extra Allowance

Have you ever been away from home and found yourself without cash? I had that experience when I left home to attend university, and I got so distressed that I couldn’t sleep. Suddenly it occurred to me to write my father. I should have budgeted more carefully, of course, but I knew he would understand. What a relief it was when I made that decision! My father had helped me many times before, and I knew he would help me again. I had perfect assurance during the days it took that letter to reach home and the answer to come back. [Editor’s note: This took place over 100 years ago, before email and even widespread use of the telephone.] I had needed to ask for an extra allowance, but I knew it would come. And it did.
We’ve all experienced days when sudden trouble swept down on us and our strength gave way. We looked around, but there was no way out. Then we turned to God and asked Him for an extra allowance.
Perhaps you know what it is like to have His help from day to day, and you depend upon that help and are grateful. But when God tells us, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you,” He is speaking of something beyond that. This is extra help in extraordinary circumstances—extra strength when we are especially weak, extra material supply when we have extra needs, extra grace when we’re under extra strain, extra wisdom when we need it, and extra love when others need to feel God’s love through us. We turn to our heavenly Father, and He gives the extra allowance we need at the time to overcome that particular trouble.
I’ve heard people say, “God has promised to be with us in trouble, but He never promised to free us from trouble.” Those people need to read that verse more carefully. He may not free them as quickly as they would like or in the way they expect, but He does promise deliverance: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; Iwill deliver you.” He promises both.
Surely God was with Daniel in the lion’s den, but He also delivered him out of the den. We know He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace because King Nebuchadnezzar said he saw four figures in the flames—“and the form of the fourth [was] like the Son of God”—but God also delivered them out of it.
When we have troubles that God doesn’t deliver us from immediately, it’s usually because we aren’t ready to be delivered; there is something we need to do first, or some lesson we need to learn. Once we have found and done or learned that, He does deliver us.
I’ve gone through times when I was so discouraged about my failures that I couldn’t call on God at that moment. But when I got my eyes off of my faults and weaknesses and onto God’s promises, He delivered me; the extra allowance was mine as soon as I asked for it.
There is lots of advice floating around about how to overcome difficulties. “Dance your troubles away.” “Just keep smiling.” “Look for something pretty every day.” “Do something nice for someone else.” Well, I certainly believe in being positive and doing nice things for others, and those will get your mind off your troubles, but they won’t necessarily get you out of deep trouble.
There was a time, before I had a personal relationship with Jesus, when I was a helpless invalid. Someone who had even less faith than I did kept telling me, “Hold on. Just hold on.” But that was the trouble—I didn’t have anything to hold onto! But thank God, as believers we don’t just have something to hold onto; we have someone to hold onto! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”
One day my car stalled on a lonely road. I was alone and quite desperate, when suddenly I remembered that not far away lived a former friend. I say “former” because although I often thought about this woman, it had been quite awhile since I’d made time to visit or phone her. I knew she would be happy to help, but I couldn’t bring myself to walk up to her house and ask because I had neglected her for so long. I sat in the car and tried to get up the courage, but I never did.
It can be like that when we fail to include God in our thoughts and activities day after day, when we fail to ask His advice and help in the little things, or thank Him for His goodness, or make time to draw inspiration and learn from His Word. If we’ve been neglecting Him, it’s pretty hard to call on Him in the day of trouble. It’s hard and it’s humbling, but it’s a whole lot better than continuing to struggle. Our heavenly Father is always there, only a prayer away, waiting to forgive and give us that extra allowance.
1 Peter 5:7 ESV / Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
John 14:1 ESV / “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
Philippians 4:6 ESV / Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why Problems?

Life is full of problems—sickness, accidents, financial problems, family problems, loss of loved ones, and on and on the list goes. “Hasn’t there been some sort of mistake here?” we ask. “If God truly is love, as the Bible says in 1 John 4:8, and if He truly cares for us like a father, as the Bible says many times, then why all these problems?”
The first thing to understand is that God doesn’t cause these problems; they are the result of people’s bad decisions—others’ or our own. God doesn’t cause our problems, but He does allow them to befall us, and for reasons that are nearly as varied as the problems themselves. Sometimes He uses them to remind us how incapable we are of solving our own problems, so we will turn to Him for help. Sometimes He lets them happen so He can show us how much He loves us by working things out. Sometimes they happen to test and strengthen our faith. Sometimes they happen to make us pray more earnestly. Sometimes they happen to teach us lessons of patience or positiveness in the face of adversity. Sometimes they happen to keep us humble. Sometimes they happen to make us wiser. Sometimes they happen to help us appreciate our other blessings and all the problems we don’t have. Sometimes they happen to draw us closer to others who are going through similar things. There are all kinds of reasons for troubles, but whatever the reason, God always wants to turn them for our ultimate good. “All things work together for good to those who love God.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV / No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
John 16:33 ESV / I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Romans 12:1-2 ESV / I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On the Rebound

t had been a satisfying day.
The world was a wonderful place, I thought, as I made my way to the office where my computer sat. Its keyboard beckoned my fingers to make contact.
As soon as the screen lit up, I knew something was terribly wrong. My hard drive had crashed.
It took a moment for the scope of the disaster to register in my slow-computing brain, but then it hit me. No, it slammed into me with the force of a bulldozer on a razing mission. My stomach did a back flip. My vision went hazy. My mind became clouded. The room spun.
The last six months of hard work—articles, graphic design, all that precious mental energy that had been stored on the computer’s hard drive for safekeeping—was gone.
My worst fear, like a meteor falling from the sky, came crashing down on me. Frustration, confusion, tragedy, and loss engulfed me.
Why, oh why, hadn’t I copied all that stuff onto a backup device? Now bits and pieces of creativity were lost, floating somewhere in cyberspace, far, far from home. And I couldn’t get them back.
But then I remembered the story of when Thomas Edison met a similar tragedy. His workshop caught fire, and months, years, even decades of hard work on numerous unfinished inventions went up in smoke.
“There go all my mistakes!” he said with amazing cheerfulness. And then he went right back to work.
I wondered if there was enough positive energy left in me to start again as bravely as Edison had. Contemplating these things somehow eased the pain and melted away that woozy feeling of defeat. I struggled to stand up from where I had fallen to my knees in frustration, and I forced the corners of my mouth into a smile.
Oh, some things in life seem totally unfair! But I refused to let defeat overcome me in that moment or have any bearing on my future efforts. I decided to see this situation not as the tragic end to all the projects that were lost, but rather as a new beginning for each of them in a future that was yet to unfold.
This is the first I’ve written since Demolition Day. “There go all my mistakes,” I’m saying. And I’m not going to quit. I’m on the rebound, back at my computer and ready to start again. With backup files.
Luke 16:13 ESV / No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Mark 16:18 ESV / They will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Matthew 23:1-4 ESV / Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Run the Race

Two hours, five minutes, and ten seconds: the time it took Kenya’s Samuel Wanjiru to finish first in the 26.2-mile (42 km 195 m) London Marathon in April 2009.
Thirteen days: The time it took Major Phil Packer, a British soldier who became a paraplegic following a spinal injury, to complete the same marathon, finishing last out of 36,000 competitors. This feat of perseverance raised over £600,000 (about US$1 million) for charity.
Wanjiru made the headlines for his speed. Packer made headlines not for speed, but for his courage and determination. A thousand-strong crowd gathered to welcome him at the end of a race that he had defied odds to enter, let alone complete. Following his injury a year earlier, he had been told he would never walk again. In fact, he only relearned to walk with crutches a month before the marathon.
While both men are respected for their accomplishments, there was something special about Packer’s triumph. He was never alone during the exhausting and painful six hours it took him to walk two miles each day. Well-wishers—both friends and strangers—accompanied him on the course, walking beside him and cheering him on, from the starting gate to the finishing line. Congratulatory messages on his website include a message of admiration from Prince Charles.
The road of life is not always easy, and sometimes we face what appear to be impossible obstacles. But we don’t walk it alone. We also have well-wishers—our family and friends—encouraging us along the way. And we too have a Prince supporting us—not one from this realm, but Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who promises to help us rise above circumstances, persist against the odds, and triumph over difficulty: “My grace is sufficient for you,” He tells us, “for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.” So “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
2. Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Matthew 28:20 (ESV) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Monday, October 17, 2016

Who Deserves Love?

People don’t have to be perfect in order to deserve our love. They don’t have to be faultless or easy to like or get along with. That’s a good thing, because none of us are all those things all the time; none of us are perfect. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but He does expect us to show one another love and understanding. “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
When people live or work closely together, it’s easy to get negative or judgmental about one another, and that doesn’t make things any better, of course. It becomes a vicious cycle of judging and criticizing and measuring that undermines friendships and working relationships.
But we don’t have to fall prey to that. There is an alternative, a strengthening cycle in which we love each other through our bad days, forgive one another’s mistakes, compensate for one another’s weak areas, and bring out one another’s strengths. Love begets love. It inspires others to give their best, it wins God’s blessing, and it makes us happy.
Instead of looking at how much others are giving us or how worthy we think they are of our love and help, we should ask God for more love. God’s love is unconditional and strong enough and pure enough to withstand our human faults and mess-ups, which are many. We should ask Him for love that isn’t contingent on us clicking with people, love that appreciates them for who they are, love that loves even when they are late or selfish or rude or unkempt or disorganized or just plain in the wrong.
There are many reasons, of course, for a lack of love. Being judgmental is one. Being self-centered is another; when we focus on our own needs and what we want, we don’t see the needs of others. Selfishness is another; we think that giving to others of our time and attention will cost us more than we want to give or stand to gain. Busyness is another; we get so focused on reaching our goals that we don’t realize the effect this is having on others. Stress also hinders love, because at the time nothing seems as important as whatever has us stressed. Pride is another, because it takes humility to put love into action or words; our pride tells us to wait for the other person to make the first move. Resentment over past hurts that we haven’t forgiven and let go of can hinder our ability to love for a long time.
It’s also possible that those we find it hard to love would be pretty difficult for anyone to get along with. Maybe they don’t go about things the right way. Maybe they are full of faults.
We can always come up with some reason not to love, and each seems justified if we’re only willing to love when it comes easy. But when we put ourselves in others’ shoes, we realize what a big difference a little love could make. Then all those excuses don’t hold up.
The apostle Paul wrote that without love, our lives don’t really amount to anything. Of our talents and achievements and even our sacrifices he said, “Without love, it is nothing.” Impartial, unconditional love is not a natural human quality. It’s supernatural. It’s heavenly. But it’s not out of our reach. It’s a gift of God, and it’s ours for the asking. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” “Ask [God], and it will be given you.” It’s a gift, but we don’t get better at it automatically. Nothing precious comes easy. Like replacing any old habit with a new one, learning to love like God does takes time and thought and prayer and effort. If we want to grow in love, we have to make time for that.
If this rings true, step back and reevaluate things. Look at your life and goals, and factor in more time to love. Factor in more time for your loved ones. Factor in time for friendships, and not just with people you’re already close to or naturally get along with. Factor in time for going-out-of-your-way love. And be sure to factor in time for heart-to-heart communication with Jesus, who the Bible calls “the express image of the invisible God,” being filled with and transformed by His love, and thanking Him for it.
God wants to give you the love you need to be fulfilled and happy, and He wants to love others through you. He wants to stretch you and make you capable of loving much more than you probably think you’re capable of.
Love is a miracle. Ask Him for that miracle. Ask Him for more of His nature, and then act as though you have all the love you need to make the right choices, the unselfish, loving, humble choices, the hard choices. And God won’t fail. He’ll fill your heart to overflowing.
Life is born of struggle. To enter this world, a baby must leave the comfort and security of the womb and make a difficult and perilous passage through the narrow birth canal. Before an eagle can soar to the heavens, it must peck and push its way out of the egg. Before a butterfly can delight us with its colors and grace, it must escape from its cocoon.
Galatians 5:14 (ESV) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
1. Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
James 1:17 (ESV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Getting a Better Perspective

Question: I know problems are part of life, but I can’t seem to get on top of mine long enough to catch my breath. How can I overcome my problems, before they overcome me?
Answer: Your lament sounds rather like what King David expressed: “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” This wish to be able to put aside all your problems and worries and to feel free is a longing everyone experiences at one time or another. Unfortunately, there is no easy, magical formula to make problems simply disappear. What we can do is learn to control the effect that our problems, both real and imaginary, have on us.
One sure-fire way to strengthen your spirit is to adopt an attitude of praise and thanks to God, even through the rough times. No matter how badly things are going or how seemingly hopeless the situation, it is always possible to find something to be thankful for if you look hard enough—not the least of which is that God stands ready to prove Himself a “very present help in time of trouble.”
That positive, praiseful attitude will lighten your burdens and help you bear them. It brings on inspiration and renewed strength. It gives you wings to rise above your problems and the doubt, fear, and worry that accompany them. It lifts your spirit above the earthly plane and into the heavenlies. Even though it doesn’t necessarily remove the problems you’re facing, it gives you a much better outlook and perspective on them—a heavenly perspective, infused with faith in the positive outcome God has promised to those who love Him.
Psalm 55:6 (ESV) And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
Psalm 46:1 (ESV) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


1. Partners in Mission - Alter Service
Date: 6 Nov 2016 (Sunday) Time: 10:30am
Blessings to the Least, Beauty for Brokeness
He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap (Psalm 113:7)

2. Children Camp 2016
Date: 6-9 December 2016 / Age: 7-12 year old
Venue: Sufes Campsite Kg Batu 5,Jalan Pahang 35000 Tapah, Perak
Cost: RM100
Closing Date: 1st Nov 2016.

3. Floral Offering 2017
Please book the dates and contact Bro Francis for more information.

4. Salvation Accountability Movement
Please get a copy of the guide at the Corps and get to know what's all about.