“Remain”ing confident in the Lord

David begins Psalm 27 with a section scholars refer to as a “statement of confidence” (Ch. 27:1-6). In verse 7, he shifts to an “individual lament” and implores the Lord to teach him God’s way in his life and to be led in a straight path. But in concluding this great psalm, David returns to his statement of confidence when he says:

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)

 

For David to remain confident in God means that:

-At one time, he had a confidence in God.

-At some point, he was tempted to lose his confidence in God.

-But through faith, he nonetheless remained confident in the goodness of God in his life.

 

We all have moments where we are strong in our faith. And then we have moments where the foundation of our faith almost seems gone and we lose our sense of confidence and hope.

This is a struggle King David went through; we all can relate as we go through trials in our lives. There is speculation as to when in his life David wrote this psalm, whether in the end as a reflection of his life or in the middle of his rule when military tensions were high.

There are moments when things make sense and moments when things may seem to fall apart. But in that moment when things seem to be falling apart, it is important to remember this: Above the clouds of worry and doubt and your circumstances, the God who reigns over the earth and knows your beginning and end remains above the stormy clouds that seem to dominate your perspective in life.

And when you focus on the One above the storm, you are able to trek confidently into the unknown, armed with the strength given by God.

Don’t lose your joy!

A random Facebook status update from today:

“My new iPhone just took a ride on the outside back end of my car from the…Tag agency to a…pharmacy. What a thrill it must have had and it’s still alive!”

What is so interesting about this status and why do I quote it in here? Just thinking about the whole story, with this above situation, what little I know, makes me think that if I were in a similar situation, I probably would not have the same upbeat sentiments, at least as upbeat as this person was.

In everyday life, we all face similar situations (that could be frustrating if we choose) and we make them so much worse in our minds that they end up draining us of any joy or peace we had, if we had any to begin with. You can’t find your car keys, so you freak out. You lose something after you had it ten minutes prior, so you start panicking. You’re working on a work-related document or project and you typically save as you go. Then, when it’s critical, you forget to save, the computer freezes and you lose valuable work; you blow up with frustration.

The reality is, we have no reason to worry or even to be upset at the random interruptions of life. As I read in one devotional, sometimes interruptions are God’s way of speaking to us. At the end of the day, no matter what struggles we endure, minor or major, we are always in God’s hands and our security is in Him. He knows what we are going through every moment of every day and He will sustain us till the end.

So this is just an encouragement: do not let the little frustrations in life bring you down and steal your joy that comes from God!

How to Discover Your Calling

The 2004 book by Pastor Art Sepulveda (Word of Life Church – Hawaii) “How to Live Life on Purpose” is a very practical book in regards to finding the meaning in your life and living in a way that follows that God-given purpose and not just whatever path comes your way.

I’m in the middle of Chapter 1, which emphasizes Art’s point that we need to “Value the Power of Vision” and he offers this definition:
Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, perceive God’s power, and focus on God’s plan in spite of obstacles.

The quote that precedes this chapter is “Vision is a mental picture of a future state” – Casey Treat. Art states that most people today live in one of two realms, neither of which exist: the past and the future. Why? Because they don’t understand the need of a strategy for the present in order to leave the past and and powerfully step into a better future.

If you ask most people today what they envision for their future, what would they say? Would they have a specific outlook for their life that is their vision for their life? How important is it to have a vision for your future?

I know for me this was a challenging thought, especially this particular reflection from Pastor Art:
Many years ago at a conference I heard Dr. David Yongi Cho, the pastor of one of the largest churches in the world, make a statement that challenged the course of my life then and that continues to be a “journey maker” for clarity in my life today. He said, “Show me your vision, and I’ll show you your future.” Then he said, “If you can’t tell me about your vision, what you’re saying is that you have no future; and if you can’t describe your future, you’re unclear about your vision.”
This shocked me as I realized that by omitting one-a clear vision-I had automatically disqualified myself for achieving the other-a meaningful future. As a young college graduate, I had a great deal of knowledge, but I had no clear vision of my future. Only when I allowed God to paint a picture of my future on the tablets of my heart, did I begin to understand the power of vision. It was then that I saw my vision as a strategy to take me out of my present and into my future.

I aim to continue this chapter’s thoughts later, but let these thoughts challenge you at this moment. I know I was impacted, especially by the lines I bolded. I am a recent college graduate, yet I have no clear vision for my future. Yes I have ideas and vague plans, but I have yet to clearly define what that is.

What is your status? Do you have a vision? Do you know where you want to be in the future? On a deeper note, is your vision God-centered or self-centered?

Anyhow, more later on.

Insipiration from seemingly nowhere

For the past few months, or perhaps longer, I’ve been in a rut. I’ve been in a place where nothing seems to be happening that is exciting or meaningful anymore. Like everything is just one big cycle where things are the same endlessly.

That changed tonight. God took a random project I was involved in and clarified to me how provident He is. Here I was thinking, I was just aimlessly roaming around, seeking His will, or simply claiming to be seeking His will. But tonight, I discovered a man whose passion is ministry in the most unlikely of scenarios. I was involved with a short film project with a few friends from school, and one of the guys I met through the process is an active Christian who uses his filmmaking skills to minister to others. From the few moments I spent talking with him, I can tell, God willing, we can accomplish some great things in the future for His glory and expanding His kingdom.

The best part about this is that God is active in my life, sometimes I just lose sight of that. I thought I was just doing this film for fun and spontaneity, but through it I found I am in the will of God. Praise God that I am finally inspired to clean up my life (in so many ways) and be proactive about it!

My inspiration seemingly came from thin air, but it was from the hand of God. That is the God I serve.