We all messed up, the ministry is messy, and life is hard thus we need soul care. Soul care focuses on the mind, body, and soul, enabling us to find alternative directions, renewing and reconnecting our batteries to our Master.
I was favored to meet and listen to people who are passionately serving the LORD and their stories challenged me. Indeed, we should strive to work for God's kingdom and not ours. Their stories reminded me that our life here on earth is full of tests and trials, and there are unique challenges along the way. The Christian life isn't supposed to be easy but we are changing from glory to glory, ''Crisis to Christlikeness''. Now, I understand those trials, crises, and tragic stories in our lives are molding us to be like Christ.
The question is, how do we respond when trials come along?
We talked about the life of David - the man after God's own heart. Have you ever noticed David committed terrible sins such as murder and adultery but God still calls him the man after His own heart? In the book of Psalms, David opened his life- failures, cries, lamentations, success, joy, doubts, and suffering. He never stops sharing every bit of his struggles, he never blames anyone for his sins and failures, and he always accepts the consequences of his actions though it is shameful despite all his limitations and sins God never changes his outlook on David. In the same way, when we hit the rock bottom, God never changes His outlook on us. When we are hurting, when other people caused us great pain we treated them differently than before right? We change our outlook on them but God is not like us, God never changes, the LORD is our righteousness.
We dive deeper into Psalm 4 where David was seeking the LORD with all his heart while he was in distress and completely trusting the LORD that he was in a safe space.
Adversity produces growth and maturity. When we hit the rock bottom, never look to the right or the left, and never run to anyone, just look up to God. Surely, He will meet our needs.
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods
Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.
Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4
In this world where everything is superficial, finding short-term solutions for our struggles, and hiding from different layers of our selfish desires. Finding worth in this world and seeking approval and validation from others. May we become like David who showed his vulnerability to God whenever he succeed and even if he failed, in his lamentations and even if he is rejoicing, in his depression and even during a celebration- he always pour out his heart to God.
God remains faithful, He never changes his outlook on us when we are at our lowest points, when we are dealing with our issues, when we are confused about life, and even if we commit sins. God's grace always carries us. He is so gracious and so loving.
Thus, when we nourish our soul we can also lift other people and serve them fully because we're connected to our Master. We will also become gracious, forgiving, and loving just like how God does.
We need to be faithful like David. He wasn't half-hearted in all he was experiencing, he was fully surrendered to God. At times we want to be rewarded but not we're not seeking the One who gives the reward. We want to be faithful but we choose certain aspects of our lives and we don't surrender it all.
These past few days, I learned so many things not only about God but also about myself. Indeed, I am very selfish, forgetting that Christ is already my reward, forgetting God's great love for me. When I conversed with those people who are deeply in love with the LORD, people who are striving to serve others and whose ultimate priority is to live for Christ, it shake me once again. Like, there are really people who aren't striving for a comfortable life like society tells us to have, like comfort, security, money, fame, and popularity. These people are living by faith, serving God while enjoying life at its best. I could see in their eyes their joys that transcend to others whenever they speak about God's goodness in their lives. Though they struggle, they also experience a lot of provisions, favor, and miracles.
Young people, may you'll be reminded that our goal is to live for Christ. I know it's harder in our generation today. There are a lot of distractions around, it seems beautiful at first, pleasing to our eyes, to our body, mind, heart, and soul. Have you ever noticed there are many influencers around, entertaining us, teaching us to follow our hearts' desires, to be great on our own, and telling us to chase all worldly pleasures? To buy all the stuff, so you can be fulfilled. To own beautiful things, so you can be popular. To have a perfect figure and feature so you can be accepted. As the day passes by it's getting worst and we need to take a stand - if you're Christian, let's show the light of Christ. Let's be like David in this generation.
And if you keep on chasing those things, you gonna be tired and depressed, trying to fit in in this world. You are not created for this world, you are created to be set apart and to live and to die for Christ. Surely if you accept him as your Savior and ask the forgiveness of your sins, God will give you a new life with purpose and meaning. A life with peace, joy, and hope. God will forgive you just like when He forgave David when he committed adultery. God will give you a new start through Jesus Christ. As one of the most well-known passages in Paul's letters to Corinth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Do not love the world, neither the things that are in it, for whoever loves the world does not have the love of The Father in him. - 1 John 2:15
God is our righteousness and by His grace, we'll make it!
Let's keep the fire burning for His glory!
Oh, I miss this dawn quiet time. May the LORD bless you, praying that you meet Christ at your corner.
Only one life, 'twill soon it will pass. Only what's done for Christ will last.'C.T. Studd