Saturday 5 July 2014

Do not lose heart

This morning I waited for my pastors to pick me up for our prayer meeting. There were only 3 of us, but then again, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20).

Compared to the many prayers meeting I've been before, the ones we have here in this church in Gua Musang is a whole lot more intense... We're not talking about an hour of intercession, but it went on to more than 4 hours... Praying in tongues, seeking the Lord, praying for the land, the people, the many needs...

You see, I have been praying for a long time to hear from God. From time to time, it felt like there were prompts, the 'still small voice', messages, songs etc that felt like guidance from Him but I was never really sure. I mean, we often read about the audible interaction between God and men in the old testaments. the disciples get to hear directly from Jesus in the New Testament, and also testimonies of people having dreams and visions of God speaking to them... I guess I always wanted to have a personal encounter as such; yet a part of me would still be worried and wondered what if God really did speak to me but I didn't like what He said lol.

With all the challenges Alex and I are currently facing, I couldn't help but really needed to hear from God. Scared or not scared, I felt like we needed specific direction or even hope, to persevere and brave the storm... So after praying and singing in tongues, I was silently praying within me "speak to me Lord, speak to me Lord..."

The beautiful thing about praying in tongues is that you have no control over what you speak and it felt like a beautiful language... and suddenly I found myself repeating 'too chora sei',
'too chora sei', 'too chora sei'..... And even when I started praying for other things, those 4 syllables kept coming back to me... I had no idea what it meant... And I started praying to God to explain to me...

Next thing I knew, I just had to stop praying, and I reached out for my phone, to locate my bible app...

To be honest, I have no idea what gave me that thought, I was led to interpret
'too chora sei' and 2 Corinthians (from 'too chora') chapter 4 (from the cantonese sound of the number 4 hahahaha)... And I really don't know whether that would even make sense lol... But that was the chapter I turned to...

I read each word... the whole chapter... repeatedly...

The whole chapter was speaking to me...

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,  
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

While I meditated on the whole chapter, the first few verses were the wake up call for me - especially on the part of do not distort the word of God. It is so easy to compromise on God's order by rationalising it to fit with our selfish desires. It is also extremely easy to 'simplify' God's words according to our own understanding...

But the verses that really spoke to me were verses 16 to 18: DO NOT LOSE HEART....

I suddenly realised how tired I have been emotionally, battling the challenges of a long distance marriage, complicated family issues, uncertain future, my husband's new transition, and the burden placed on my heart for the unjust treatment the Asli students received and the brokenness in the lives of my students...

But still what tires me out the most is the lack of breakthrough in Alex's situation even though he had worked so hard to honour God and not succumb to the ways of men, to do the right things, to go the extra mile, and yet we were brought back to the starting point... Though we are both praying together, supporting each other, and excited for the new future, I realise I do get scared... Scared of the disappointments, of having to go through rounds of road blocks, halfway leads, near misses, and the worst - disappointment from people especially the ones that matter....

BUT I FELT SO MUCH PEACE as the words sank in,


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

I realised it is so true that we may feel defeated on the outside, but within us, God is working, and renewing us. Just like the eagle, that braces the storm, builds its muscles in the process and soar above the storm...I really believe (regardless of whether 2 Corinthians 4 has anything to do with 'too chora sei'), God did lead me to those scriptures, to those very words I needed at that moment - the reassurance from Him.

I hardly write about my Christian faith though I do often give God the glory... But this could not pass without been penned down.

And so I will not lose heart. We will persevere. We will come out victorious for God is with us.

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