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Strive On for Him

Posted 4/24/2018

Over three months into 2018, a lot has happened around the world--from celebrations and political debates, to accidents and tragedies--the world seems to be moving along like it does every year.  How was the first quarter of your year?  How have your goals and resolutions turn out so far?


My goals that I set at the beginning of the year are coming along steady for the most part, including to be totally trust in .God and be worry-free, aside from sustaining the initiatives I've set last year: sleeping by 11pm and waking up before 8:30am, turn to God during break time for at least twice a day, and to read the Bible daily.  The consistency of sustaining these goals still needs to improve, but achieving them on average of three to four times a week since January is already better than the average of twice a week at best last year.


I am grateful to not only be alive, but to have the opportunity to continuously improve for Him.  Often, it is the little effort that counts, like listening to a recent sermon while having dinner instead of commenting on Facebook posts between bites, or checking the scores after a fellowship instead of glancing at the live scores app every fifteen minutes during the fellowship. 


To non-believers, we seem to have a target on our backs.  Whenever we stumble, make a mistake, or even sinned, we are being chastised and be called unfaithful.  In reality, we are all work-in-progress as we improve little by little everyday, as long as we put our efforts into it.


On the same token, when we committed to our spiritual lives and make choices to give up certain unhealthy habits and be closer to God, we'd be criticized by our non-Christian friends as being too "churchy" and not knowing how to enjoy life and have fun.  "Why so restrictive?" they'd ask.  "Live a little!"  Yes, like everyone else, we only live once, and then we'd be in heaven with God one day for eternity.  However, it seems like a "lose-lose situation" whatever we do because of people around us.


But have no fear!  As you may have learned from sermons or read my previous blog posts, I have referenced on various bible verses from apostle Paul's letters where he urged us to keep our faith, press on towards the goal, and the rewards we'll get from Jesus at the stage of Christ.  God appreciates our every effort to love Him and improve for Him, and He will reward us accordingly.  No nay-sayers can change this fact or derail us.  We just need to be strong and rely on God.


Today, I read John chapter six for the second time this year.  The chapter features two major events: Jesus performed a sign to feed five thousand (men, plus women and kids), and the message about the bread of life.  But between these two events, there was an incident where Jesus walked on water, which is always being referenced when a seemingly impossible situation occurs.  I meditated on that passage, which is from verse 16-21.


The disciples got on a boat and sailed to Capernaum.  It was dark and the seas were rough, and Jesus wasn't with them because He had retreated to the mountains after performing the five fish and two bread miracle.  Suddenly, they saw Jesus walking on water.  After initially being afraid, they took Jesus into the boat once He revealed Himself, and the boat immediately arrived at the destination.


What was so special about this event?  No, it wasn't as much about Jesus walking on water, but the result afterwards.  Have you ever be in a seemingly dire situation where you feel stuck, but suddenly, things get turned around into your favor immediately?  I have many such experience, and usually are so subtle that they look like coincidences, but they weren't, as if God could read my thoughts and relieve my worries.  Except that God can actually read our thoughts and will do whatever it takes to relieve our worries and doubts.  


The disciples on a boat in the stormy sea must've been scared, so much so that they were scared when they saw Jesus.  But before they could even think of how to survive the night, Jesus guided them to their destination immediately.  When we feel stuck or incapable to sustain or achieve a goal, Jesus will also help and guide us along, maybe not immediately, but at least He will give you wisdom from above or hints to make the right adjustments to succeed.  For example, how to sleep earlier?  Jesus reminded me to turn off my computer by perhaps having my wifi interrupted or slowed down (I use my landlord's wifi), so that I cannot go online and be resorted to go to bed.  Or I'd hear a commercial about pillows to improve one's sleep.  


God wants us to be live gloriously.  We improve on our lifestyle and maintain god habits not to satisfy others, but to become a vessel used by God.  When wer feel stuck, God will give us instant advice, guidance, and hints to succeed, especially when we trust in Him, for He loves us dearly and wants to see us be glorious.


May we continue to sustain our goals and resolutions this year!




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