Jeremiah 29:11


 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

         Jeremiah 29:11 

 

IMG_6531It took me almost 29 years to actually and genuinely understand what it means to trust God. During my early years of existence, I thought I was able to really grasp the content of Jeremiah 29:11. When I was younger, everything was easy. I go to school, do my best, behave properly and making my parents proud was more like the routine that I got used to and apparently, I was doing a pretty good job mastering this. But came my 20’s, everything changed. This was when I got the true taste of reality and confusion started to hit me hard. There were moments that I would cry at night praying and hoping that Jesus would just make all the pain go away in an instant because I could not take it anymore. And looking at my past, I could say that everything happened because Jesus was showing me what it really means to put my WHOLE TRUST IN HIM, and in HIM ALONE.

As you could see, I have placed different colors in the verse so I could share to you how I have come to truly understand Jeremiah 29:11. Without a doubt, Jesus is still continuously showing me the beauty in his word. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)


 

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord..”

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This part alone has so many reasons why God wants us to put out trust in Him. God deserves every bit of our trust because He is our Creator. He is our loving Father and He loves us as His sons and daughters.

 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 

                                                                    Psalm 139:13-14  (NIV)

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 

                                                                                               Isaiah 49: 15-16 (NIV)

Because God created us, therefore, He knows every single thing about us. He is an OMNISCIENT God. He sees everything, hears everything  knows everything, from past, present to future.

“Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

                                                                                                                               Jeremiah 23:24

          Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 40:26                                                                              

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

                                                                                                                              Matthew 6:31-32

All knowledge came from Him and His knowledge is perfect. He alone is perfect, and therefore,  His will and plans for us will never fail. Just like what He planned for our Lord Jesus Christ. Dying on the cross was not a failure but was the greatest success and the most beloved gift, a Father could ever give to His son and daughter.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

                                                                                                                                     John 3:16


 

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you…”

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and in this life that we have, its not always sugar, spice and everything nice. It is true that God is a God of love (1 John 4:8) and knowing that makes it hard for some people to understand why God would allow us to lose someone we love, or go through all kinds of pain and hardship.

When I have come to know God, I was able to understand that the world that we live in gives us a huge misconception about having a prosperous life. This world is always about having all the wealth, ageless beauty and health, unbeatable success etc.  The word of God clearly says that God made this world, but the spirit that lures around it is not from God. All the lust, greediness, anger and hate. These are far from God.

For everything in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world.

                                                                                                                                     1 John 2:16

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

                                                                                                                                  Romans 12:2

purpose

Despite all that, we must remember  that the road to a prosperous life is not about being born having a silver spoon in one’s mouth.  It is about having Jesus Christ in our lives. God, in all His ways, is leading us nearer to Him. His purpose for our lives is for us to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and to exalt His Name, offering our lives as a form of worship so that other people will come to know Jesus Christ. This is the only way for us to understand how God works in our lives, may it be in ups or downs, in joy or in pain. In whatever circumstances, putting our trust in God will never lead us to any form of harm because we will never be apart from Him.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

                                                                                                                         Romans 8:28

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33


“plans to give you hope and a future…”

Now your asking, “Why do we need a Savior?”. This may sound very bold to you, but the simplest answer is this: Because we are SINNERS and sin SEPARATES US FROM GOD. It is not because sin is more powerful, but because GOD IS HOLY.

But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Now, why would I put my trust in God knowing that I, having a sinful nature, will never be good enough for Him? Because again, God’s plan to give us hope and a future has been fulfilled many years ago when He gave His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you and me.

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Luke 19:10

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3: 1

The truth is, He loved us first. We do not deserve to have a loving Father like Him, but still, HE LOVED US FIRST. And because, His love for us is so great, He sacrificed His son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, for you and me. Isn’t that enough reason for us to our trust in God? He is so faithful and so merciful that my mind could not even comprehend why He would do that for me. Again, it all comes back to His Love.

cross

Jesus Christ took all the sufferings and punishment that was supposed to be imposed to you and me. If Jesus did not died on the Cross, we will not be living under grace right now. So could you imagine the extent of His love for us? Its too much for us to bear, but, I am thankful to have come and know what Jesus did for me. And having Him in my life is the greatest gift I could ever have. I know have someone whom I could trust, someone who knows me and have good plans for me, someone who wants to prosper me in every way and will never put me in any harm, someone WHO BECAME MY ONE AND ONLY HOPE, so I COULD HAVE A FUTURE.

 

Hallelujah! All Glory to God!

 

Do you want to know more about Jesus and his love for you? Please click here!

 

 

 

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

Whenever I read this verse, I always imagine myself trying a new flavor of ice cream. The moment of that first bite and then sweetness and creaminess comes right after. A burst of wonderful flavors in every spoonful, I could taste chocolate chips, almonds, cookie dough. Oh yes! What a pleasure to my palette! Then a signal to my brain will be sent saying “This is really good! I will definitely buy again!” This scenario is the simplest way I could express how this verse means, well, generally speaking.

2859Taste and see that Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him

Psalms 34:8 (NIV)

Whenever I read this verse, I always imagine myself trying a new flavor of ice cream. The moment of that first bite and then sweetness and creaminess comes right after. A burst of wonderful flavors in every spoonful, I could taste chocolate chips, almonds, cookie dough. Oh yes! What a pleasure to my palette! Then a signal to my brain will be sent saying “This is really good! I will definitely buy again!” This scenario is the simplest way I could express how this verse means, well, generally speaking.

To taste the goodness of the Lord is undoubtedly inevitable but the devil has his ways of making us become blind. Unbelief has always been a part of my daily spiritual battles and to tell you frankly, it has contributed a lot to make me spiritually paralyzed before. I saw myself being tempted with what the world could offer, “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world; 1 John 2:16”,  and it occurred not only to me, but this actually happens to all of us, even our beloved Jesus Christ was tempted. In Matthew 4:8-10, it says that Satan tried to tempt Jesus, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”. Do not get me wrong, God created the world and everything in it displays is glory (Psalms104:24-25; Psalms19:1), but when we put God out of the picture, we give birth to desires leading to pride, greed, self-glorification, and lust that causes us to take pleasure in sin.

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Ephesians 4: 18-19

 

BUT DO NOT WORRY! This is temporary. We were never made to stay in darkness. Tests and troubles will always be here in our midst (John 16:33) but God will ALWAYS provide a way for us to see Him. We just need to do our part. Let me share my devotions about this wonderful word of God.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16


Taste and See



Then God said “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground–everything that has breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that He made, and it was very good. And there was morning–the sixth day.

Genesis 1:29-31

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I think it is safe to say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us not to have tasted the goodness of our heavenly Father. In creation itself, the whole Earth was purely made for the our benefit and in our daily lives, we see God providing everything we “need”, may it be asked for or not. Every single thing is orchestrated by God himself so we could see His glory, resulting to our hearts being humbled and admitting that “apart from God, WE ARE NOTHING” (John 15:5)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:25-27


The Lord is Good



There are no words to express how good our God is. Most of the time, we see His goodness at every successful job interview,  in sickness that has been healed, in times of reconciled relationships, in celebrating a new birth and of course, Christmas bonuses. YES! This defines the human perception of “goodness”. It is everything that makes us feel happy, secured, loved and every nice feeling you could come up with. But what about those times when you lose someone you really love or in failed relationships especially in marriages and families, during times of abandonment and betrayal of a friend. Can we consider this a part of His goodness?

In typical movie plot, there will always be a character living a problematic life. His parents are separated, and he lives with his father whose always drunk every single day. He has no money for school, therefore he makes a living through selling drugs. Eventually, he gets involved with the wrong people and because of this, he will live out of shame, then he blames his parents and questions, “GOD! If you exist and if you truly love me, then why do you let these things happen to me?” It is a question that most of us have thought of. I did for sure. I never lived a perfect life. I had those days when I felt like, because I did something, SO WRONG, that maybe God is punishing me. I experienced those sleepless nights where I would cry my heart out to God just so He could take away my pains. Everybody hits rock bottom. No man is an iron man, we all feel pain.

Human nature may never grasp how He works in our lives but by knowing God, we can be assured that in whatever circumstances we are facing, He is always in control and He is always good. What He is doing is MEANT FOR OUR OWN GOOD, therefore, we just need to obey and TRUST Him.

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“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 58:8-9

The life of Jesus Christ is a perfect example of obedience in times of pain. He never questioned the will of God. He obeyed fully even if He was hated, persecuted, and crucified. It is not because He had superpowers not to feel pain, or that He is invincible and fearless. The bible shows that during the night before He was put to captivity, he was in great distress because he knows how excruciating his crucifixion will be.

And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.  Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”

Mark 14: 33-34

Further more…

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Mark 14: 35-36

If you and I were in that situation, we would be begging for the same thing. Worse, we will be overcome by our emotions. I may have escaped from that garden and run for my own life.  This is where “unbelief” and “lack of faith” comes in. It is hard to believe that situations that break and hurt us could be seen as something good. And if we do not know God, the devil comes in like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) He bombards us with so many lies and deceitful words, we get devoured by our own emotions that lead to depression and anxiety. It causes our heart to turn away from God because we have doubted Him. This is unbelief.

Having said that, it is very important for us to know how to combat unbelief by genuinely knowing the God we serve. It is important for us to know Him as good and perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and loving Father.  We should do our part as His sons and daughters, to know Christ by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior and by equipping ourselves with his word.


Blessed is the one who takes his refuge in Him


After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

Genesis 15:1

What makes you feel blessed? Great health? A successful career? Sixty years of marriage? Seeing your sons and daughters to graduate? Having your own house and a car? Luxury? Being able to travel? All these things, we consider them blessings. But do we count having God as a blessing? The answer is WE SHOULD, and as matter of fact, Him being our refuge is the cherry on top of every blessing we have received in our entire lives.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines refuge as “a shelter or protection from danger or distress; a place that provides shelter or protection”. So what does it mean when we say that God is our refuge?

I’ve always seen God as my parent. This is how I make Him my refuge. He is my loving Father. A parent loves his son or daughter no matter what (including of all the headaches and problems caused by his child) and I could say that God is my perfect refuge. Here are some reasons why:

  • He never changes and He is always present. I call to my heavenly Father anytime and anywhere. He is everywhere. 

 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:13

 

“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:23-24

 

  • He is Faithful. I have lived 28 years, 336 months and woke up to 10,220 mornings and not one of those days where in God did not renew His love for me. Praise God! Hallelujah!

 

The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassion never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

 

  • There is nothing He could not do. He has no limitations. He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, strength and power. He makes everything new and beautiful.

 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

 

  • He loves us unconditionally. I could give countless testimonies of His goodness in my life. You may or may not agree with me but this is what I chose to believe, that the God I truly serve did not deserve a daughter like me because I am sinner, but that did not stopped Him from loving me first.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This is the most significant reason why we are blessed to have God as our refuge. It is because of His unconditional love, and this explains my faith. Jesus loved us so much that he took our place to die at the cross. It brings me to my knees when I think of what He has done for me, despite me being a sinner. I praise Him because He has met my heart and I have come to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. I could not live this life alone. I am weak and fragile and I’m not smart enough to know what’s best for me. The need for a refuge is a must and maybe you are like me. You need someone to rely on, someone who could save you from all the confusion, worries, problems or you just need someone to save you from your own-self.

I would like to share the love of Jesus Christ to you. In Him, we are equal and there is no need to pretend. He sees everything even our deepest darkest secrets, knows our weakness, he keeps track of every tear you have shed and he feels your pain. He will turn you to something new and in His eyes, you are more beautiful than the glorious sky. Genuine Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

“He himself  bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2: 24

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

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