Showing posts with label Resting in God's promises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resting in God's promises. Show all posts

Friday, February 27, 2009

God is our refuge and strength

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by, and all your prayers and encouragements!

Thank God for strengthening me. I am feeling better but still trying to pace myself moderately. I do missed all of you very much. Thanks for all your encouragements.

This morning, I was reading CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening as part of my morning devotion, and very much encouraged by it.

Thank God that He is our refuge and strength, and we may rest in Him daily no matter what we may go through in this world. He is unchangeable!

May God encourage you with this article and you may find rest in Him daily too.

Take care and have a great weekend!

“Thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.”
Psalm 91:9

THE Israelites in the wilderness were continually exposed to change.

Whenever the pillar stayed its motion, the tents were pitched; but to-morrow, ere the morning sun had risen, the trumpet sounded, the ark was in motion, and the fiery, cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow defiles of the mountain, up the hillside, or along the arid waste of the wilderness.

They had scarcely time to rest a little before they heard the sound of “Away! this is not your rest; you must still be onward journeying towards Canaan!” They were never long in one place. Even wells and palm trees could not detain them. Yet they had an abiding home in their God, His cloudy pillar was their roof-tree, and its flame by night their household fire.

They must go onward from place to place, continually changing, never having time to settle, and to say, “Now we are secure; in this place we shall dwell.” “Yet,” says Moses, “though we are always changing, Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.”

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich to-day and poor to-morrow; he may be sickly to-day and well to-morrow; he may be in happiness to-day, to-morrow he may be distressed—but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God.

If He loved me yesterday, He loves me to-day. My unmoving mansion of rest is my blessed Lord.

Let prospects be blighted; let hopes be blasted; let joy be withered; let mildews destroy everything; I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is “my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort.”

I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.

Taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 27 Feb, Morning

(My brother took this photo at Muriwai Beach, New Zealand)

Friday, May 30, 2008

I am with you always

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for stopping by! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements.

Just a short update on my current condition.

With bipolar disorder, whenever I am well, I am usually kind of hypomanic. Writing and reading is a breeze. My thoughts flow naturally and I can write a lot. I also tend to talk a lot. You can see from my past postings on this blog that I tend to post very long posts and almost every day.

But now I am rather slowed down. My thoughts are dis-jointed. My concentration level is low. Reading and writing takes much effort. Even talking is difficult. When I am a little better, I will tend to want to read, write and talk. But I will be terribly exhausted after that.

So I am coping by cutting down on activities that tire me out.

I learn to lower my expectations of self by not expecting myself to do too much during this period of time.

It is hard as I have perfectionism character trait and begin to feel a sense of uselessness.

But I try to remind myself that I am just taking a break. I can still be useful and contribute when I am better.

I try to exercise more regularly as my body has become so easily tired and lethargic.

I read the Bible and pray daily and am finding much comfort in God's Words.

I re-read this encouraging devotional from CH Spurgeon, that reminds me once again God is with me and will never leave me nor forsake me.
“I am with you alway.”
Matthew 28:20

It is well there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us.

It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life.

O my soul, set not thine affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set thine heart upon him who abides for ever faithful to thee.

Build not thine house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world, but found thy hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure.

My soul, I charge thee, lay up thy treasure in the only secure cabinet; store thy jewels where thou canst never lose them.

Put thine all in Christ; set all thine affections on his person, all thy hope in his merit, all thy trust in his efficacious blood, all thy joy in his presence, and so thou mayest laugh at loss, and defy destruction.

Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden fade by turns, and the day cometh when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth.

Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out thy candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight when the candle is gone!

The dark flood must soon roll between thee and all thou hast; then wed thine heart to him who will never leave thee; trust thyself with him who will go with thee through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land thee safely on the celestial shore, and make thee sit with him in heavenly places for ever.

Go, sorrowing son of affliction, tell thy secrets to the Friend who sticketh closer than a brother.

Trust all thy concerns with him who never can be taken from thee, who will never leave thee, and who will never let thee leave him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”

“Lo, I am with you alway,” is enough for my soul to live upon, let who will forsake me.

(Taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 11 May, Morning)

Thanks again for stopping by!

Take care. Hope you have a blessed weekends.

I will post every now and then to let you know of my condition.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Comprehending Loss - coping with tragedies

Dear Friends,

Let us continue to pray for the people in Sichuan China that many may find God's comfort and grace to be upon them as they seek to rebuild their lives. China has the most severe earthquake in Beichuan, Sichuan province on 12 May 2008 in which it is estimated over 70,000 people have already died and many are still buried. The people need lots of prayers and support in this time of overwhelming loss and sufferings. Thank God for many people who are extending their prayers, love and kindness in many wonderful ways.

Let us also continue to pray for the people in Myanmar that many may find God's comfort and grace to be upon them too as they seek to rebuild their lives and homes too. Myanmar was hit by Cyclone Nargis on 2 May 2008 in which it is estimated that up to 134,000 people might have died. They too need lots of prayers and support to rebuild their homes and lives. May God shower His mercies upon them.

Let us also pray for others in other part of the world who are suffering through other natural disasters. And pray for our other families or friends who are suffering in one way or another.

In particular, please pray for the Chapman's family on the loss of their little daughter, Maria. Maria (age 5), the youngest of three daughters adopted from China by Steven and Mary Beth Chapman, was tragically killed in an accident at their home on Wednesday afternoon. It is hard to grasp the immensity of their pain in the loss of this little girl. It is a great consolation to know that God is in control and because of Jesus, through faith in Him the family will see Maria again in glory one day.

My friend, Tracy, wrote a very encouraging post "Comprehending Loss" as she shared of this tragedy of the death of little Maria Chapman and a book she read on dealing with tragedy.

Do read Tracy's encouraging post "Comprehending Loss" and check on Maria's memorial website where there is a very touching video of little Maria with Steven. There were over 16,000 people who had offered words of prayer, love and support to the Chapmans in the condolences. May God continue to comfort this family as they look to Him.

We are persuaded that nothing shall ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Not even death.
Romans 8:35,37-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Coping with false guilt during depression

There is still such a terrible stigma associated with mental illness and depression even among Christian. There is the common belief that depression is due to a weakness in character or lack of faith in God. The truth is depression is a complex condition and there are many factors that led to it as well as caused it. There is no easy answer to the treatment or recovery either.

If you or your loved ones are suffering from prolonged and severe depression, I highly recommend that you read the series of studies done by Dr David P Murray on "Depression and the Christian" as he explored in very biblical and balanced manner on the causes of depression, the condition, restoration and how family or friends can help.

Dr David P Murray mentioned in his first message "Depression and the Christian: The Crisis":
“Being depressed is bad enough in itself, but being a depressed Christian is worse. And being a depressed Christian in a church full of people who do not understand depression is like a little taste of hell.”[3]

As we all know there is a terrible stigma attached to mental illness. This is the result of widespread misunderstanding about its causes, its symptoms, and the “cures” available. Some of the misunderstanding is understandable. Unlike cancer or heart disease or arthritis, there is no scan or test which can visibly demonstrate the existence of depression/anxiety. It is a largely “invisible” disease. We want to be able to point to something and say, “There’s the problem!” When we can’t, we often wrongly conclude, “There is no problem!” Or, if we are Christians, we may, usually wrongly, conclude, “My spiritual life is the problem!”
It is normal to feel ups and downs at different time in our life. We all experience different moods throughout the day. But when depression is chronic, lasting every day for more than 2 weeks and affected one's life and ability to function, it is clinical depression and it is a medical condition that needs to be treated.

Sometimes depression could be due to a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) in which the biological changes in our brain and body brings about depression. Different things may triggered off an episode or sometimes it happened for no apparent reason.

Clinical Depression is a serious condition that needs to be treated. Without treatment it can last for months and the sufferer can be severely impaired. Even though clinical depression may not be due to something wrong in the spiritual life of the sufferer, it can have adverse spiritual consequences in terms of the believer not able to enjoy God and various means of grace until he gets better.

If you are a Christian and suffering from severe depression daily for more than 2 weeks and you can hardly function, do seek medical help as soon as you can. It is the depression that took away your ability to enjoy anything in life, including God and His Words, worship and His people, your family, friends, work, hobbies, recreation, etc etc. You will notice that you don't enjoy anything generally. Your thoughts and feelings are either negative or flat. You need medical help or alternative medicine help. Depending on the level of your depression, you probably will benefit from a combination of help such as counselling, regular exercise, regular sleep and meals, etc etc. But if however you tried you can't benefit from the later, then you need medical help to restore the chemical imbalance in your brain first before you can benefit from the later. Once the chemical in your brain is restored you will be able to enjoy these things again.

One common experience Christian who loves God dearly, will experience during severe clinical depression, is the inability to enjoy God and His Words, worship or fellowship. With this come the additional pain of false guilt.

Dr David P Murray mentioned in his first message on "Depression and the Christian: The Crisis":
We might say that there are three main elements in our make-up that affect our overall well-being: our body, our soul, and our mind (our thoughts). These are not three watertight and disconnected entities. There is considerable overlap and connectivity. When our body breaks down, it affects our spiritual life and our thinking processes. When our spiritual life is in poor condition, our thoughts are affected, and often our bodily health and functions also. It is therefore no surprise that when our mental health is poor, when our thinking processes go awry, that there are detrimental physical and spiritual consequences.

The depressed believer cannot concentrate to read or pray. He doesn’t want to meet people and so may avoid church and fellowships. He often feels God has abandoned him.

Moreover, it is often the case that faith, instead of being a help, can actually cause extra problems in dealing with depression. There is, for instance, the false guilt associated with the false conclusion, “Real Christians don’t get depressed.” There is also the usually mistaken tendency to locate the cause of mental illness in our spiritual life, our relationship with God, which also increases false guilt and feelings of worthlessness.
Dr David P Murray emphasized the importance of studying depression. He said :
One great benefit of having some knowledge about depression is that it will prevent the dangerous and damaging misunderstanding which often leads people, especially Christians, to view medication as a rejection of God and His grace, rather than a provision of God and His grace.
How should a Christian cope with the false guilt and spiritual consequences of depression? Dr David P Murray suggested:
We have tried to emphasise that for Christians their depression is usually not caused by spiritual factors. However, there are spiritual consequences in all depressions. There are a number of steps a depressed Christian can take to help reverse at least some of the spiritual consequences. You may find Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book Spiritual Depression to be helpful in this regard – although he can be a bit sweeping and dogmatic in his generalisations. Here are some practical things you can do to help address the spiritual consequences of depression.

(i) Accept that being depressed is not a sin and indeed is compatible with Christianity. Many Bible characters and many of the greatest Christians passed through times of depression.

(ii) Try to understand that your loss of spiritual feelings is not the cause of your depression, but rather the depression has caused a general loss of feeling in all parts of your life, your spiritual life included.

(iii) Patiently wait for the corrections in your lifestyle, thinking, or brain chemistry to have an effect on your feelings as a whole and your spiritual life will pick up at the same time also.

(iv) Have a set time for reading your Bible and praying. Depressed Christians may either give up reading and praying, or they may try to read and pray “excessively” in order to try and bring back their spiritual feelings. Both approaches are unhelpful. Instead, set aside a regular time each day to read and pray. If concentration is a problem, keep things short (5-10 minutes) until you feel better. Depression will only be deepened by setting unrealistic spiritual goals.

(v) Bring objective truth to mind (e.g.: the doctrine of justification, or the atonement), especially “positive” verses which set forth God’s love, mercy and grace for sinners (e.g.: Rom.8:1; 8:38-39; 1 Jn.4:9-10; 1 Jn.1:9). You may want to write out a verse and carry it around with you. When negative thoughts overwhelm you, bring out the verse and meditate upon it.

(vi) When you pray, tell God exactly how you feel. Be totally honest. Ask God to help you with your doubts and fears and to restore to you the joy of salvation. Thank Him for loving you and being with you even though you do not feel His love or presence. Praying for others who suffer can also help to turn your thoughts away from yourself for a time.

(vii) Keep going to church and seek out the fellowship of one or two sympathetic Christians you can confide in, and ask them to pray with you and for you. Be careful about who you talk to. Sadly, some Christians cannot keep confidences, and others will have little understanding of or sympathy for your condition.

(viii) Remember God loves you as you are, not as you would like to be.

The pain and anguish of going through depression is awful beyond words. For those of us who go through severe clinical depression that robbed us of all ability to enjoy anything including God and left us almost crippled and unfunctional, we know just how hard it was to get up of bed every morning.

It is difficult sometimes to understand why we have to go through so much sufferings. We may not always get the answer on this side of heaven. But our greatest comfort is that God loves us and He is in control. He sovereignly allows us to go through these painful sufferings for His sovereign purposes. Sufferings are part of life in this fallen world. One benefit we can derived from our sufferings, whether it be due to depression or other trials or afflictions, is that we are drawn closer to God as we find our refuge and strength in Him. We began to know God as Who He is when we experienced His unconditional love and faithfulness in sustaining and delivering us from such great sufferings. Sometimes we feel forsaken by God but in reality God has never forsaken us. He is with us and He sustains and deliver us. Perhaps through our pain of depression we can understand a little better what the Lord felt when He was on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins and experienced the pain and agony of being forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Oh, how precious is the Lord to us when we have experienced such pain and suffering.

I like what Edward T Welch said towards the end of the video "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness" which I posted yesterday. Do watch this video if you have not seen it. He said:

"The people I know who struggle with depression and have persevered with me and with other people in the body of Christ and with the Lord, those are my heroes. Those are people, they struggled, every day is hard but they get up out of bed every day simply out of this weak obedience to Christ. And I find that to be so incredibly heroic"

I read of another author too who said that he felt the true heroes are those who persevered in life despite a broken mind.

So that makes you and I some kind of a heroes, doesn't it, when we persevered daily despite the pains and brokenness of our mind :-)

Let us cling onto God during depression and pray and seek to do that which is necessary to restore the chemical imbalance in our brain, correct our thoughts and lifestyle, and wait patiently for God's deliverance in His time. May God draw us nearer to Himself and enable us to know His enduring and unfailing love during such time.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Behind the Frowning Providence: Part 1 There are Dark Providences

I was re-reading portion of a small but very encouraging booklet entitled "Behind a Frowning Providence" by Mr John J Murray a retired minister and thought I will share some encouraging portions with you over the next few posts.

For you and I who suffer great pains and misery due to our depression or bipolar or other infirmities, it is sometimes hard to reconcile our understanding of what a blessed Christian life should be like with the sufferings that we have to go through or that of our loved ones. It is sometimes difficult to understand why a loving God will allow His children to go through such pains and sufferings. Other Christians may accuse us of a lack of faith and trust in God. We sometimes wonder whether we are truly a Christian and if we are, why are we going through so much troubles and pains and sufferings.

The truth is our sufferings or pains does not contradict what the Scriptures tell us of who God is, the fallen nature we have inherited through Adam's sins in the garden of Eden, what our Lord Jesus Christ has done on the cross to redeem us from, and the rich and blessed life we have in Christ when we trusted in Him as our Saviour despite the pains, suffering or dark providences we are going through even after we have become a Christian. These are paradoxes.

How can we justify the ways of God with us? As hard as it may be for us to understand some of these things, a careful study of Scriptures and understanding of the wonderful work of God in providence will unfold a new light in our darkness and a new perspective in our checkered life.

Mr Murray noted that one of the best known hymns is William Cowper's "God moves is a mysterious way, His wonder to perform". Cowper was subject to melancholy (depression) and knew more about the darker side of Christian experience than the brighter. It was out of heart-felt experience that he composed his hymn and presented in it so many precious gems of truth such as the oft-quoted lines,

Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

What is meant by a "frowning providence"? Is this something that we are to expect in the Christian life? If so, how do we cope with it?

Mr Murray said when adversity comes into our lives we tend to react in one of two ways. We may say that it happens beyond God's control and God has no power to stop it; or we may say it is an evidence of God's anger against us. Either way we are guilty of casting aspersions on the character of our Father and consequently of perverting our attitude of Him.

Thomas Boston, a minister who went through severe trials in his ministry and domestic life, due to a mentally-ill wife said:

"A just (right) view of afflicting incidents is altogether necessary to a Christian deportment (demeanor) under them. That view is to be obtained only by faith, not by sense; for it is the light of the Word alone that represents them justly, discerning in them the work of God, and consequently designs becoming the Divine perfections."

The Christian, although he is justified, remains a sinner in the midst of a fallen world. He is subject to "all the ills that flesh is heir to" (my note: I think this includes clinical depression, bipolar, asthma, diabetes, other sicknesses, disappointments, etc etc and death). Some of the consequences of his past sins affect his life. He is the subject of the discipline of His Heavenly Father. Satan concentrates his attack on him. His sufferings are compounded because he is a Christian. "In the world", our Lord warns His disciples, "you will have tribulation." (John 16:33)

The Bible leaves us with no doubt that suffering is a normal part of the true Christian life. Hebrews chapter 11 portrays the suffering witnesses of the Old Testament. The New Testament presents us with our great Example (our Lord Jesus Christ) who was "made perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10), and also with the many followers who "became partakers" in His sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). The whole emphasis in the teaching of the early church was on "rejoicing in the midst of sufferings." It is "through much tribulation" that we enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22).

Sadly, this understanding of the possibilities of Christian sufferings is far removed from the outlook that prevails in large parts of the Church today. The impression is given that the purpose of the Christian life is enjoyment. Everything that stands in the way of that is to be eliminated. People are looking for a problem-free Christianity. The health, wealth and success gospel is having a field today. Purveyors of such a gospel look the part. Unfortunately, the hollowness of such views became apparent when suffering, sorrow or disappointment comes. Then it becomes clear that we need a faith that is grounded in God's Word.

Over the next few posts I hope to share with you excerpts from Mr Murray's messages on Behind the Frowning Providences under the following headings:

2. God's Work in us through Depression, Bipolar and other Disabilities or Sufferings (God's Designs in Dark Providences)

3. Our Comfort in Dark Providences.

Personally, for me, understanding that all things are under God's controls including my depressions and bipolar, and that God is working my pains and sufferings for His glory, my good and that of His people, brings me great comfort. My bipolar, depression or any other sufferings or trials, are not an end in themselves. God can certainly heal and deliver me. But if He doesn't do it, He has good purposes in them. I may not fully understand or see things as clearly as He does. But understanding a little better why He allows Frowning Providences in my life, enable me to look beyond my pains and sufferings to the higher purposes that God has allowed them in my life. Then these become means to eternal spiritual benefits for me and other fellow Christians.

Understanding that my depression or manic are due to bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and it is a medical condition that can be treated brings comfort and prevents unnecessary guilts. Others who do not understand may accuse me of lack of faith in God or my being weak or emotional. But I know that God in His sovereignty has allowed me to have this medical condition for my eternal good. Through this condition, I have been brought to a closer walk with God and I have been able to serve God by comforting others who are suffering.

God's love and His Words give me great strength and comfort as I travel this checkered road to the celestial city with many ups and downs due to depression, bipolar and other challenges. God has never promised me a life without thorns or difficulties but He has promised me unchanging love (Jeremiah 31:3), sufficient grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) and eternal life (John 3:16). He promised that He is working all things for my good even when I don't understand it (Romans 8:28). I have found God to be faithful and I can look back at how He has and is working all things for my good and for His glory. These brings me great consolations and give me courage to face each day.

If you are a Christian and you are suffering from depression now, and you are not able to feel God's presence with you nor find comfort from God's Words, do know that it is because of the chemical imbalance in your brain that is causing you not to be able to think or feel aright. Clinical depression and bipolar depression are medical condition that needs to be treated with medical and other helps. Once the chemical imbalance in your brain is restored, you will be able to enjoy God's presence with you and find comfort from His Words again. I highly recommend 6 very encouraging sermons by Dr David P Murray on "Depression and the Christian" as it will help to dispel some of the myths regarding depression and the Christian and give you a more biblical view on your current sufferings due to depression. Especially, it will prevent the dangerous and damaging misunderstanding which often leads people, especially Christians, to view medication as a rejection of God and His grace, rather than a provision of God and His grace. I hope you will seek medical and other appropriate help, so that you can be more functional and able to enjoy God, His Words, your family, your church, work, etc etc.

God's love and sovereignty is a Christian's greatest comfort admist the ups and downs through all the changing scenes of life. We may not always understand why God allows us to go through certain things, but we have no doubt at all of His love and care upon us. He Who gave His Son to die on the cross for us, will do so much more to keep us.

Thanks for stopping by. Do drop me a note, if you can, to let me know how the above excerpts has helped you. Or how has God's Words bring comfort to you in your sufferings? How has the knowledge, that God loves you and He is sovereign, strengthen you in your darkest moments?

Hope you have a blessed day!

God moves in a mysterious way
by William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

(This photo is taken by my friend, Sau, at Saipan)

Very often in my life, when I go through very difficult time, I have wondered how I will ever get through the days as I felt I have no strength to go through that particular trials. But God in His mercies and faithfulness have always given me strength to go through these difficulties. And many times these difficult experiences have drawn me nearer to God as I experience His sustaining grace and strength equal to my tasks. I realized that when I am weak then His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. It always encourages my heart when I see how the Lord is helping me and strengthening me.

I am thankful to God that though I have been unwell recently, God has been the strength of my heart and my joy daily. I am learning to slow down and to rest in God's love and sufficiency. I am comforted by the knowledge that though my flesh and heart may fail at time, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers and encouragements.

May this verse encourage you too and God will be the strength of your heart and your portion for ever.

Hope you have a blessed day!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and spiritually uplifting experience for you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thou art my hope in the day of evil - Jeremiah 17:17

Thank you, dear Reader, for stopping by.

Thanks, Bpd, Michelle, Mari, Preciousrock, Jena, Marissa, Paula, for your prayers and encouragements. It's so good to have you back, Mari. I hope you have had a good rest. Thank you, Preciousrock, for stopping by. And welcome to my blog :-) I had a quick look at your blog and will return to read more.

Thanks all for your concerns, prayers and kind words which touched my heart. Thank God for all of you. It is encouraging to know that others care and are praying for me :-)

Jena has kindly suggested that it may be good for me to write a short post to update all of you and I think that's a great idea. Thanks for suggesting that, Jena :-)

Thank you for your prayers. Thank God for strengthening me. I am feeling better and learning to rest in God and depend more on His strength. I am learning to slow down and not try to do too many things. I am still feeling tired and experiencing mood swings but learning to cut down on my activities and rest whenever I can.

So dear friends, please take care. Try not to overstrain yourself too. Thank God that writing is therapeutic to us all. I am keeping you in my prayers too. And thanks again for coming by and leaving me such sweet encouraging notes :-)

May God bless and keep you near to Him. Have a blessed day!

This morning I read this encouraging devotional note from CH Spurgeon and I cut and paste it from a free Bible software "e-sword". e-sword is free and have many version of Bible, Commentaries, Devotional notes, etc etc. You can download and install on you computer. It's very useful.

Thank God that He is our hope in time of difficulties. Though we are weak, He is strong. Praise Him!

Thou art my hope in the day of evil - Jeremiah 17:17

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm.

True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light.

There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross.

No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children.

We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ.

The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

(taken from CH Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, 29 Morning.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Be Still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

This morning I was unwell and not able to go to church for worship. I am praying that God will strengthen me and enable me to go for evening worship this evening. I missed worship and fellowship. Though I read the Bible and pray everyday, going to church is a totally different experience which I cherish very much. It is always very refreshing to my soul when I can go for public worship. God's Words uplift my soul and give me strength for the week ahead. And I missed my church friends :)

The last few weeks have been busy weeks for me. As I am still learning to manage my condition, work, family, stress, perfectionism, etc etc, I do feel a little overwhelmed at times. Thank God for the rest today. God created the world in 6 days and He rested on the seventh. And so today is a day of rest for both body and soul.

I am thankful that I can rest in God daily too admist all the hustle and bustle of life. I still feel very very tired every evening and sometimes in the morning too the moment I wake up. There seemed to be so many things I want to do and I think I need to do daily and yet I never seemed to get most things done. Hmm, I suspect this is either my manic or my perfectionist trait playing me out again :)

Thank God for the reminders to me through His precious Words:

Be still
Be still, and know that I am God: Psalm 46:10

Come unto Jesus
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Don't be anxious, pray to God, give thanks and God will give me peace
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Don't worry, do God's works and He will take care of me
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:25, 33 - 34

God's Words always encourage me. My physical tiredness or mental strain seems so much lighter when I put them all aside and just lost myself in God's love and precious promises. It is my encouragement that God will give me strength in Him daily as I learn to look to Him. Sometimes I tend to forget to cast my anxieties or burdens upon the Lord, and try to do too many things in my own strength. Any wonder that I am so tired out :)

I pray God will enable me to rest in His presence with me and enable me to cling on to His precious promises to carry me through this coming week.

May God also give you strength and joy today and everyday!