Scripture: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38).
Luke 6:38 is quoted by Forbes as one of the most powerful business quotes. I may as well stop here in writing this blog because this quote captures one of the best investment strategies for a Christian. It captures the power of giving.
I recently set out to work on a 3100 blog post about ‘best investment strategies.’ This research took me into a world that challenged how I spent my money. By the time I was done, I was motivated to take some time off and really think about my future.
Let me share my profile with you.
The investment research was so mind-blowing that I almost grew a beard. I learnt about stocks and bonds, mutual funds, saving for retirement! ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds), plus so much more. I could read a post from Investopedia about Investment, and with every idea, I would say the phrase, “I really don’t know much about money.”
I took the knowledge as a blessing from God and purposed to sit down and come up with a financial plan.
As I meditated on this significant life change, I chose to honor God in the process. Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed”.
Before I could write the first letter on my new notebook, the LORD put this in my heart. “Have you seen the stock exchange in heaven?”
As a giver and a Christian, I have to admit that I feel that one of the reasons God has kept me despite my financial ignorance is giving. As I meditated on “how I give” I realized that the exchange rate for heaven was well beyond 110%. Yet, like the woman who gave a coin to the temple, I had not offered much.
The parable of the Rich man and Lazarus also came to me the same way Ebenezer Scrooge got a visit from the three spirits of Christmas. ”But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.” (Luke 16:25).
Be mindful of those who receive bad things.
The lesson from God could not have come at a better time. I had recently sat down for Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 ”The Kid’ movie. In the movie, there’s the quote, “Charity. To some a duty, to others a joy.”
I guess the Chaplin movie was my second spirit of Christmas.
Then there was the third spirit of Christmas, Luke 12:13-21, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” [Verse 19]
Like Scrooge, I was alarmed!
The stone that the builders refuse!
Giving to the poor, helping the vulnerable, the refugees, and the foreigners among us. These are things that we tend to forget. Yet in the Kingdom of God, these are the greatest treasures. This is how we invest in God!
And in the days of our trouble, His word promises us that even before we cry “trouble!” He will say to us, here I am (Psalms 41).
But let’s not give a coin. Let’s make charity a strong investment tactic. Let’s plan for it, labor for it and dedicate time for it.
What annoyed me about the types of investments I learnt about is that I did not spot even one that had an interest rate of at least 10%.
Stocks had an average interest rate of 3%.
Bonds are risky! Unless you buy government bonds. But they also average 3%.
Mutual funds also have a low-interest rate. I rolled my eyes when an investment bank tried to hook me with a 2% interest rate!
At this rate, will we ever be rich? Will we ever afford a quality life?
Must we oppress to be Kings?
No! There’s another way. The best way is found in the teachings of Christ. When we love God more than wealth, we challenge God to bless.
Perhaps capitalism will fade when we become social. When we take off our eyes from ourselves and quickly glance at the one struggling in this life. The Lazarus, whose sores the dogs lick.
Who is our Father?
God is our Father! The Earth and all that’s in it belongs to Him (Psalms 24:1).
So what do we have to lose?
Take out your notebook and write “giving unto God” as one of your Investment strategies. May God’s Spirit guide you to offer the right way.
November is here, and I thank God for keeping us alive this far. It has not been easy for anyone. Most of us had found our faith’s shaking in the same way the Israelites felt when they encountered challenges in the wilderness. Some of us are still doubtful if things would get better. To such Christians, I would say, arm yourself with the word of God, for the word of God is the sword for the spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
We overcome by God’s word and not with our interpretation of things. The way I see it, you either have the Elishah spirit or the doubtful spirit. When God told the King through Elishah that he would end the famine in Samaria, one of the officers of the King said to Elishah, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” (2 Kings 7:2).
Yes! It could happen!
For whoever goes to God must believe that He exists and richly rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Here are my best faith and strength scriptures. I hope you’ll be inspired by them as well. PS://All quoted scriptures are from NIV.
1.The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19
2. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people. with peace. Psalms 29:11
3. The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1
4. In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.” Psalms 11:1
5.God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalms 46:1-3
6.So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
7.The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Psalms 118:14
8.Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a]; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
9.But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
10.He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
11. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
12. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15
13.Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11
14. I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalms 18:1-2
15. But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalms 59:16
Therefore we boast in the LORD, and we delight in His ways. For we know our God is strong, and in His name we overcome much. The right hand of the LORD does valiantly, the right hand of the LORD exalts. The right arm of the LORD is Christ. Therefore, we are destined to overcome.
Meditating on Christ, to me, is like envisioning the sun on a cloudy day. There’s rainfall with thick clouds that make the day look like night. Yet such gloomy days remind me of the day Jesus and his disciples were caught up in a storm. Jesus was asleep in a storm. But as one local musician said, “How can a storm drown a vessel that carries Christ?” We are called to be living temples, the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). As such, we carry within us the Spirit of Christ. Christ is within this vessel, or as Paul said, you have clothed yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:26).
If this is so, will the storms overwhelm us?
No! For in all things we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).
Here are five powerful scriptures about Jesus Christ, the pioneer, and the perfecter of our faith. Kindly meditate on them, and let them power up your faith as we forge ahead through these challenging times.
Scripture 1: The Evidence is Christ
God’s call to people from all nations is Jesus Christ. Jesus himself confirmed this when he said, “when the son of man is lifted up, he will draw all men to himself” (John 12:32). Jesus is the Chief cornerstone! The stone that builders refuse. Yet, it is the most valuable stone of them all (Matthew 21:24).
What evidence do we have of Christ? 1 Timothy 3:16 is your answer.
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on the world, was taken up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16NIV).
2. A High Priest
Jesus Christ is the perfect High Priest for us. This good news is something that most of us understand. We go to church and the priest prays for us. We have an issue, we request the priest to pray for us. Yet, we should not be naïve to the fact that earthly priests can make mistakes.
There are instances in the bible where Christ called some of them ‘blind guides’. God himself rejected human high priests in the old testament (Hosea 4:6). Instead, GOD gave us a gift, and the gift is Christ. Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and man Jesus is our human High Priest without sin.
Meditate on Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
3. Abba Father
In Kelly Kabic’s book titled “A Little Book for New Theologians,” the author says praise songs are like the songs that laborers sing while working. I don’t think we sing these days while we work. Most of us put on earphones, and listen to music as we work. But there’s no denying the power of praise in reviving the Spirit when we are sad, exhausted, or anxious.
To me, praise also provokes God to act on our behalf. When Paul and Silas were in prison, they praised God. God shook the prisons free for them.
So no matter what the situation looks like for you, I hope you’ll find the strength to praise God.
Let the words of John 14:18 comfort you.
“I will not leave you orphans, but will come to you.”
4. The Worship of Christ
We must never forget where Christ is. Our faith is revived when we remind ourselves that our King, Jesus Christ, is enthroned. To Him, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is LORD (Philippians 2:10).
The Book of Revelations contains scriptures where Christ is worshipped in Heaven. When Christ resurrected, He took His place on the Right-Hand side of GOD, as the King of Creation. Just as God created Adam and gave him the Earth as an Inheritance, we Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the second Adam, as depicted in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Through his life, sacrifice on the cross, death, and resurrection, he redeemed what was lost in sin, back to Himself.
Indeed! Jesus is the King of Kings.
Meditate on the worship of Christ in Heaven, in Revelations 19:6 (Kindly read the entire chapter as well).
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For Our LORD GOD Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad, and give Him glory. For the wedding of the lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people). Revelation 19:6-8
5. Discipline Your Heart to Trust
Jesus calls us to trust in him. Infact, the entire scriptures call for us to trust in him. This trust is not easy, and it takes time for us to build a strong trust in the LORD.
How do we build this trust? By committing ourselves to the study of scriptures, to fellowship with fellow believers and with God’s Spirit.
When calamity hits, we panic similar to the disciples on the night Jesus was arrested. One of them even took off naked (Mark 14:51).
Peter, Jesus’ closest ally denied him three times when Jesus was in trouble.
Yet, the bible warns us about denying Christ in the times when things don’t look good. The scripture says if we deny him now, then he will deny us when he comes back in glory.
So let’s train our hearts to trust in God no matter what comes our way.
Meditate on: 2 Timothy 2:11-13
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
October is almost over! Let’s remember the poor among us (Galatians 2:10) and let us continue to walk in the light of God through Christ.
How do you overcome adversity with God? You overcome it by holding onto your faith. Paul said it this way, “lift up your tired hands then, and strengthen your trembling knees! Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed.” Hebrews 12:12-14
Praise is a powerful weapon in times of adversity because it challenges that adversity. When we praise, we draw the strength of God to operate in our lives, the same way the woman with the issue of blood stretched out to touch the hem of Christ’s garment.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’ But Jesus said, ‘ Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out of me.’ Luke 8:45-46.
I believe that when we praise God in times of adversity, we activate His power in that situation. We do this because praise in times of adversity is a powerful symbol of faith. The scriptures say that we cannot please God without faith. For whoever comes to God must believe that He exists and richly rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews, 11:6).
Three Accounts in The Bible That Prove Faith is a Powerful Weapon
Paul and Silas praised! [Acts 16:25] The account of Paul and Silas is one of the most potent examples of the power of praise. The two men were praying and singing hymns to God. Suddenly, a violent earthquake occurred and shook the foundations of the prison.
2. The fall of Jericho [Joshua 6]. “Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in,” (Joshua 6:1). The fall of Jericho is proof that there’s nothing that God cannot do. The Israelites were told to march round the city’s walls for six days. On the 7th day, they were to blast on the trumpets and give a loud shout.
When Christians praise, we usually incorporate instruments such as a trumpets. We also give shouts of praise. Therefore, this story is proof that you can set some days to engage in prayer and praise when faced with adversaries. Do this while studying scripture. The results will astonish you.
3.As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning [Exodus 17:8-16]. This scripture talks about a battle that occurred in the wilderness between the Israelites and the Amalekites. For as long as Moses lifted his hands, the Israelites won the battle.
Lifting of hands is another practice that Christians do when they praise. To me, lifting of hands is a sign of acknowledgment of a higher power. When you’re facing adversity, lift up your hands to the higher power and praise God because, by His strength, you shall overcome.
There are many other powerful stories and scriptures talk about God’s sovereignty in all circumstances. This sovereignty is the reason why we praise Him even in times of adversity.
When we choose to praise God, we also act in obedience to the words in Proverbs 3:7-31. “Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the LORD and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.”
Have you ever tried to praise God when you are worried, in fear, or doubt? Have you ever praised God when in adversity?
When you do, you realize that it is good medicine, healing your spiritual wounds and pain.
Happy October! Let’s forge ahead with hope! Our God is a God who changes things. God is mighty to save.
Scripture: Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7).
What is suicide?
Suicide is you taking the shovel from the devil’s hands and telling him, “I can see that you’re trying to kill me, but it’s taking you too long. Come! I’ll help you dig my grave faster!”
It always seems like the easy way out, doesn’t it?
Do the words RIP (Rest In Peace) confuse us?
We assume they are resting, right?
But not all cultures believe that the dead are resting. In my country, we say “he/she has travelled where no one travels with them. They have journeyed by themselves.”
During the second-last Sunday of September, something interesting happened in this small village where I live, right on the city’s outskirts.
That Sunday, we heard the confessions of a poor man who had gone to the forest on Saturday to commit suicide.
He is a father and a husband. But he lives in a metal house, the poorest of the poor.
The economic pressures of covid-19 were too much for this laborer. Life was hard before the pandemic. But now, it’s worse.
So the man left his house and headed to the forest to hang himself.
As he got ready to place his head on the rope, he heard a voice, and the voice asked him a question in his mother tongue. “Am I not GOD who gives life?”
In the Kikuyu dialect, which is the man’s mother tongue, it is something like “Eti tinie Ngai uheaga moyo?”
The man looked around but could not see anyone. After a while, he tried to hang himself again. The voice spoke! “Eti Tinie Ngai uheaga Moyo?” (Am I not GOD who gives life?”)
At this point, the man looked up to the sky. He noticed what looked like two human figures in sparkling white.
Alarmed! He took off from the forest to our church, ACK (Anglican Churches of Kenya), here in Thimbigua village.
The man entered the church and demanded to speak to the Archdeacon. When the Archdeacon saw him, she wanted to call the security guards because the man was shabby looking with simple clothes. He looked like some deadbeat guy from the streets.
“I want to get saved now!” He said.
“Calm down, you look like you’ve ran upto here,” said the Archdeacon.
The man recounted all that he had witnessed. The church leader was so shocked that she prayed for him.
That Sunday, this simple man became the center of attention. The church has proposed to support him.
AM I NOT THE GOD OF LIFE?
When four men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, the first thing Jesus said is, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5). Immediately, the teachers of the law began asking themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like this?” But Jesus challenged the teachers by asking them, “Which is easier to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk?”
‘But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ so he said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you to take up your mat and go home.’ (Mark 2:10-11).
GOD has already done a hard job for us. He not only forgave our sins, but He chose to send his son to die for us while we were still sinners.
GOD is also the giver of life, and it is not by our effort that we have seen October 2020! Especially at a time when the angel of death looms!
There’s nothing you can do when death demands your life! We can’t bribe him.
But we can trust in the GOD who has brought us this far. We can put our hope in Him because He already did the hard job.
The love of GOD is not heart-shaped. Since God is not a human being or a created being, His love also does not bear the same shape as human love. During valentines, we are bombarded with heart-shapes that symbolize human love. Yet, human love breaks, and it seems to fade over time.
While in lockdown, there was a global rise in domestic violence. We saw one country after the other experienced tensions. We saw race wars and witnessed first-hand how panic leads to hoarding. Yes, human beings are capable of so much good. But it wasn’t easy to see love at work.
But God’s love seems to be beyond comprehension. In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul said, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
If I was to give the love of God a shape, that I would shape it like the sun. The sun, moon, earth, and all the other planets have a spherical shape. When we draw the sun, we draw it in the shape of a circle. The beauty of this shape is that one cannot tell where it starts to where it ends. The circle has no corners and seems to symbolize continuity. No wonder this shape has been used to symbolize the great rhythm of the universe.
Yet to me, the circle also symbolizes the love of GOD. It’s a love that we do not know where it begins and can never comprehend its ends.
Celebrate the Love of God with me by meditating on these seven scriptures that remind us of the love of our Father.
[Romans 5:8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
[Romans 8:38-39] For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. [1 John 4:9-11] This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
4.[Isaiah 54:10]Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
5. [Lamentations 3:22-23] The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
6. [Psalms 117:1-2] Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!
7. [1 John 4:19] We love because God first loved us.
God’s love shines brighter than the sun. It is from Him that we learn to love others. Couples that walk in His love can trust in Him for a happy, enduring marriage. Children raised in such homes can hope. If the world was rich in love, I can’t comprehend how better it could be.
So when we say the LORD’s prayer, and we say, “May your kingdom come, may your will be done,” we are entreating God to establish His will among the nations. For God is love, and love is of God (1 John 4:7-21).
Indeed, it is when we hold on to the love of God that we even get the power to prophesy hope to those who are downhearted.
When Jesus was asked about the two greatest commandments, he said that the greatest commandment is to “Love the LORD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Jesus said that when we do this, we have fulfilled the whole law (Galatians 5:14)
But people can reject your love. A friend told me of how she sacrificed some cash to buy a uniform for a neighbors child. She could tell the family was struggling, so she decided to show them, love by surprising them with this gift. But when she took the uniform to them, the parents of the child threw her out. They did not want the gift. This incident discouraged my friend from engaging in charity ever again! The truth is we live in a world where we have learned to doubt each other. Individualism and self-reliance are upheld as positive qualities, whereas principles of community are discarded. Moreover, we doubt strangers, and everyone is technically bad until proven otherwise. Yet it is for this reason that we should take hold of God’s steadfast love. We should let this love shine brightly in our hearts so that people would know that no matter how dark it is outside, there are still those who choose to walk in the love of Christ.
I never asked my friend what she did with the gift. But if it were me, I would have taken the uniform to a children’s home or the church as a donation. After that, I would have prayed for the family that threw me out and wished them well. Why? Well, because I am a Christian, that’s fully overtaken and overpowered by God’s love. It would take more than a few insults to tarnish my light in Christ.
This world needs people who hold on to God’s steadfast love and do their best to reflect such love on others.
With the strength of His Holy Spirit, we can develop this kind of love. Just ask, and He will give you this love.
I cried for three days straight when I lost my job this year thanks to COVID-19. It wasn’t my first time to lose a job. You’d think I’d be stronger or more psychologically prepared but I wasn’t. What’s worse, since I was remote working, I got fired via WhatsApp and email. That was cruel, no doubts about it.
So I cast aside my faith for a while and held a pity party for three days. After that, God consoled me with this vision. In my mind, I saw the stars and the planets in space. God’s spirit told me, “Never be afraid of what people do to you. Just like I hold the stars and all heavenly bodies, so do I hold the lives of all human beings. No human being is powerful enough to bring down the moon, or the stars. No one is strong enough to snatch your destiny from my hands. I knew you would lose that job. Calm down, you are still in your destiny.”
I sought consolation from God when I lost that job. And I sought Him because the scriptures encourage us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
God’s spirit comforted me by helping me see that just as stable as the planets are in the heavens, so are the lives of every human being in GOD’s hands. Therefore, when we feel that we have lost the way or that we are no longer in our destiny, in our times of distress and doubts, we should remember that God sustains all creation.
Are we not worth more than the birds? (Matthew 6:26).
I am going to share with you four simple scriptures that come with a short prayer. This is my simple way of teaching you how to pray using scriptures.
1 Samuel 30:6
David was greatly distressed because the men talked of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
Some versions say, “David consoled himself in the LORD.”
When you read 1 Samuel 30 to 31, you will discover that God rewarded King David by restoring what he had lost, and He added some spoils.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, because when David had lost his family, he consoled himself in you. God, you heard the King, and you restored his fortunes. Thank you God, because, through Christ Jesus, you are doing the same for us. Amen.
After Lot had parted from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
This scripture is a portion of Genesis 13. In this story, Abraham and Lot disagreed, and they separated. But before the two men parted, Lot took for himself the best lands. But God met with Abraham after Lot left him and encouraged him with this scripture.
How do you feel when you lose a loved one?
Have you ever experienced a heartbreak and had your heart set on that person, but they reject you?
Regardless of what you’ve lost, this scripture encourages us to console ourselves in God because no one ever truly knows God’s mind over the situation. Abraham had to part with the best lands. But in God’s plan for his life, Abraham was to become the Father of Nations.
So hold on to your faith! The best is yet to come.
Prayer: God, I thank you because where I perceive my end, that’s why your plans over my life begin. Thank you because you are mindful of me. In Jesus name, Amen.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Sometimes the best way to console yourself in the LORD is to remember that He goes before us. So when you pray, you tell God, “Father go before me in my plans. Let your rod and staff comfort me, in Jesus name, Amen.”
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
Prayer: Father God, in this situation that troubles me, I pray that you would keep me as the apple of your eye, and hide me in the shadow of your wings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Last Piece of Advice
At one time in life, I learnt this exercise. When my mind is spinning out of control and I can’t figure out what to do. I stand up, stretch my hands, and tell God. “This is where my hands have reached. My efforts are not strong enough. Yet I am in the shadow of the Almighty. When you stretch out your hand, it cuts across the galaxy. Do your will over my life. But in your wrath, show me mercy.
Things have been spinning out of control of late. Some have lost jobs, marriages/relationships have been tested, students are frustrated, jobs shut down. We all share a common suffering, with some experiencing more hardships than the rest of us.
Before I begin sharing some of the most comforting scriptures I have ever seen from the bible, I would like to remind all of us of the time when Jesus calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27). The disciples woke Jesus up in distress and told him, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus replied to them and said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
There is a hymn in Kiswahili language that’s based on this scripture. The singers say, “If the raging seas, the thundering heavens, and the furious winds obeyed him. If demons would flee from him. Then what of your troubles? In time, things will calm…so calm down.”
This hymn has been very comforting for me when I have felt like everything is out of control.
Aside from worship songs/hymns, here are 10 soothing scriptures that you can meditate upon when you feel like things are spinning out of control.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy (Psalms 94:18-19)
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27). #waitingonGod
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalms 27:13-14).
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Record my misery;list my tears on your scroll —are they not in your record?Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalms 56:3-4;8-9)
In my distress I called to the Lord;I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice;my cry came before him, into his ears. (Psalms 18:6)
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death (Psalms 68:19-20).
So do not fear, for I am with you;do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
Why, my soul, are you downcast?Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.(Psalms 42:5).
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. (Psalms 52:8-9)
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
Scripture 1: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)
COVID 19 was first reported on 31st December 2019. But it was until March 2020 that I got to hear about it. This pandemic has resulted in 800k+ deaths and affected millions. Most of us have been affected indirectly, with massive job losses that have left us having to make due with little income.
It’s August and COVID is still on the news. But the saying, “everyday is a gift,” calls for us to make a decision every day that we wake up. We have to ask ourselves, what do I believe in? What is this that I value so much that my entire heart is in it? Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is also” (Matthew 6:21).
If you take your time to think about it, everything we value we leave behind. Marriages last or break. We raise kids, and they leave the house eventually. We work hard, and at times we enjoy the fruits of our toil; other times, the economic ecosystem despoils us of what we worked too hard to get.
Therefore the Bible is right when it calls all that we treasure “fleeting” (Hebrews 11:27). So we are called to place our hearts in that which endures forever. This foundation is Jesus Christ, the eternal rock (Isaiah 26:4).
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:4)
Jehovah Shammah—The LORD is There
Jehovah Shammah is one of the names that refers to God in the Scriptures. It is found in Ezekiel 48:35 when the Prophet had a vision about God’s presence in a future Jerusalem. This is the only scripture where the name appears, and it means “The Lord is There.” In the text, the Prophet told that the Lord’s glory had left Jerusalem because of their sins. Yet he foresaw a future Jerusalem where God’s glory would remain forever.
Jehovah Shammah is a name that brings me much comfort. This is because when Jesus went up to heaven, he promised that He would be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Jesus also said, “I will not leave you orphans but I will come to you (John 14:18).” Jesus fulfilled this promise by pouring out the Holy Spirit/the Spirit of Christ on Earth.
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.(Joel 2:28/Acts 2:17)”
But is God Really with us?
Earthquakes! Pandemics! Wars and tensions among nations! Poverty! Refugees! Inequality! Racism!
Question: What is this time in human history?
Answer: Just as it was in the night when Jesus was arrested, this is the time when evil is at its peak.
Question: What is faith in a time like this?
Answer: Faith believes that Jesus is already in a place of victory. Therefore, through him, we can overcome the evil in the world. The Bible says that where sin increased, God’s grace increased (Romans 5:20). When the army of the enemy surrounded Elisha and his servant, Elisha was not afraid. But his servant Gehazi was in distress. Elisha tried to calm his servant by telling him that God was with them. But Gehazi could not believe it. So Elisha prayed and asked God to open the eyes of his servant. God answered his servant’s prayer, and Gehazi saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17).
Don’t mess with angels; they are servants of God. There was a time when one angel killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand in an Assyrian camp (2 Kings 19:35). Therefore when we say that when sin increased, God’s grace increased, we also mean that there are more of God’s angels on Earth, ready to save those who accept salvation and call on God for help.
God is still with us.
A Small Testimony
Back in my undergrad, my parents divorced. Up to now, I don’t think there’s anything more painful for a child than to watch two people whom you naturally love, hate each other. As a firstborn, I was depressed. My two younger siblings were looking at me, and I told them everything would be okay-I lied.
My home was utterly shattered.
By the third year, I was up to my gills with student loans. I suffered from depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and battled poverty. I went for an internship, thinking I would get something small, but the company gave me nothing. I remember waking up at 4 a.m and walking several miles to the bus stop just to catch the company bus. I had to do this because I could not afford a bus ticket. Not to mention I was crashing at a friend’s place in a ghetto. I had to go to work really early and come back home late. Sometimes I would walk back home, and I would lose my way amidst the cramped houses. This ghetto was a hot-bed of criminals. There was no difference between living there and living in prison.
I would arrive at the hotel where I was working by 5 a.m.Since the hotel was by the sea, I would spend my time on the beach watching the sun come up. One day I got a taste of the most beautiful site you could ever see.
You see, on that day, the sea was still. The waters appeared to have this fresh turquoise blue shade, and the blue sky looked like a beautiful woman who covered her beauty with a translucent cotton garment. But she could not hide her beauty for long as the sun’s rays burnt away her garment, exposing her blue skin.
I said to myself, “Wow! This morning is so beautiful. God must be here. I’ll do what Moses did and take off my shoes. Surely this is holy ground.”
You will forgive me for being so dramatic on that day. I guess only a nature lover would understand me.
I removed my shoes and poured out my heart to the unseen God. I can’t recall exactly what I said, but I know I told my fears about the future and the frustrations that I was going through as an intern. I concluded by telling God, “I don’t know you well, and my faith is shaking. Please, if you’ve heard me, please give me a sign. Maybe a dream where you show me that everything is going to be okay. I mean–you’re God. If you wanted to reach out to someone, you’d do it. For my sake God, speak to my soul. I am anxious and afraid.”
After that prayer, I wore my shoes and went back to the hotel to start my shift. The donkey-work I was doing made me forget about the prayer. By the time I went to sleep, I could not remember. By 4 a.m. the next day, my alarm rang, I dashed out of bed. All I can say is something gripped me as I reached the corner of my bed. I felt an unseen force pull me back, and this thought came to my head, “You got an answer from the Almighty GOD! But you have forgotten!?” In an instant, my mind recalled that I had had a dream a few minutes before waking up. In the dream, I was wearing a jungle green t-shirt and shorts. I was chatting with someone as I cooked chapatis (a traditional meal) on my cooker. I was wearing a gold chain, and I was in a cream-colored apartment.
The meaning of the dream was clear to me. God had answered my prayer, and by showing me this vision, he had promised to take care of me in my life. I knew then that although my parents had forsaken us, it was God’s time to provide for me.
I felt different that morning. I can describe it as a feeling of discomfort because I felt that God existed for the first time in my life. I was aware of His presence, His eyes watching me, and it scared me.
The Almighty had gripped my heart that morning, and this was the heart of a sinner. An ordinary human being with no special traits or outstanding accomplishments. Yet, I felt “Holy.” Not because I was holy, but because the Holy Spirit had touched my heart that day.
On a light note, I was so afraid that I ignored secular music for the longest time (I didn’t think it would be wise to offend an All-powerful God).
I will conclude by reminding you of my favorite scripture. I have shared this scripture in this blog before, and I will share it today.
“We overcame by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony, and we did not love our lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)
GOD is With us every day! He is an ever-present help in time of need (Psalms 46:1). And we will overcome COVID and every other challenge that life throws at us by clinging to this truth! He is Jehovah Shammah in this life and the next.
Abraham, the father of the faith always had his eyes looking towards heaven. He desired the heavenly Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, where God is. This is the same for us. No matter what we experience in this life we believe that God is with us daily. We look to heaven with the hope that even in death, we shall see him whose hands and feet were pierced for our sake.
This I know, God is for me! (Psalms 56:9).
God is for us, and God will continue to see us through, even after this pandemic.
Scripture: For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5 NIV).
They say that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. But Christianity calls us to not only be tough but to hope. We are to hope that the season of hardship or challenging times do come to an end. The secret ingredient to this hope is the knowledge of the steadfast love of GOD.
What does Steadfast mean? It means unwavering, firm, unfaltering, and staunch. Steadfast means that it is consistent and does not change easily.
Whoever comes to God must believe in the steadfast love of GOD. Because we believe that His love is steadfast, we must also be steadfast (James 5:11).
The Kings Lost In the Desert
2 kings 3 talks about three kings who went out to battle. The three Kings (King of Edom, King of Israel, and the King of Judah) decided that they would surprise their enemy by taking a route through the desert of Edom.
After seven days of journeying through the desert, the three Kings and their army had no water left.
The King of Israel was shocked to find out that there was no water for them or their animals! The Bible says that he exclaimed, “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?” (2 Kings 3:10).
There are times in life when we feel the same way that this King felt. We had made our plans, and according to our plans, we would never lack. All of a sudden, something happens, and we feel like God has set us up.
But King Jehoshaphat saw it differently. Instead of getting surprised by the turn of events, he asked his friends, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, so that we may seek God about this issue” (2 Kings 3:11).
An official of the King of Israel informed them that there was a prophet living there, and the prophet was Elisha.
So the Kings went to Elisha so that he would seek GOD on their behalf. But Elisha told the Kings to do something that most people don’t like to do when experiencing trouble. He asked the Kings to bring a harpist so that they could sing to GOD.
While the harpist was playing, the Bible says that the hand of the LORD came on Elisha, and Elisha said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.
Jesus Christ is Greater Than Elisha The Bible not only calls Jesus the Son of God who came to deliver us from sin but also the High Priest forever. The truth is that every other human priest of God failed God. They would either get so full of themselves that their arrogance deceives them. Or, they would get greedy and try to deceive God’s people. So if you study the old testament and when you go to the book of Hosea, you find the scripture that says:
My people perish because of ignorance. Therefore, I reject your priests and your leaders (Hosea 4).
Yes! We have had good leaders, but we have never seen a perfect leader. And so it was God’s will from the beginning (Genesis) to restore creation unto himself through Christ. Jesus is the King in Zion (God’s nation/kingdom) and the High Priest for the people.
Apostle Paul went to great lengths to explain this truth to the early church. He said that it was God’s will that we should have a human high priest, “Jesus Christ,” who understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15).
In 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul said, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man is Christ Jesus,” Jesus is greater than Elisha, Elijah, Moses, and all the Prophets. In fact, Paul said that all these prophets were servants of Christ in that they were servants in the household of GOD. But the son is in charge of the household (Hebrews 3:5).
If the Kings went to Elisha and Elisha told them to bring a harpist and praise God, we must go to God through Christ. We seek GOD through prayer in Christ, and we praise GOD because we know that no matter how hard it looks, our salvation is an easy thing for GOD to do.
Tears Flow Through The Night, But Joy “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV).
The truth is that the Bible is a witness account for this age. Its accounts are a reminder that it was GOD who commanded life to exist. So there’s nothing too hard for him. But when we face calamities or challenges, we don’t seek Christ in the same way the Kings chose to seek Elisha. We try to figure things out by ourselves, or we look to other people for solutions.
We have become a fulfilling prophecy of the words that Jesus spoke. Jesus said, “The stone that the builders refused turned out to be the most valuable! This stone is the Chief cornerstone! (Matthew 21:42).
Jesus Christ is our ally, our High Pries, and Living Prophet. He should be the foundation of all that we set out to do. When struggles come, Jesus is the go-to priest that we seek through prayer.
The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that a Christian sees the value of Christ in all seasons of life.
If you develop the habit of seeking Christ and placing your hope in his saving grace, you will understand the truth behind this beautiful scripture: Tears may flow through the night, but joy comes in the morning. Be blessed.
Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. For the scripture says, “I chose a valuable stone, which I am placing as the cornerstone in Zion; and whoever believes in him will never be disappointed.” 1 Peter 2:4-8 GNT