A Deeper Understanding of “Resting in the Lord”

I had been reading Christian books and devotional blogs mentioning the oft-quoted phrase “rest in the Lord”, but it was just very recently that I had a real grasp of it. I mean, it is easy to say it but what does “rest in the Lord” really mean? After the truth has sunk in my soul, I realized that “resting in the Lord” could feel very risky and scary. These are the things involved: risk and fear. That’s because we had been taught to rely on visible things rather than on the invisible God. But to truly rest in the Lord is to spurn these, to let go of these in exchange of plunging oneself at the feet of God, trusting completely in His mercy.

I don’t know how deep or trying your reason to choose to rest in the Lord is, but as for me, I took inventory of the years that I “rested in the Lord”, and I came to realize that to truly rest in the Lord is to believe that He can help, save, and deliver in the MOST urgent need. It involves a REAL belief, so real you could almost touch and taste it. That kind of belief is the seat of trust.

Because you truly believe, then you can trust, and therefore, you can rest.

There is no true rest when there is a shadow of doubt in your belief of a true and living God, a breathing, seeing, moving, fast-acting God – an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.

I had wrestled with death not just a few times, and I remember my beloved husband offering to bring me to the hospital or buy me an oxygen tank at least. It was truly scary but I had always chosen to rest in God instead during those fear-filled walks through the valley of the shadow of death. I believed that the commotion that would be brought about by calling an ambulance, transferring me into it, the nurses milling about, the panic, the anxiety-filled trip to the hospital and then the hustle and bustle of the emergency room would be more than enough to stop my breath altogether.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4, emphasis added)

So, I always chose to rest in God, keeping my body as still as I could as I trusted in Him to save me, to deliver me to the next breath and heartbeat and to the next, until He brings recovery. I would keep still as an electric fan blew hard on my face, thinking hard about the Lord Jesus. When things were better, I even sang praises in my mind. He is a VERY PRESENT HELP in times of great need.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

And though the flesh is weak and perishes, there is rest for the soul (Mat. 11:29). That is what resting in the Lord brings – rest for the soul.

When illness, suffering, difficulties, anguish, confusion, fear, weakness, worry overwhelm, I rest in His Word. His Word enlightens me, strengthens and comforts me. The Word is God (John 1:1).

To rest in God is His will for us. To be still in His presence and be confident in Him and His power are what He truly wants us to be. He has counselled us about this long time ago, that when we rest in Him, He will save and strengthen us (Is. 30:15). But the world had taught us to run elsewhere to get help. We had learned to rely on tangible things to quieten our souls and momentarily bring peace to our minds, not quite grasping the truth about God and what He is able to do. For with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27)

Friend, are you looking for rest for your weary soul? Rest for your sick body or unquiet mind? The Lord Jesus is bidding you. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat. 10:28)

Photo courtesy of my friend Myriss Torres.
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The Practice of Remembering God’s Wondrous Works

This photo courtesy of my friend Myriss Torres.

(Meditating on Psalm 78)

There is a spiritual practice that we could all benefit from. Both David and Asaph had shown it many times in the book of Psalms. I learned it in the Church where the Lord has put us. It is the practice of recalling God’s mighty deeds that He has wrought in His Church, among the brethren, and in our own lives. The other word for this is testifying.

Here in Psalm 78, Asaph once again contemplates on all the wondrous works of God that He has done in Israel. Line after line, he tells of the journeyings of God’s people and the many proofs of God’s faithfulness toward them.

In my own spiritual journey, I have found quiet contemplation on God’s mercies to be a very helpful tool in strengthening my faith and keeping my love for the Lord constantly burning. We can either shout out our testimonies in the pulpit, share them with the unsaved, meditate on them, or sing them out.

Yes, sing them out in our private worship time. In this way, they remain fresh in our minds and the overflow of thanksgiving to God happens easily. If you sometimes find it hard to concentrate in singing praises to God by singing songs you’ve learned, then sing that which naturally and spontaneously comes from your heart. Sing to Him with your own lyrics of love and thanksgiving. Sing to Him recalling all His tender mercies and marvelous deeds. In my case, I think back on the days that I was bound in bed, very sick and weak and to the point of death, and how He had mercifully raised me up from my sick bed and showered me with good things. It doesn’t take long before I would feel His touch and then I would be enveloped in His sweet, powerful presence.

Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. 
(Psalm 78:4)

Last Friday, I shared with you a brief retelling of the victorious Talipao (Mindanao) Peace Mission which God had wrought in JESUS MIRACLE CRUSADE INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY. Once again, the prayer warriors who had experienced the horrors of being in the constant presence of the Abu Sayyaf and the military assault that followed – a three-month ordeal – recalled how the Lord had delivered them mightily day and night.

How the high-powered guns and weapons of the Abu Sayyaf did not have power over their bodies.

How they would be down on their knees praising God as the bombs from the military planes bombarded the area.

How they would be running at night with the Abu Sayyaf in complete darkness, on the rugged mountains of Talipao, Jolo, Sulu, in danger of wild beasts and falling into deep ravines.

One memory after another, they recalled God’s mighty deeds, shouting out their praises and thanksgiving. Below I share more photos of the 12th Victorious Talipao Peace Mission Anniversary held on October 7 at the Amoranto Stadium, Quezon City, Philippines.

I would also like to share with you this amazing testimony of a brother in Christ that I wrote over at Minister of Mercy entitled Double Miracle. Now, some would be cynical about it and would refuse to believe. But if, through reading the Bible, you can believe in a God who is all powerful and works miracles, how can you not believe in His present-day miracles wrought in His Church and experienced by the redeemed? If you believe that God never changes – “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8) – then you must also believe that He still performs wondrous works and marvellous deeds to this day. To read testimony, click here.

Endnote: All JMCIM photos courtesy of Bro. Guetz Febrer.

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Inside the Enemy’s Camp {A Mission That’s Worth a Thousand Crusades}

(Meditating on Psalm 77)

We’re in Psalm 77 in our Journey Through the Psalms Friday, and how very timely to be discussing about it now that our Church, JESUS MIRACLE CRUSADE INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY, had just celebrated the 12th Mindanao Peace Mission Anniversary last October 7.

This is all I could remember about it. I was resting comfortably on our new bed in our new townhouse watching the evening news. I caressed my bulging tummy; I was about 5 months pregnant with our first baby. I saw in the news how these emaciated prayer warriors together with their beloved pastor were battling and struggling against all the hardships they were in as their stay in the Abu Sayyaf camp was prolonged indefinitely. What little I can remember of it (because I didn’t really focus my attention, there were other things in my mind then that were more exciting – how selfish I had been!) was that, those Christian men were staying strong in their faith amidst all the perils around them. I remember thinking, “Why would anyone want to go to that hellish place?”

It would be three years later when my memory would be refreshed about that news, when I was brought to the feet of Jesus at JMCIM, dying and shaking from unexplainable fear. It would be months later, as we continued to serve the Lord and hope for His healing, that I learned that the Church where the Lord had mercifully brought us to was the one who bravely entered the Abu Sayyaf camp to pray for the 21 Sipadan hostages and help with their release.

Every year as the Church celebrated this victorious peace mission in Talipao, Jolo, Sulu in the island of Mindanao, I would hear about the amazing – A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! – testimonies of the 12 prayer warriors who had experienced the horrors of that place in the presence of the fierce Abu Sayyaf. Just a few weeks prior to JMCIM’s entrance to the camp, a Catholic priest, Fr. Gallardo, was captured by them. They extracted all his nails and plucked out his eyes before they brutally chopped off his head.

I cannot now write all the testimonies of God’s mighty deliverance during their three-month ordeal inside the enemy’s camp and the military assault that followed. How could Bible-wielding, weak and emaciated (from daily fasting up in the cruel mountains of Jolo, Sulu) Christian men escape the fierceness of the Abu Sayyaf and later on, the canons and bombs from military planes (for the government had declared an all-out war against the Abu Sayyaf but they (Abu Sayyaf) insisted that the JMCIM Christians would stay close to them)?

I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted. 
(Psalm 77: 1-2)

The bombs would drop from the military planes, cutting off trees and spattering the earth. The Abu Sayyaf would be fleeing to wherever they could escape, but the faith-full Christian men, always anticipating God’s mighty deliverance, would be on their knees, arms raised up to heaven, yielding their bodies to God’s protection WHICH.NEVER.FAILED. (Sobbing now).

And God delivered them triumphantly, all thirteen of them. They were not hurt by the Abu Sayyaf nor the bombs and canons of the military assault. HALLELUIAH!

But the beloved pastor suffered much. Due to prolonged fasting (he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights before entering the Abu Sayyaf camp and continued it during much of their stay in the mountains), his body weakened so much that he could hardly walk and talk. He is still recovering until now. I remember the apostle Paul’s words: I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus (Gal. 6:17).

As the years passed and the Church continued to wait for the beloved pastor’s full recovery and as it travailed still in heartbreaking trials (the passing away of the beloved assistant pastor, Lina C. Almeda, among other trials of faith), some despaired (I was one of them) if the Lord’s eyes and miracles were still on His Church, JMCIM. But we were wrong in even letting that thought enter the mind. For God again showed His amazing miracles – healings, lives changed, deliverance – and let His powerful presence felt in the congregation every worship service.

I read Asaph’s laments and I can imagine the beloved pastor (and the beloved brethren) awake in the night, meditating on God and His wondrous works.

You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.

Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah (vv. 4-9)

I hold these precious words close to my heart. They serve as lamp in the dark, wisdom in weakness and confusion.

Last Sunday, October 7, the whole Church gathered together again to remember God’s goodness and celebrate His mighty deeds that He has shown. Once again, brethren, specially the prayer warriors of the victorious Talipao peace mission, shouted out their praise, testimonies, and celebratory messages in the pulpit. Human strength is not enough to shout out God’s wondrous works to the ends of the earth.

And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples. 
(vv. 10-14)

Below, I share with you photos of this blessed event. I pray these will be a blessing to you.

Congregational singing – joyful. These were those on the grounds.

The beloved brethren with their umbrellas to fend off the heat of the sun.

The Children’s Choir

Youngsters in worship (Children’s Choir)

The Adults’ Choir (brothers’ side)

Youth and Singles’ Choirs combined. Those on their knees were being filled by the Holy Spirit.

The musicians

A sister worshiping.

Beloved workers in the vineyard of the Lord (preachers, prayer warriors, pastoral workers).

The Jesus Finest Generation Choir

Up close

Hands in praise

The beloved JMCIM mimers

The Adults’ Choir (sisters’ side)

Our dearly beloved Hon. Pastor Wilde E. Almeda in the pulpit. He was in the verge of tears remembering how God had mightily delivered him and the 12 prayer warriors.

The altar call

Endnotes:

  • I thank beloved Bro. Edu Cortez of ExtremeDetails for providing the beautiful photos. God bless you so much more, Bro. Edu! (Lord willing, I hope to get some photography lessons from you in the coming days :)).
  • I was blessed to have browsed the manuscript of the book written about the Talipao peace mission by an American (CIA) who had studied and followed through the whole event. I hope and pray that it will be published soon.
I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.

My Continual Habitation

(Meditating on Psalm 71)

I love how the King James Version puts it: Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. The Lord God is David’s strong habitation, and He is mine, too. And I’m not saying it just because the Bible says so, but because I have experienced first-hand how to continually resort to God. Yes, even in sleeping hours. When one is sick and suffering, God, indeed, becomes a continual habitation: every labored breath, every faint heartbeat, every ray of hope, every thought that’s actually a thought-prayer, every earnest song the soul sings – rests in the comfort and security of this sure habitation that surrounds, embraces even, one’s being.

A habitation is a place where one lives. Even though one may go to a journey, always, one would come back to where one dwells. But with my Father in heaven, I see it more than that. I see that wherever I go, though I may journey far and wide, He, my continual habitation, goes with me.

If we make God our strong habitation whereunto we resort continually [uninterruptedly – whatever we do, wherever we go], then we are actually never leaving the comfort of a home. He then is the roof that shelters us from the storm; the walls that shield us from the plague and protect us from violence and danger; and the ground on which we surely stand. For in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Whatever season of life we are and even through our old age, He will be a shelter to us.

Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not… (Psalm 71:18)

Friends, believe in these promises, think about these things, let them be steeped in our hearts and minds, and we will find rest for our souls.

God Saves Us from Our Adversaries {and the Testimony of Bro. Albert D.}

(Meditating on Psalm 70)

Let them be ashamed and confounded
Who seek my life;
Let them be turned back[a] and confused
Who desire my hurt. 
(Psalm 70:2)

I was reading and re-reading Psalm 70 and thinking what would I write about it for Journey Through the Psalms Friday, then I remembered the testimony of Bro. Albert D., a former member of the New People’s Army (NPA). I cannot write everything in detail here, but I hope a brief retelling of it would suffice (I’m writing from memory of his testimony which I’ve heard a few times).

This testimony would prove that God gives His angels charge over His children, the elect, so that they will be safe in all their goings-out and comings-in. (And I pray that you will not grow tired of reading testimonies of God’s mighty power, saving grace and miracles for how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? ~ Heb. 2:3-5).

For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways. 
(Psalm 91:11)

I just love this verse, don’t you? I pray it morning and evening for my family like this, “Give Thy angels charge over them…” and always, peace and assurance from the Lord and King wash over me.

In the late 80s, when our beloved Hon. Pastor, Evangelist Wilde Almeda was zealously preaching against communism, two members of the NPA from Mindanao were sent to assassinate him. One of them was Bro. Albert D. They started surveillance of the beloved evangelist’s movements. They would wait at the curb outside of the pastoral house for hours on end everyday. Bro. Albert testifies that they would be falling asleep waiting for the beloved pastor to come out. One time, one of them asked someone who came out of the pastoral house what the beloved pastor was doing. They were told that he was praising, worshiping, praying and fasting and would not be coming out for hours yet.

Later on, they were able to study the beloved pastor’s schedule. He regularly went out during worship days, without fail. Many times they attempted to shoot him during a stop at an intersection, but always, their high-powered weapons failed. They would return to their rented house and fire their rifles and guns and these would be working perfectly.

Months passed and they failed to assassinate the man of God. They later received news from the province that they were already the ones being hunted down by the group. Bro. Albert’s parents warned him not to come home. Later, he learned that his parents were murdered.

One day, he was trying to escape his pursuers. He happened to pass by the Quezon City Memorial Circle. He saw that there were many people gathered inside. The crowd was thick and he believed that he could hide safely in the midst of the throng. And so he did.

He escaped his attackers but he would soon find out that he fell directly into the hands of the living God (but in a good, marvelous way!). As he stood amidst the worshiping crowd, he recognised the man on stage. With fury rising up and pulsing in his veins, he drew near the stage and aimed his gun at the beloved evangelist, muttering, “You are the reason my family was murdered! Now, I’m going to finish you!”

But before he could pull the trigger, he saw two beings standing before and behind the beloved evangelist ready to strike. They were huge beings in white, according to Bro. Albert. He was so stricken with fear that he fell upon his knees, shocked and completely without strength. At this point, some brethren noticed him and they arrested him. But the beloved pastor stopped them, declaring, “Don’t arrest him! For God is the One who just arrested him.”

And that was how Bro. Albert was amazingly saved. He didn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ before this time. The Lord revealed Himself to him in His own wonderful, marvelous way! And that was how our beloved pastor was miraculously delivered from his adversaries.

GOD

IS

AWESOME!

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!” 
(Psalm 70:4)

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Which Side are You On: Faith or Fear?

JMCIM brethren worshiping on the grounds of Amoranto Stadium during a Sunday service.

I often share about the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit in our church, not only during worship services but also in everyday life. I have mentioned a few times before and I’ll mention it again now (I hope you won’t grow tired of it), that we have worship services three-times-a-week: on Fridays, it’s an overnight service from 8:30pm to 4:30am the next day, and on Sundays, it’s a whole-day affair from 10am to 5pm. What do we do in so many hours, you ask?

Most of the time is spent in testimonies. In-between choir singing (5-6 different choirs), brethren in Christ take turns in testifying in the pulpit of the miracles, healings, and mighty deliverances God has wrought in our lives. These testimonies are not only salvation and conversion stories, but ordinary and extraordinary miracles that the faithful encounter in daily life. (I could say that we are always on the look-out for such and we won’t delay in bragging/declaring about them in the pulpit for the glory of God).

That’s why I was surprised to read how other Christians in the other side of the globe react to supposedly God’s miracle and mighty deliverance.

I’m currently reading this Christian book and I was really enjoying it until I reached near the end where the author related a story about their family being involved in a serious road accident where their car was totaled beyond repair, but they themselves walked out of it unscathed. What the author went through afterwards was what caught my attention, and there, I noticed the big difference between the “practice of faith” in other Christians’ lives and ours.

The author relates how she, after the accident, went through great anxiety as she recalled what happened to their family that night. She writes that it was as though the room was filled with fear as she thought about “what could have been” and bemoaned the almost endless what ifs. These haunted her as her sense of safety became decidedly undone. God just delivered her and her whole family from a near-fatal accident, making them walk away with barely a scratch and she writes that she didn’t feel safe!

This miracle in their life should have decidedly proven to them that God protects and delivers His children, and instead of being engulfed with fear, this should have brought them into that place of celebration and thanksgiving.

Marvel at and be in awe of God’s mighty deliverance and not on the foiled plan of the enemy.

I respect her feelings; she’s entitled to them. But I just want to emphasize the difference between a Christian walking in faith, and thus, victory, and one who is walking in fear and uncertainty. What I’ve read in that part of her book is not at all how we are taught, time and again, to walk in faith.

I’ve heard numerous testimonies in church of miracles of similar nature. In fact, I’ve written some of them, and continue to write: brethren who had been delivered from serious road and air accidents, shooting incidents, bombingsrobbery in public transport, robbery hold-ups, kidnapping, in danger of rebels, rape, electrocution accidents, calamities – you name it! I’ve heard multitudes of them I’ve lost count! And of course, our family has had its share of these miracles, too.

Brethren safely walking out of disasters that could have easily taken their lives. Why? The God we serve is mighty to save and deliver! And this should be declared in the pulpits and wherever we go. These testimonies remind me of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. For the God who delivered them then is still the same God that we serve now.

These events that happen don’t end up buried in fear and anxiety, but they culminate in the pulpit where glory is proclaimed as it should be and given to Whom glory is due – only to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!

She also writes that “[God] never promises our families will be safe. Not in the way we think. He does promise His presence, though.” How can a child of God not be safe in His presence?

There is a difference between the children of God – the redeemed – and the children of disobedience, aside from the salvation of their souls, and that is His manifest presence in their lives. And where the presence of the Lord is, there His protection is also.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. 
(Is. 43:1-2)

The silhouette of an angel photographed during JMCIM’s Church Foundation Anniversary, Feb. 2012.

The angel[a] of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. 
(Psalm 34:7)

Are [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Heb. 1:14)

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:10-12)

Endnotes:

  1. Read more of God’s testimonies here.
  2. Read the whole of Psalm 91 here.
  3. What I’ve discussed regarding the book is not my complete review of it.
  4. Know more about Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry here.

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My gratitude list ~ the gifts I received from the hand of the gracious Lord:

  • This last song of the Jesus Finest Generation Choir, Still, the humbling, the weeping, the tears, the indescribable hunger, the screaming guitar, the frantic hands on the piano, the one on the mambo drums crying out, the outpouring, the crescendo, the mighty sound all intermingling, heightening into a beautiful, magnificent, glorious praise and worship! The sobs came loud and strong – uncontrollable! And the whole being was once again embraced, enrapt in His powerful, palpable presence! Halleluiah!
  • Listening to the Bible Study of beloved Hon. Asst. Pastor Lina C. Almeda.
  • This Coffee Crumble with Chocolate Ripple homemade ice cream (and the reminiscing it brought!) that the whole family loves.
  • This Date and Walnut Bread using dates from Saudi Arabia, a gift from a beloved sister in Christ.

 

I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.

 

Remain Faithful

I sit in the garden and I can’t help noticing the yellowing leaves of the Narra tree and its seeds maturing and browning, and a whiff of melancholy passes over my heart for a fleeting moment. It reminds me that not too long from now, it will shed all of its leaves and it’s Autumn again. I think of how time flies so swiftly, and for a moment, I get a glimpse of how I’ve been spending my days. Have I been riding on the wings of time, celebrating each moment and each season I’ve been graciously given? For time is a gift; we can never take hold of it. We can only spend it as the Lord purposes it to be: redeeming the time (Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days ~ Eph. 5:16).

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Rom. 13:11)

I had a surprise visit with an old friend last week. In 2008, their family moved to Japan and has been living there ever since. She had visited me about two years ago, but I wasn’t feeling well then so I didn’t see her. But she brought copies of my book Walking Along the Narrow Path to Japan to be given out to her friends there.

So, she comes to visit but her family isn’t with her (holding only a picture of her daughter, Erika, who is Hannah’s childhood friend and a card from her for Hannah). We talk about Japan’s great earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed just moments later in 2011. Tears threaten to leak out as I tell her how worried we had been for them and how futile my attempts were at contacting them (for I couldn’t, their cell phones and email not working). But prayers were enough. They are always enough.

She tells me they were just slightly affected by the earthquake (she means this in material damage but she sure was horrified swaying with the trembling earth). She says they were so scared, but thankful that they were not affected by the tsunami. Then, she gets serious as she tells us about the nuclear radiation. They are only a few kilometers away from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. They live in Ibaraki prefecture.

She says that the whole world has gone silent after months of bad news from the nuclear reactor meltdown, but in Japan, they are living with an invisible enemy. She says that local officials declared that they are not in war with a seen enemy, for then, they could defend themselves. But they are waging war with a killer that can’t be driven away. As she talks, I am thinking of Psalm 91. My personal, precious psalm.

 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (Psalm 91:5-6)

I ask how they are. Have they been experiencing any symptoms of sickness caused by exposure to radiation? No. Thank You, God!

Her Japanese husband doesn’t want to move, though my friend has been nudging him about it. Now, she comes home to Manila to buy a condo unit. Just in case.

I tell her that’s a good decision. (For I wouldn’t act as if I’m perfectly strong spiritually. Didn’t I want to move after experiencing the great flood of 2009 which reached the 6th step of our staircase?).

What do all these things mean? She wants to know. (When they were living in Manila, she attended a Christian congregation different from ours. By God’s grace, I always ended up giving counsel to her).

“The end is near” is my answer. “We cannot do anything about it. We can’t stop it. It’s written in the Word,” I continue. She’s nodding.

“What shall we do?” There’s pain in her voice. I see it, too, in her eyes.

“Remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ”, I answer earnestly. I search her eyes and hold her gaze, and say it again, almost imploring, “Remain faithful to the Lord.” …He who endures to the end will be saved (Mat. 10:22).

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Rev. 2:10)

How do we remain faithful?

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep His Word.

Trust only in Him. No, not in people or in our own resources, wisdom and strength.

Love Him above all things. Let your love for Him be constantly ablaze. Draw ever nearer to Him. He will draw ever nearer to you. For nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35-39).

Abide in Him. Cling to Him. He gives to us eternal life; and we shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck us out of His hand (John 10:28).

Seek Him in the morning and in the evening. Hide under the shadow of His wings, in His ever protective Presence. His Spirit who dwells in us is our seal. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph. 4:30)

Declare Him to the unsaved.

Hold on to His promises. They are our bright, shining hope and durable inheritance.

To complete the reading of this post, please take a moment to meditate on Psalm 91 here.

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Now, for my gratitude list (my gifts from His hand, in photos and words):

Freshly-baked orange carrot bread. But more than this, it reminds me of my Savior who “took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”” (1 Cor. 11:23-24)

Finally learning how to photograph at dusk or when the sky is dark and a heavy downpour is looming. To be able to capture that kind of atmosphere was a sweet accomplishment :).

Lounging with family on a Sunday night.

Listening to Hannah play the piano. I thank the Lord for His gift to her.

 

Might be linking up with A Holy ExperienceBetter Mom MondaysDomestically DivineRaising HomemakersBrag on God FridayEncourage My HeartSpiritual SundaysState of the HeartTeach Me TuesdayTeaching What is GoodTitus 2sdaysWomen in the Word WednesdayWomen Living Well