Living by Faith

I want to make living by faith as a lifestyle. 

Living by faith, trusting in God in all circumstances and see His goodness comes through in every situation. 

I have always put my trust in God during challenging circumstances but i want to bring up my faith to a whole new level. A level where i can still trust in Him even though i am powerless to solve the challenging situation. And to be able to testify of His faithfulness and grace that abounds in it.

I was challenged by today’s sermon. The guest pastor preached about God’s silence. There are times in our christian walk when we experienced a dry period where we feel like God is not with us. Our prayers seem to just hit the ceiling and bounce back to us and we feel so tired. But God is actually still with us, He give us this dry period to strengthen our faith and walk with Him.

Three main reasons for God’s silence:

1. To cure our self-deception: There are times when we just become so self sufficient because everything in our lives are going really smoothly and we somehow forget about God. When problems arises, we tend to look to our own resources first to solve the problem instead of focusing on God. And only when we have no other choice that we turn to God and realize that He is the almighty God. God wants us to come to Him not only when we need help but in every circumstance because He loves us and care about us.

2. To challenge our Faith in God’s word: God’s word is the foundation for our faith in God. All of His promises are inside there. We have to see beyond our physical limitations and trust in His word.

3. To cement our relationship with God: As we trust in Him completely with humility and obedience, the relationship becomes stronger because our hearts are changed. We are not bothered by our circumstances as we trust in God to bring the best out of it. And He is a God who never fails. He will deliver on His word for us and we are able to see His goodness. 

I felt really inspired and uplifted by this sermon. I am much more assured of the fact that God will always be with me. I have no need to fear as i have entrust my everything into His loving hands. And i will follow God, just like a little child, trusting and obeying His guidance for my life. I don’t need to worry what will happen in the future but i will just trust in God day by day for i know He is in control. 

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God is in control no matter what

These past 2 weeks, 3 civilian planes have crashed and hundreds of lives are gone just like that. 

Nobody will ever imagine these tragedies to even occur and the whole world are shocked. 

There is also an ongoing war between Israel and Gaza and many innocent civilians are killed everyday. Although i do not understand why the war actually started but taking of lives is an absolute no. 

Looking at all these events, all i could is to pray for peace and protection for the world. The world is getting more and more chaotic. People are panicking because who knows what might happen tomorrow? 

All these events only teaches me to treasure my loved ones even more. Every single moment counts.

Do not get too discouraged because God is still in control. The world may be chaotic but God is not panicking. He knows and watches everything. We may never fully understand why all these things happen but God still has a plan and purpose for it. 

Do not get swept up by the chaos but trust in God even more. This is God’s main desire for us. 

May you have the peace of heart that comes not from this world, but from God and nobody can snatch it away.

Virtual identity vs Real identity offline

This thought came about in relation to the formal blogging i have to do by tomorrow. 

On a side note: Formal blogging is really tedious in a way that i have to find statements from readings to support my points and i have to find a related article, image and reference all of them. I got so frustrated partly because i have not much idea on what i am exactly supposed to type about as the lecture slides are not up yet and i don’t really understand the readings. So i kind of rant on my formal blogging instead. This blog post will be quite a negative one unfortunately.

Anyway back to the main topic of virtual identity versus real identity. 

I doubt that we can fully accurately portray our true selves online. In fact because our virtual identities are first created by ourselves so whatever information we put up onto this virtual platform is subjective and not objective. That is why it is not good to judge a person based on his/her virtual identity. Virtual identity can be manipulated and changed accordingly to how the individual wants to portray himself as which may not be true at all in real life. 

The best way to truly know a person is to have a conversation face to face and not behind screens. Personally i don’t like the idea of making friends online through social apps because i want to make authentic and sincere friendships. I find it hard to trust a person whom i had never met before. 

I believe that virtual identities are various forms of a person instead of it as a collective whole because people will always want to be something different on a new platform. The different virtual identities of an individual may reflect the aspirations of him/her that is unable to be done in real life and so he/she turn to developing virtual identities. To view it from another perspective, it is that the person get to develop different sides to himself/herself that he/she may not have thought about before on a virtual platform. 

Depending on how one views it, there are pros and cons to having a virtual identity which are different from real life identity. The cons is that people turn to it as a place to run to to avoid a problem faced in real life. Worst still if the person develop a violent virtual identity and acted upon it in real life. Eg: A virtual gun game may be the trigger to a person taking a real gun and shooting down the bullies in school as a form of justice.

For me, i feel that i have different virtual identities on different platforms and all of these are just various forms of me. Nobody can truly know me as a person based on one virtual platform alone. Like this blog is just a collection of feelings and thoughts i faced in different situations but i do not exactly go about mentioning how my day went each day. Unless you know me well enough, you won’t be able to accurately know who i am because this blog is a mixture of emotions and not on my character. 

Therefore having a virtual identity brings about responsibility and empowerment. You are empowered to decide on what information you want to show and how you want to portray it and you have to be responsible and aware on the impact you make on the virtual network. 

 

Feeling like an adult

I am turning 20 this year. But age does not define maturity or independence. 

In my thoughts, i feel like i am older than my peers in terms of thinking because i think too much. In my actions, i am just like the rest of my peers but i don’t go after trends. In fact i much rather prefer to stay at home and just chill by reading a book or watching videos. In that way i am actually kind of out of sync in terms of knowing about worldly trends. I used to find that as a concern but now i don’t care. I know who i am and i am comfortable with myself. I guess being an adult requires you to have some knowledge on what your identity is. That you will not be tossed and turned by the expectations of the world around you but that your own character will make its own mark. 

Entering university requires me to be more proactive and independent as compared to poly. Currently i am starting to get used to the pace of university life and i am thinking of ways to manage my time  more effectively so that i won’t be stressing myself too much. I also have to be more detail oriented when it comes to doing essays because elaboration is important so i cannot be so lazy anymore.

Being an adult requires responsibility for one’s own actions. I am already doing that but i have to reach a higher level of maturity and perspective. I am still inexperienced in many areas as i am still a student after all.

I am already doing the laundry on my own. But to me, true independence is when i am able to reach a level where i can live on my own and manages my life well. So i still have quite a long way to go. 

Feeling like an adult can be tiring because you have to do everything yourself. As much as i am becoming an adult, but i will make sure to stay youthful in my thinking. I will not let life rob me of my dreams and aspirations. With God, anything is possible. 

The Joy of the Lord is my strength

I have always want to be a joyful person deep down inside since many years ago. 

Due to the challenging circumstances that i have encountered when growing up, i was a uptight person who do not show much emotions to others because i was insecure and afraid. I do not really express much emotions at home because i am afraid of backlash and it is the major source of my hurts. 

I am at my best self when i am with friends. I can freely express my love and concern for them because i have the freedom to decide how i want to act without getting so much backlash. But i tend to subconsciously placed unrealistic expectations on them like i show them lots of appreciation through words of affirmation and i hope to receive it myself back in return but i do not really tell them that i want it. I know it is my own expectation that causes my own disappointment and i do not harbor resentment against any of my friends. This expectation came about because i was hoping to get some love since i cannot get much from home. 

But in the midst of trying to find sources of love, i neglected the primary source of all. And that is the love of God. I know that God loves me but i think of it as a knowledge more than really experiencing it. I do feel His love when i attend church but because i didn’t focus on Him, i was not able to experience the richness of His unconditional love. 

Although i neglected God, He did not throw me away. Instead He silently brings strength and comfort to me the most especially in challenging circumstances. I used to wonder sometimes how i even got through this circumstance and became stronger instead of becoming weaker. The only answer is the love and grace of God. I could not get through it alone. I became a better person through being able to see the bigger perspectives of situations and i know what things truly matters. I have become more relaxed in that i do not run after every single thing but to live life at my own pace. 

In this way, God is helping me to become a joyful person, to be able to see the sliver lining in every bad situation and to be thankful for what i currently have. Just today when i causally asked my university friends to describe me, they mentioned that i am outgoing, happy and a insightful person. Their impressions of me were based on my interactions with them in university. They have not read this blog so they did not know what i have went through recently. I am quite glad actually because my interactions with them are genuine. I did not put up a happy mask to hide myself, i was primarily more interested in fostering better friendships with them. 

I am glad that i am on my way to be a joyful person. I want to be joyful and thankful no matter what circumstances i am in and my source of Joy primarily comes from God. He has given me strength to face my circumstances and He is the reason why i live. The joy of the Lord is my strength!

Spiritual attack

What is a spiritual attack? 

It is when the devil attacks us physically and emotionally which causes us to lose our spiritual hunger for God. We just don’t feel like ourselves and just want to stay in bed the whole time and don’t do anything. 

The devil is an evil spirit whose aim is to steal, kill and destroy. The devil hates humans because humans are God’s beloved creation and he is jealous of us. He will just do anything to destroy. I know it is hard for non-believers to understand but we believe that there are evil forces out there that is working hard to eliminate us or to be more specific to lose our faith in God and perish in hell after we die. 

There are many types of spiritual attack targeted at different situations. 

Sometimes not all the bad things that happen in our lives are due to our own folly. Sometimes the bad situations just came out from nowhere. It is like nobody can stop it from happening. I don’t call it unlucky, it is not, it most probably came from the devil. Or even when we know that the bad situation is due to our own folly, but somehow it spiraled into something more worse, the devil is behind that too. 

I am not trying to throw off all my responsibility and blame the devil for what is going wrong in my life but i do recognize that some things no matter how much i try to minimize the impact, it still became worse and it is no longer something within my control. 

I feel that my family is always a hot target for the devil to attack. Family is the foundation for love for almost everybody because everybody is born into a family. Everybody learn the basics of love and all the good values from being in a family first. The sense of belonging, the knowledge of being loved gives the person the intrinsic security and confidence to be himself/herself as he/she grows up and faces new challenges. In fact the source of sense of self worth comes from the family first. The devil attacks easily when conflict occurs and the parties involved start developing bitterness towards each other. When people do not forgive, it gives a leeway for the devil to come in and plant all the bad seeds. That when the next conflict occurs, the person will be reminded of the previous conflict and anger and the relationship will become more worse. 

This is what happen to my family and to me as well. Bitterness is the root of conflict and it just tears everybody apart. I have tried my best to forgive each time but to be frank, i am not sure if i have really forgiven. But i thank God that despite all the challenges my family and i faced, till now we still have not officially separated. Currently we are all in the cooling off phrase, all i can do is to pray for God’s protection for my family.

Just yesterday i experienced a spiritual attack myself while i am in church service. I just suddenly felt so tired emotionally and physically that i could not focus much on the sermon. I was fidgety and wanted to head home quickly to lie on my bed. Terrible feeling. I was reminded of a book i had at home on spiritual attacks and i read it when i reached home.

I then realized that praying to God for help is not enough, i have to stand up and resist the devil myself too. Active faith is required for this and i just proclaimed on the word of God that i will not let the devil defeat me and i will get even stronger because God is my defender. I felt significantly better after that. 

To me, a spiritual attack is not scary because God is with me. I feel His presence and peace and just as He is working things out on my behalf, i have to play a part by focusing on Him and reading His Word to strengthen my inner self. 

Standstill

The situation have not improved yet at all. Right now it seems frozen with all of us trying to live life per normal because we have to.

I am praying for a miracle. My heart is mostly at peace most of the time (or i managed to block out all my emotions) which i am not sure but i believe it is the former not the latter. Sometimes a wave of sadness will just suddenly hit me and i will just try to get over it.

I have been busy with school work. Trying to make sure that i get used to the pace of university life like doing my readings before lectures and i have a essay, photo deco and a blog post all due next week. Procrastination should never appear in my dictionary because if it occurs, i will really suffer later on.  Psychology modules in general are tedious because it involves lots of research and references but it is pretty interesting overall. 

I am grateful to God that i am in this big group of girl friends and it really helps to have friends together with me. I do not feel so alone in this although i am not particularly close to anyone yet but all of them are really nice. I kind of become more extroverted when i am with them because it is a big group. 

I miss my home a lot when i am in university partly because i really wanted to relax and rest and do my own things. My university is really far from my house and i always want to quickly get home so that i have more time relaxing. Although school is fun but i really want a break. I will always ensure that i have some time alone to myself everyday so that i can recharge myself physically and mentally. 

Yeah that is how this week went, i shall stop here and be back with more stuff soon in my next post.