Faith never makes sense…

In a few hours, hubby and I will be flying off to the US. While it is an exciting trip not just for us, but for four more friends who will be traveling with us, it is a trip that involves a lot of faith.

We are all going to the US as a church planting team. We will be attending a church planting conference and attending a series of meetings that will help equip us a church planters.

Faith is defined in the Bible as such: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Many will wonder why we are making this trip. There are many unknowns in a country that is currently going through a recession. As a team and as couples, we incurred a lot of expenses just to go through with this trip. But contrary to what most people will think, we are not going on a whim. We are going by faith.

Faith is probably one of the hardest truths to explain. It is a strong and deep conviction that happens inside our hearts that compels us to action and obedience to God, often times without regard for the possible consequences. And the only reason for this deliberate disregard of the possible consequences is faith in a God who will take care of these same “consequences”.

When God calls us to step out in faith, we do so with eyes wide open and focused on him alone. Once we look around at our situation and circumstances, we will falter and stumble in our walk just like Peter did when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink in the water (Matthew 14:30).

"Follow Me" by Spencer Williams

"Follow Me" by Spencer Williams

Did it make sense for Peter to walk on water when Jesus asked him to in Matthew 14: 28-30?

“28‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

29‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'”

Just like Peter, our team prayed together and asked Jesus to reveal his calling to us to plant churches. He did and affirmed his call to each of us. In faith, we all believe that God convicted us to go and attend the conference and do the rest of the work he wants us to do for a month  in the US regardless of our present financial and other situations. And if we do sink, Jesus will always save us, just as he did Peter.

“31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ – Matthew 14:31

Does it make sense? No, it doesn’t. But is it what God is telling us to do? Yes, we believe it is. My husband called it “being foolish for God.” Will he take care of all our worries and anxieties about this trip? Yes, he will — if we surrender them all to him. He promised his blessed peace in Philippians 4: 6-7;

“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Will he provide for all our needs? Yes, he will, and more.

No, we don’t have all the evidences to show people because God is revealing himself and his promises to us one step at a time. We are on a journey of faith and all will be revealed in God’s good time. And as we walk with him, we will declare his praises wherever he takes us.

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The Power of a Mother’s Prayer

PrayingWomanTwo weeks ago, the mother of Philippine democracy, former president Corazon (Cory) Aquino, was laid to rest beside her husband Ninoy. Our nation mourns the loss of a strong, courageous, peaceful and prayerful woman. She was known to pray every single day, several times a day, for her family and for our country. She was quoted as saying:

“So I cannot think of myself as being separate from the good Lord. And my whole day is dedicated to Him. I mean, I say that in the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day, I address myself to the Lord. So I pray that those who do not believe in Him hopefully will be given that grace, to go to Him so that their lives will be that much better, and that they will be able to handle whatever problems or trials come their way.” – Excerpt from her interview with Dr. Shann Ferch, 2007

Much has been said about the power of prayer. I live every moment of my life in constant communication with our Father in heaven and I cannot imagine any other life without it. He is the reason for my being, my hope and purpose for living. Also, my many prayers would have been for naught without our good Lord who answers each and every one of them. And I believe that many of my answered prayers are prayers my mom also said for me and my sister.

I recently had a wonderful conversation with two mothers in one of our larger congregations. I asked them if they believed in the power of their prayers for their families and they both readily agreed. Many times it could feel like God is not answering their prayers for their children when, as teenagers, they struggle to find their identities and establish themselves in their world. They make a lot of mistakes that cause them pain and make them take the rebellion road, but they eventually find their way back and realize who brought them there.

One mother was very grateful that her daughter, whom she prayed for and spent sleepless nights crying over, realized the error of her ways and has dedicated herself to serving her church through her gifts. Only later did this mother realize that she had prayed for this specifically many years ago and had almost forgotten about it until it came to fruition.

The other mom firmly believes that no matter what happens to her children, they will always go back on the right track because God honors all her prayers for them. She is now enjoying the fruit of those prayers as her children remain open with her and also share their faith with their office colleagues and friends. She enjoys a close relationship with them and continues to pray for them.

My mom always prayed for me and my sister. She prayed that God would always look after us, that he would draw us closer to him, that he would protect us from harm, that he would give us good and loving husbands who would also faithfully provide for us, and that God’s purpose for us will be fulfilled. Many violent storms have passed in our lives since our mom went home to our Lord, but we have weathered them all because our Father honored each and every heartfelt prayer. Some storms left us battered and bruised, but we still stand because of God’s goodness and mercy, and his faithfulness to our mom who dedicated her life to him.

I miss my mom. Whenever I begin to wonder if anyone out there is praying for me, I think of her and know that her prayer lives in me and sustains me. I pray that all mothers will realize how special and powerful their prayers are. In the midst of all our worries and fears, our Lord urges us to pray and he promises his blessed peace.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)