Categories
recovery

Finding cure in divine forgiveness and Love

When I was an atheist, two psychologists helped me navigate and cope with a series of life events that crushed me. But they never healed me. I never healed until I surrendered to Love.

To say that I was hanging by a thread would be an understatement. And although I have a lot of appreciation for deeply humane and loving psychologists like the ones who helped me, there’s only so much they can do. 

I couldn’t imagine myself going one week without therapy. At that point I felt emotionally crippled. My life was a full-time burden.

That’s when I did the unimaginable. One night I surrendered and asked God for help. Being an atheist, I had no idea what I was doing. But I had a crushed, humble heart as I called him. And God listened.

God healed overnight what two different psychologists couldn’t heal in years.

For the first time in my life I knew that there was one who loved me just the way I always wanted to be loved. And his divine love set me free.

God’s love worked in me to forgive others who had been the root cause of a lot of emotional turmoil in my life. And he also taught me to forgive myself.

Without God’s love, I could never have healed. 

It is his divine and eternal love in me that makes it possible to forgive everyone and the world everyday, regardless of merit. And heal.

Categories
recovery

Love blossoms in weakness

Being weak reminds us that no matter how hard we try to be strong and stay strong, we still crash and burn. Because we are only truly strong when we rely on God’s love for strength.

While we live the illusion that we got it, we close ourselves to the infinite possibilities of his loving power. We can drive ourselves crazy strategizing solutions for our failures, or trust that he makes the impossible happen when we seek him.

God’s loving power is perfected in our weakness. When we humbly acknowledge how limited and powerless we are, he steps in to teach us how to navigate life under his grace.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Paul

He teaches us to give it all to him to live better: our worries, our pains, our frustrations and failures. Then we can enjoy this peace that only the One who made us can give us.

With a grateful heart, we are able to see his blessings in our lives and the many times he rescued us from our hopelessness. He knows what we need and always gives more than what we ask for.

He is the way maker, our strength and path to eternal life.

Categories
love recovery

Jewish conversion stories

After seeing the One for Israel ads on YouTube, a friend from a group of believers shared how touching these video testimonies were and I finally watched them.

It’s so inspiring to hear the stories of people whose lives were changed literally forever the moment they asked for help and received far more than just help. They received eternal life.

I hope you will be touched and encouraged by how the One who made us transformed these lives. What a blessing it is to know him and follow his gracious way!

Categories
love recovery

Savouring the bread of life

Grace is the expression of love. And love is the nature of God.

When God is expressed and revealed in Jesus, his love becomes grace and we are able to experience it as we seek him.

We were once dark and became one with darkness. Now we are light because we are one with God. And God is light.

As his beloved children, we share his divine life and nature. In other words, our calling is to be imitators of God.

When we receive God as grace and experience him as truth, he makes his home in our spirit and we enjoy his love and light.

He gives us our daily bread, and he is the bread of life.

Categories
god love

The life that cannot be quarantined or claimed

Being alive in this world is not the same as having life.

When we follow Jesus, we learn to challenge the mindset of this world at all times. And this time is no different from any other.

The only thing that can be quarantined in us is already dead. And that’s our bodies and worldly desires. It is only a matter of time until we are physically dead, but we know very well that there is only one life to live, and that life is in the spirit.

Since life is in the spirit, our relationship with the One who made us does not require attendance to a place. This should become progressively clear for believers now.

And while it is wonderful to have a good community and gather at a place, this community doesn’t need that place to exist.

I follow a community from another country that is mostly online since 2014. I have only interacted with one of them twice, yet their preaching has been the best support system I’ve ever had.

And then there is the apostle Paul, who often wrote letters filled with joy from dungeons, chained, starved, ill, lonely.

Because his life is in the spirit, Paul’s joy is not circumstantial. And neither should our joy be dependant on our circumstances.

God’s love is the constant that fills our spirit with peace and joy.

Whether Paul is free to roam around or a prisoner in chains, he experiences the same life and the eternal joy that comes with it. The joy of God’s love when we live with him in our spirit.

Don’t be fooled, the darkness of this world rules just as much when we are having the “time of our lives.”

Times of struggle really are the perfect opportunity to draw us closer to the One who loves us unconditionally, because his power is perfected in our weakness.

It is God’s love that guides us to navigate this darkness and rescues us when he makes his home in our spirit.

We have his assurance that our suffering is going to pass along with the world when we believe in the One he sent to save us. And we live with confident hope while he grooms us for eternity.

Categories
god love

Pray and do your best

When I was an atheist, my mother would say things like “I’ll pray for God to help you write a good exam” and that was enough to upset me. I’d then ask her back “Will God write it for me?”

Yes, I was the typical insufferable atheist. I always thought of myself as wiser and intellectually superior to others who believed in God. I even thought I was good and that I would have a good life if it weren’t for all the others around me who were so bad.

It took a lot of being crushed in life to humble me down and make me realize I wasn’t good. And when I actually needed help and support, this world provided it to some extent, but the effect was very short lived. Until I reached the point of no return.

I was doing therapy at the time and I remember my psychologist asking me if I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to live without psychological help. And, yes, I was convinced that was the case. I was emotionally crippled without having a mental illness, depression, anxiety — nothing that warranted a diagnostic. I just felt the weight of this loveless world.

I bring this up because, nowadays, I understand why people get angry at the idea of prayer as a means to cope with difficult situations. Although they are too arrogant to see it, they are coming from the same place of hopelessness where I was most of my life. And my arrogance peaked as I reached rock bottom.

That said, when God calls us, he doesn’t expect us to pray and then sit around waiting for his deliverance. Everything good in our lives comes from God, yet we need to do what we can. There is a significant difference between hope and omission.

Only religious people will call for prayer and leave it at that when there are ways to offer pragmatic help along with prayer.

There is rarely any situation in this world when all we can do is pray. Normally, the Creator of the Universe also gives us the understanding of when and how to offer a hand to others in need.

As we share God’s divinity, his love in us keeps us away from these worldly extremes. We can neither behave as insufferably arrogant atheists nor as omissive religious people. Wherever these behaviours operate, a relationship with God does not exist.

Let’s remember it is God’s love that infuses balance into our lives, a balance this world knows nothing about. Armed with his love, we can pray and take action. We just need to let him guide us.

Categories
forgiveness love

Confessing to the right One

Living in truth is not the same as telling the truth. While a change of heart can bring people together and love can heal, simply spitting out the truth can have the opposite effect.

In the course of your life, you have probably known a person who doesn’t forgive someone because of what they did to her.

This is an evil world where people punish each other’s wrongdoings, sometimes for life. And where people tell the truth for many reasons, including to crush others.

That is why confessing to the right One is so important.

And the right One is God.

When we confess to him, our conscience is already being transformed. Our very repentance is his power at work in us.

His love encourages us to act the way we were meant to act and make things right, armed with the confidence of his forgiveness.

He does not want us to crush our loved ones with a “truth” he already forgave us for and that his grace has blessed us to repent from. His will is for us to try again and love one another.

Categories
love recovery

Live in truth to find peace

One of the teachings from the gospels that impacted my actions the most was this one from Matthew 5:37: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”

What Jesus is calling us to do is to live in truth. Because when we bypass the truth, for whatever reason, we embrace evil.

At first this passage from the gospel was eye opening for me when it came to significant events and relationships in my life. But only now am I being able to apply it to my everyday life.

A common outcome in my relationships was that I would bottle up what seemed to be small, unimportant issues. Only to experience them pile up overtime and become a big deal.

And what was the big deal? That right at the start I said “Yes, I will” when, deep inside, I meant “No, I won’t”.

For the sake of being flexible, I would often avoid saying “No, I won’t” unless it was something important to me. And let me tell you, I was very misguided about that.

We have to always live in truth, no exceptions. It does take being thoughtful, so we don’t crush others. But there are ways to say “No, I won’t” without hurting people’s feelings.

In any given situation, it is always possible to suggest something different that aligns with our conscience. This way, we can enjoy the peace that comes with living in truth. And, at the same time, embody Jesus’ teachings to people that we care about.

Categories
god love

When silence is the wise answer

I had a few moments in the past year when silence was the best answer to questions or comments that I found inappropriate. I also learned polite ways to delay answering questions as a strategy not to answer them at all. It takes skill, and courage too.

In our times, there is a generalized perception that we should address what people say at all times to express ourselves and be assertive about our values. There is little to no respect for our freedom to keep certain things to ourselves and share only with whom we choose to, in our own time.

And that is not only evil, but also a system to keep us at the mercy of other people’s unwelcome opinions and judgment.

Of course we don’t want to be omissive either. But living with the confidence that the Lord is the one in control helps us refrain from the obsessive-compulsive drive of this world to have a say in everything.

There is one particular situation when our silence is always more valuable than our words. It’s when what we have to say is not meant to build up and encourage.

It takes courage to choose not to speak and say what we shouldn’t say. If what we hear hurts us, let it be. Jesus teaches us that it is best to be hurt than to hurt. How wonderful is it that our faith encourages us to do what’s wise, and what gives us peace!

With God’s help, we can defeat the urge to answer questions or comments that we didn’t welcome in the first place. Only He can give us the courage to listen and act by not acting, allowing Him to do His work in ourselves as well as in others.

Categories
love spirituality

Grace is an act of love that frees us from the slavery of merit

Being raised in the cause-and-effect systems of this world, where what we get is directly associated with what we put in, we struggle to accept grace. Indeed grace is not from this world.

When we know that we receive grace without deserving it, we experience a powerful humbling effect. And we are humbled further as we understand that there’s nothing we could possibly do to deserve it. Ever.

Living under God’s grace also means that the outcome of just about any situation in life will always contribute to our own good, as long as we love him. As a result, what we call good and bad times become completely relative.

God’s grace cannot be reconciled with the cause-and-effect ways of the world.

And it is the very self-righteousness of wanting people, including ourselves, to deserve what they get, or not get what they don’t deserve, that keeps believers from enjoying the freedom that God’s grace gives us.

As a believer, I know that struggles are particularly good at building me up, while the worldly good times I have add little to no growth to my spirit.

We can only transcend what seems to be an “incoherence” from a worldly perspective when we accept grace as the divine force that transforms us into who we are meant to be. And trust the ways of the one who made us.