Called to Suffer

Journal Entry // May 28, 2022

For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.

Acts 9:16 ESV

What is the source of this anger that is prevalent and deep rooted in my heart? This is a good question that needs exploration and prayer. I wonder if this passage sheds some light on the situation. I believe I have been caught in the trap of cultural Christianity. That I have come to mix the fears and anxieties of the world with my faith and belief. I have allowed my heart to grab hold of and plant deep within me a misunderstanding of what it means for God to bless his children. I have believed the lie that suffering is always an indicator of sin or the displeasure of God. That suffering in my life is solely brought about because I have disappointed my Lord. Even thought it is clear throughout the Bible that suffering is a part of following Christ, my heart grabs hold of the thought that suffering is evil.

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Eternal Endeavors

Journal Entry // December 25, 2021

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.

Revelation 14:6 ESV

This is one of the passages that the Lord has been imprinting within me for the last 25 years. He has put a desire within me that wants to be part of this eternal gospel being proclaimed to everyone. I want to see people from across all cultures and contexts come and join the chorus of praise and worship to our holy and sovereign God. I want to be part of this process in some form of fashion.

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Fleeing God’s Presence

Journal Entry // December 7, 2021

But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 1:3 ESV

How often do I react to God’s calling in a similar manner to that of Jonah? To know without a doubt the command of God or his determination to place me where I am or his will to lead me through the desert. To know his hand upon me and to then flee from his presence because I dislike what he desires. To turn 180 degrees from the direction he leads and run from his presence. I wouldn’t say I do this often. Generally, I probably just grumble. But yes, there are times where I am actively disobedient to God’s sure direction in my life.

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Make Worthy

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,

2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy were always praying that God would make the people at the church of Thessalonica worthy of his calling. They were always praying this together for these followers of Christ. I don’t know how often I actually pray that for myself, let alone my fellow believers. A continual prayer to make me worthy of God’s calling seems daunting to be honest.

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