April 28, 2014

He Holds Our World in His Hands

As a common human being, it's easy for us to be worry for our future. We worry how can we meet up our daily needs, we worry for our health, we worry for our future spouse who haven't showed up until now, we worry for danger surround us as news broadcast it everyday, and many more. Yes, worry perhaps is inevitable in our lives. Yet when we allow worry to be permanent resident of our hearts, we allow it to cripple our faith and blur our eyes with fear. Someone says that worry means that we are praying to the wrong God. Our loving God surely doesn't want his children to live in worry and fear. He wants us to be victorious over all of concerns in this world. Why? Because he holds our world in his hands. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He knows you before you were born and he also knows your future. So chill out and take a deep breath. Your future is safe in his hands.

"For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." -Jeremiah 29:9-14 [ESV]

In this passage, God gave Israelites assurance and comfort in Babylon. Many people lost their hope when they were far away from their promised land. But God assured them that their exile in Babylon would only last for 70 years. After that, they would return to the promised land. God did not plan their exile for evil. If you read the context, God had sent his prophets to warn the Israelites to repent from their sins over and over again. Their exile was part of the consequence of their generational sins. But even in their transgression, God still have mercy on them and promised that "this too will end." 

Isaiah foretold that, "I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but for for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 45:13) What is so interesting is Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of this feats, and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile. 

And yes 180 years later, it was recorded in Ezra 1:1 that King Cyrus of Persia whose heart was stirred by the LORD to allow the exiles to return to Jerusalem and even rebuild the temple!

God knows the future. That is why it is easy for him to predict someone who even has not even born yet to become tools to achieve his purpose. He knows all the decisions you even have not made yet. And yes, he is more than able to guide you to walk in his plans. What a comfort! We need not to worry of worry of tomorrow, because God has been there already!



I like Israel Houghton song, titled "You Hold My World". The lyric goes below:

Take my heart
Lord will you take my heart
As I surrender to your will
I confess You are my righteousness
And until you move me I'll be still
And know that you are God

You hold my world in Your hands
You hold my world in Your hands
And I am amazed at Your love
I am amazed that You love me
You hold my world in Your hands
You hold my world in Your hands
And I'm not afraid my world is safe
In Your hands oh
In Your hands

Take my life 
Lord will You take my life
You are the reason that I live
I believe You have forgiven me
And by Your grace I will forgive
And know that You are God
And know that You are God

Isn't it amazing to know such a beautiful truth knowing that God already hold our world and future in his hands? We are not left alone in facing all of our problems on earth. We have him. We have God. And not just a merely 'god' but God of all created things. He is King of all kings. 


In order for us to defeat worry in our lives, we need a constant reminder which says, "God is in control". I was reminded about this truth about God as I made cross-stitch [a counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture]. I made cross-stitch based on the pattern given. So what I must do was simply follow the pattern, count the stitches before I stitch, change the thread with other colour as shown by the pattern. I realised that was exactly how God works in our lives. God has a beautiful plan (pattern) for each of our lives. All we have to do is to follow His guidance step by step. We don't have to figure out all things ahead today. Because mostly God's magnificent plan will overwhelm us. He is gracious enough to let us handle what we can handle for now.





It takes patience and perseverance to allow stitches formed clearer picture. There were times and I got bored  moreover when I stitch the dark threads. It's like the moment in our lives when we feel uncertain. But again, we must re-focus to the divine pattern and keep walking not. If we stop now, the picture will be still unfinished.




As I continued stitching, I often committed lots of miscounting the stitches. So often I found that what I had stitched and the original pattern were not exactly the same. I needed to improvise to keep up with the original pattern and hope that my miscounted stitches would not affect much on the pattern. But as you can see, when finally I had finished all the stitches, the beautiful pattern had transformed into beautiful embroidery. You won't notice anymore the mistakes I had made. So does our lives. We often make mistakes and deviate from God's original plan for us. But it doesn't matter that much as we always come back to him and continue walking in his path. Many of us are so afraid of making mistakes that we never take a step of faith. When God lead us on certain direction, we doubt that it is from God. We demand God to give us complete picture on what is ahead of us so that we have no doubt anymore. But when we do have all of God's plans unfold one time, we won't need him anymore to walk with us. We won't need faith anymore. And that is not what God wants. He doesn't only want to take you from here to your destiny, but he wants us to enjoy the walk with him, grow in faith and trust to him. 



"The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD do not abandon those who search for you." -Psalm 9:10 [NLT]

We can learn to trust God more as we know him more. Our level of trust in God will be in harmony with our knowledge about him. We say someone is trustworthy because he has shown his strong character constantly over time. He has proven that what he says, he will do. Our God deserves our 100% trust because for thousands of years throughout the Scripture, God has shown faithfully from generation to generation how faithful he is. What he says, he will do. So we can hold him at his words.

"God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?" -Numbers 23:19 [NLT]

Today, it is time for us to redirect our thoughts to pray to the right God and place completely our trust in the Lord. When each time worry comes to settle down in our hearts, attack it with words of faith through prayer. Instead of worrying, say instead, "I know this problems trouble me and I admit that I am worry. But I don't want to stay in anxiety any longer. I trust you Lord that you are in control. May you comfort my heart and let my heart remain in peace." For many of us, it takes discipline to change our habit to worry. We need to be discipline to guard our minds so it will only be filled with good things. 

"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. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix you thought on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." -Phillipians 4:6-8 [NLT]




"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength -carrying two days at once. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." -Corrie ten Boom

"The more you pray, the less you'll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You'll feel more patient and less pressured." -Rick Warren

"Quit questioning God and start trusting Him!" -Joel Osteen

"You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat." -Joel Osteen

"My greatest comfort is knowing that God is in control." -Andry Panjaitan


Blessings,
Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Axioo Photography

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