Tag: Jesus Christ

How Fears Develop

 

There have been talks about fears and phobias, and how they affect life. Fear is really the misconception, the rejection, and the dread of life.

There are thousands of life definitions available around. Often, these meanings seek or require a happy, if not perfect, life in this world. We are urged to seek out a paradise or a niche of refuge where we can build our utopia or ideal world.

But what really is life? If we honestly study human drama in history, we would see that real life is the concoction of good and bad, sad and happy. How to be happy in all these circumstances is what you make out of your life. We all create our life meanings. We cannot just borrow others’ meanings or get one from a book. We discover real life through actual life encounters. How we end up after each ordeal gives us our real life.

Life is a concoction of both extremes. Real life entails going through these ordeals. When you reject this idea and look for other life meanings — the kind where you live happily ever after — fears start to develop. You begin to look for fairy tale stuffs in life and reject the ones you actually have. Fear comes in, rejecting what is real. People who live in war zones have a realistic idea of life: You live now; you may die the next moment. They see that life is temporary — which is the truth. Thus, they are prepared to die anytime. Fears are still intact, but considerably lessened.

People who reject the truth are afraid to look at scenes of death or tragedy. The more they reject them, the more the fear grows within them. Many books on fears tell their readers to avoid seeing violence. You ought not to look for violence and watch it, but you ought not to close your eyes to it when there is one right under your nose. Life will always show you both extremes.

Mother Theresa was a non-violent person. Yet, she watched injustice and violence everyday, right where she was. She didn’t feel fear for these daily scenes; instead she felt love and concern in the midst of it all. She knew and lived a real life. Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi were for non-violence. Yet they found real meaning and real life as they were caught in the middle of chaos and turmoil. These excellent people lived the real life. They even conquered others’ fears.

The rejection of the real life is the start of real fears. Fearful and phobic people refuse reality and build their own fantasy world.

Advertisements

Faith

 

God promised Abram he would have a multitude of descendants (Gen. 15:4–5), so he faced a huge obstacle—he was old and childless. When he and Sarah got tired of waiting for God to make good on His promise, they tried to overcome that obstacle on their own. As a result, they fractured their family and created a lot of unnecessary dissension (see Gen. 16 and 21:8–21).

Nothing Abraham did in his own strength worked. But ultimately he became known as a man of tremendous faith. Paul wrote of him, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be’” (Rom. 4:18). This faith, said Paul, “was credited to him as righteousness” (v. 22).

The apostle Thomas also didn’t expect God to bring good out of the greatest challenge of his faith—Jesus’s crucifixion. Thomas wasn’t with the other disciples when Jesus came to them after the resurrection, and in his deep grief he insisted, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were . . . I will not believe” (John 20:25). But later, when Jesus appeared to all the disciples together, out of the dust of Thomas’s doubts God’s Spirit would inspire a striking statement of faith. When Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28), he was grasping the truth that Jesus was actually God in the flesh, standing right in front of him. It was a bold confession of faith that would encourage and inspire believers in every century that followed.

Our God is able to inspire fresh faith in our hearts, even in moments when we least expect it.  We can always look forward to His faithfulness. Nothing is too hard for Him.

Abraham’s faith was in something far bigger than himself—the one and only God. It’s the object of our faith that makes all the difference.

Confusion

 

It’s an insight that resonates with the experience of John the Baptist, who found himself in a situation in which the challenges he faced threatened to steal his faith and hope.

Chained in a dingy cell, John, exhausted and disheartened, sent messengers to Jesus to pose a vital question: “Are you the Messiah . . . or should we keep looking?” (Matthew 11:3). After proclaiming Jesus as the One sent from God, things had not gone as John had expected.

I imagine a flood of dark thoughts overwhelming John. I thought you were the one, Jesus. Why aren’t you doing what the Messiah is supposed to do? Why are we sitting here waiting again? Did I believe a lie?

Does it encourage you to know that someone so faithful, who knew the Scriptures and had such bold faith, who had even baptized Jesus, still had such fundamental doubts?

Jesus didn’t unleash a theological lecture or scold the messengers for their questions. Instead, He told them to tell John what they’d seen: ”The blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor” (Matthew 11:4-5). Jesus told them to tell John they’d seen Him doing the very things the prophet Isaiah had promised God would do when He arrived (Isaiah 35:1-6, 61:1-7).

So, no, John hadn’t believed a lie; God had indeed arrived.

Like John, we experience much waiting and much confusion. But we keep watching; we move into and through our uncertainty. We keep bringing our doubts and our hopes to Jesus—the One who will not fail us.

Whose Hands It’s In?

 

A basketball in my hands is worth about $25.
A basketball in LeBron James’
hands is worth about $34 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $10.
A baseball in Mike Tout’s hands is worth $16 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Serena Williams’
hands is a Championship Winning.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy
A sling shot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my
hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in
God’s hands will feed thousands.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse
Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will
produce salvation for the entire world.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

As you see now it depends whose hands it’s in.
So put your concerns, your worries, your fears,
your hopes, your dreams, your families and your
relationships in God’s hands because…

It depends whose hands it’s in.

This message is now in your hands.
What will YOU do with it?