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Posts Tagged ‘Why me?’

Lately I have been thinking a lot about why the Christians of today are not like the early Christians who we read about in the New Testament.  They could speak in tongues, they could heal, and drive out demons, they prophesied, etc.  Why cannot all Christians do it today?  Why do so few have these gifts of the Spirit? 

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 (NIV):  8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues   11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Firstly the Bible said it will happen:  1 Corinthians 13:8-9 (NIV):  8 … But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,” 

But I was not happy with this answer alone, and then one day I read on Elize’s blog about the book:  The Hea.venly Ma.n by Bro.ther Yu.n and Pa.ul Hat.taway.  Elize mentioned that it explained to her why miracles are so few in the Western world today.  Now that intrigued me.  I wanted to know the answer to that question too!  So eventually I found the book online and I got it this last Monday. 

I read through it in 2 days, I couldn’t put it down and I must say:  I’m ashamed!  I thought I was a Christian, but I’m falling short.  I remembered that Cur.ry Bla.ke mentioned that the definition of a Christian is someone whose life is like Jesus Christ’s life.  Well to be honest, mine cannot be compared to Jesus’ life and that’s why I feel ashamed.  But I definitely got some answers to my questions, and it has inspired me…

For those who know nothing about the book:  it’s the real life story of Bro.ther Yu.n, how he became a Christian and how he preached the Gospel in China, how he had to flee the authorities, and how he was persecuted for his faith.  It also describes wonderful miracles that happened and how on fire they are for preaching the Gospel to others.

What was amazing to me is the faith they have.  They had nothing and had to trust in God for everything.  That’s one reason so many miracles happened.  They rarely had Bibles so they had to memorized complete books of the Bible and they sang a lot of songs.  They praised and worshipped a lot, and they meditated on scriptures a lot.  God spoke to them a lot in visions and dreams.  Most experienced miraculous healings themselves or witnessed miraculous healings.  They shared the message of Jesus Christ and his salvation with everyone and immediately.  Another thing that really struck me was the message of love and forgiveness.  Bro.ther Yu.n could so easily forgive and love others even if they prosecuted him and almost killed him.   There was also no selfishness in them.  Very often they gave away their only possessions to others, even their food, when they themselves were hungry.

Bro.ther Yu.n says in this book that when he eventually got to the West he was stunned that so many churches were “spiritually asleep.”  He says that many meetings were “cold and lacked the fire and presence of God”.  He was amazed to see that many Christians had “a lot of possessions and lived in a backslidden state.”  That “they have silver and gold, but don’t rise up and walk in Jesus’ name.”  He says:  “Not only is knowledge of God’s word missing, but obedience to that Word.  There is not much action taking place.”  So I guess it’s no surprise that we rarely come accross someone that operates in the gifts of the Spirit…

I realized that I still have a lot to learn.  I feel so selfish for wishing for a baby, when there are so many more important matters that need attention.  I feel like a spoilt brat – we are so blessed, and I take it all for granted and then I dare complain about the one thing that doesn’t go according to my plan!  On Tuesday, when I went to the Feeding Scheme, I realized that even those people are so blessed, because they are getting so much more to eat than those that I read about in the book, and they are getting it for free, 5 days a week! 

I learnt that the fact that I have my own Bible and have had it since I was a young child is such a blessing!  Bro.ther Yu.n prayed for a Bible for more than 4 months before he got one, and that was a miracle in itself.  And he not only prayed but also fasted for it!  That convicted me for being impatient!  I was wondering how long it was going to take before God will heal Shumi, my mom and us.  How long it will take before I get my miracle baby…

One good thing is that I feel a lot more grateful and at peace.  I find that I trust God more and more.  I’m not so worried about Why God?  Or, when God?  I want to learn even more, there is still a lot I need to learn, and I think part of it has to be on the Holy Spirit.  I also need to do more – especially for others.  I must definitely share the Gospel more…

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I got this e-book from Pastor A, who we saw for healing a while back:  Are you rea.dy for your Hea.ling? By Dr Fr.ed Chil.ds.  I’m still reading it, but there is a very good chapter about Job in there and I would like to quote from it.  You see I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that went wrong recently and wondering why and what can I do about it.  I cannot compare my life at all with Job, but it’s been really hard to deal with for me, and I need to get some clarity about it all.  This helped me a lot:

In the book Dr Fr.ed Chil.ds says that:  Job had limited knowledge of God and there are five reasons for that:

  1. “Job had no written Word of God so he had no references to teach him about God.  Job had no Bible.
  2. Living east of Palestine in the days of Isaac and Jacob means that Job was not a member of the chosen family.  As Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) says:  12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”
  3. Job had no preacher or prophet to instruct him.
  4. Job had no covenant because he was not of Abrahams seed.
  5. Job did not have the Holy Gost to lead or guide him.  Job was spiritually dead.

 How did Job acquire his knowledge of God?

Job learned about God through both his conscience and through creation (or nature).  Job lived in the days of Isaac and Jacob who had a promise of which he had no part.  Like all humans he had a conscience that allowed him to differentiate between what was right and wrong.  Job learned a limited amount about God through God dealing with his conscience.  Job was also capable of discovering certain principles of God simply by observing creation, or nature.

Romans 1:19-20 (NIV)  tells us that even without God’s word, man can still learn about God through the things we observe in nature or creation:  19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Nonetheless we can still learn to some degree.  For example, 1 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV) says:  14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him?”   If we can learn the length of a man’s hair from observing nature, then so could Job.  But it’s only correct to state that Job’s understanding of God was less than complete and accurate.  Neither conscience nor nature provided Job with much light or knowledge about God, but it was all he had. 

So let us use the New Testament or greater light to interpret the book of Job.  The only New Testament scripture pertaining to Job is James 5:11 (KJV) which says:  11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

Notice first what James does not say.  James never speaks of Job’s suffering, but tells us to be inspired by Job’s patience and endurance and by something called the end of the Lord.  New Testament patience is defined as remaining constant during external pressure or circumstance.  Job was patient.  He never stopped worshipping God nor did he curse God.  That was what the devil wanted Job to do and Job did not yield to it. What then do we see about the end of the Lord?  It reveals that He is pitiful (compassionate) and of tender mercy.  The end of the Lord tells us that if we endure He will bring us back to the top.  The lives of Moses, Caleb, Daniel, Joseph, Esther, Ruth, and David do not inspire us because of how they suffered, but how they ended up!

Interestingly, God never addressed Job’s sufferings

Take note that not one time does God address the suffering of Job.  The reason is both astounding and simple:  the book of Job is not about suffering.  It is about how the Lord brings deliverance, redemption, and restoration to all who endure.  The message of the book of Job is not about how Job suffered, but how a man with no Bible, no prophet, no preacher, no promises, no covenant, and was spiritually dead (Job was not born again) had his health, wealth, and family relationships restored back to him.  We (on the other hand) have the Bible, prophets, preachers, promises, covenant, and the Holy Ghost living inside and guiding us.  The first and oldest book of the Bible was not written about suffering, but of restoration.

Our misconceptions and Job’s 5 mistakes:

There are 5 implausible things that Job and his friends say in the debate.  Sadly many preachers still use them to teach others about God.  Remember this debate rages between 4 men who have little to no knowledge about God.  Pastors, theologians, and Bible scholars for years have used these 36 debate chapters to define God and yet these men had very little knowledge of God.

How did these 4 men come to their conclusions?  Men will always arrive at erroneous conclusions when they interpret God in light of their circumstances void of the Bible.  The study of this debate will serve to illuminate the mistakes and wrong perceptions that men have of God when they interpret God through their circumstances and not through His Word.

Mistake # 1:  Job 1:21 (NIV) says:  21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Since the Lord gave it, then He has the right to take it away.  But is that really right?  Let us view it through understanding of New Testament light.  Luke 9: 56 (KJV) says:  56For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…” John 10:10 (NIV) says:  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

How many times have you heard this scripture quoted at a funeral or from behind a pulpit, crediting God for the loss or tragedy that has taken place?  Why is it that we continue to repeat Job’s wrong conclusion?  Errors like this occur when we use Job’s shortage of knowledge and call it light rather than using light to explain Job’s lack of knowledge.  God adds and multiplies, Satan subtracts and divides.  God is not a taker, but a giver.  When things come to our lives that add no sorrow we know the source is God.  As Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) says:  22The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”

Mistake # 2:  Job 5: 17-18 (NIV) says:  17Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  God uses calamity and suffering to direct or bring good to our lives.  How many times have you heard someone ask the question after hearing about someone’s tragedy…”I wonder if that was the hand of God trying to save them or bring them back from the world?”  Let us again view it through the understanding of New Testament light.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) says:  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” God does not need to stoop to copy the devil’s tactics and ways to correct or instruct our lives.  God uses His Word, His Spirit, His ministry, and His saints to correct or instruct those He loves.  Ephesians 4:11-12(NIV) edifies us saying:  11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” God uses the Word, Spirit, and even ministry for correction and perfection, not calamity and hard times.

Mistake # 3:  Job 23: 8-9 (NIV) says:  “ 8 But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.  9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Job’s lack of knowledge when negative circumstance surrounded his life mad him conclude that he did not know where God was or even how to find Him.  But New Testament light refutes that.  Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) assures us that:  5 …Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  We know when we face the storms of life we do not need to find God because He is already here with us, even within true believers.  All we need to do is call on or recognize His presence.  The Word says He is always here.  There are even Old Testament confirmations from those who walked in times of more enlightenment than the days of Job.  Deuteronomy 4:30-31 (NIV) says that:  30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.  31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.”  Job never read the words of the Psalmist which declared in Psalm 139:7-13 (NIV):  7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  11If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”   We can justify that Job existed in the days before the Bible and the covenant.  What we can’t justify is our continued ignorance by repeating job’s mistakes in this age when a study of the Word of God plainly reveals Job’s mistakes about God.

Mistake # 4:  Job 2:10 (NIV) says:  10 He replied, You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Not only does God tempt us with good, but evil also.  New testament light corrects that faulty view of God.  James 1:13 (NIV) says:  13 When tempted, no-one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” When evil comes into your life, don’t even think or say that God brought it.  Since Satan is the personification of evil, it is impossible for God to use Satan to tempt us. 

Mistake # 5:  Job 1:7-8 (NIV) says:  7 The LORD said to Satan, Where have you come from? Satan answered the LORD, from roaming through the earth and going to and fro in it.  8 Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  This is probably the worst misunderstanding of God in the life and Book of Job.  Bible scholars and ministers still today make this false assumption of God and base it on a faulty understanding of the book of Job.

Job’s wrong conclusion:  God calls Satan’s attention to Job’s life of love and devotion and then gives him permission to attack Job.  The Hebrew translation says:  “Hath thou set thy heart upon my servant Job?”  God was not goading Satan into attacking Job’s life.  God was letting Satan know that He as God was aware that Satan had his eye on Job.  God, who seldom interferes in the affairs of man, did not stop the attack.  However it is God Who has the keys to death, so He reminds Satan of his limits.  If Job’s suffering did not happen because of God and Satan working in collusion, then why did it happen?  1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says:  8 Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  Notice the similarity of Satan’s actions in Job and in 1 Peter.  He goes back and forth seeking whom he may devour.  If Satan has to seek for someone to devour, apparently there are those he can and those he can’t devour.  God’s hand of protection is a covenant promise for His people, so it’s possible there was never a hedge around Job.  If Job did have a hedge of protection there is another explanation of why it was down.  There is a law in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) that says:  “ 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”  What we think shapes what we believe, and what we believe is what we become.  Job admits in Job 3:25 (NIV):  “25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”  Fear will attract the devil.  Job received exactly what he had faith for.  The only difference between fear and faith is whose words you have faith in.  If we believe the words of God and what He has said, we receive what we believe by faith.  If we believe the words of Satan through the pessimist, we open the door for Satan to bring into our hearts and lives the things that we fear.  Fear is faith working in reverse, or faith that Satan perverts.”

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So how am I feeling today?   Well, I started the day by phoning the sister at the clinic this morning to ask a few questions, and I burst out in tears again.  She is such a sweetheart, both of them are, and I must say in times like these that’s when you really appreciate it.  She thinks I need to see the councilor at the clinic – I’m not keen on that at all, because DH had seen many psychologists and psychiatrists years ago when he had post traumatic stress disorder and he just got pills – nobody was ever able to help him really – he had to work through it himself – the hard way.

I look like hell – My eyes are so swollen that I can barely see out of them (I cried so much last night…)   I have a terrible headache and my sinuses are blocked (also from all the crying). 

I don’t really know how I feel yet, except that I am incredibly sad.   I’m sad that we won’t be meeting our baby in January, that we will never know whether he/she has blonde/straight hair like me or dark/curly hair like my DH, or whether our baby has blue eyes like me or dark eyes like DH.  I wanted this specific baby so much… I’m so sad that my DH, whom I love so much, has to go through this pain…

I really enjoyed being pregnant – I loved the idea that there was life growing inside me.  I loved it when I was tired, or queasy, because it reminded me of our baby.  I loved the fact that DH was so excited about our baby.  We couldn’t wait for me to start showing.  We took pictures of my belly every Thursday so that we could see when I started to show (which didn’t happen yet as it was too early).  DH and I both loved my big boobs!   We now know the feeling of joy and excitement over our baby that’s on its way and we want to have those feelings again!

Now we will have to think about IVF again, and I really don’t want to.  I’m so sick of it.  I’m so sick of the emotional rollercoaster ride – I hate rollercoaster’s by the way (I’m terrified of heights).  I guess we will have to wait at least 3 months before we can do another IVF – I know my friend who has had 2 miscarriages had to wait 3 months every time, so I’m sure we will also have to wait.  The only thing that I keep on thinking about is my age…  If we wait 3 months then DH will be 40 already and I’ll be 39 and a half as I am exactly 6 months younger than him.  That will mean that if I get pregnant again I’ll be 40 when baby is born – and I really want 2 children, so that means we will have to try again when I’m 41… O, my headache just gets worse when I think about it…

I have so many questions – What went wrong?  Why did we have to have a miscarriage?  Why couldn’t we just have our baby like most people?  I read on the internet yesterday that the chances of miscarriage after seeing the heartbeat at 7 weeks is 2% for normal people, but almost 15% for infertility patients over 35.  My FS said last year my chance of success with IUI was 15% per cycle and we did 3 cycles – why couldn’t I fall in the latter 15% but I had to fall in the first 15%? I mean we did 3 IUI’s so that’s 3 times 15% that did not work, but now on our first pregnancy I fall in the 15% that miscarry… 

I really believed this pregnancy was a miracle from God – so I can’t understand why it had to be taken away from us… I’ve been telling myself that God has a plan, and that plan might be better than my own plan.  I’ve been telling myself that God will give me strength to go through this difficult time.  I’ve been telling myself that I’ll come through this a stronger person, but none of it is a comfort to me now…

When I think of our long terrible journey with infertility and now this miscarriage, I think of how unfair it is.  But I also think of all the other ladies that I know of that have gone through terrible times.  There are so many, too many to mention each of them.  And quite a few have walked this terrible road for longer than we have.  Some have had so many miscarriages… Others have had many, many failed/cancelled IVF cycles… Most have spent a small fortune on fertility treatments… A lot have moved on to donor eggs/sperm/surrogacy in the hope of getting those much anticipated babies… Some have given up on their own genetics and are hoping to adopt… And some are hedging their bets by going through the adoption process and still trying IVF again…  And then there are those that are going through a combination of all these things I mentioned… My heart breaks for each them as much as it breaks for our own circumstances.   I just wish God can take pity on all of us, and give us each our own babies soon! 

Thank you to all who have left messages of support – we really appreciate it.  It does help to know that there are a lot of people praying for us, and thinking about us and who are sad with us…

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Yesterday morning during my Bible study I read the following verses and it really touched my heart.  Acts 12: 2-12 (NIV):  2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.  3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.   4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.  5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.   6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.  7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. Quick, get up! he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.  8 Then the angel said to him, Put on your clothes and sandals. And Peter did so. Wrap your cloak around you and follow me, the angel told him.  9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.  10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the Iron Gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.  11 Then Peter came to himself and said, Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.  12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.”

My reference Bible explained the above passage like this:  “Why did God allow James to die, but he rescued Peter in a miraculous way from prison?  Life is full of difficult questions like this.  Why is one child physically disabled, while another excels in sport?  Why do people die before they have reached their full potential?  We cannot answer these questions in this life, because we cannot see what God sees.  He decided to allow all kinds of wickedness on earth for a certain time, but we can follow Him and trust Him, because we know that He promised to defeat the wicked once and for all.  We also know that He will help us to get through the suffering we have to endure in the mean time, and He will do it in such a way that we will grow strong because of it and that He will be glorified in the process!”

Then last night at church the minister showed us a music video by Declan Galbraith called, “Tell me why”.  I have never heard this song before yesterday, and I also don’t know Declan Galbraith.  Wikipedia says this was his first single and it was released 10 days before his 11th birthday on December 9, 2002.  Please have a look at it, you will be amazed:

This made me think of something someone said to me, just after I was born-again, and at that stage I did not know how to answer that person.   She said:  “When I stand before God one day I would like to ask Him why He allows so much suffering and bad things to happen in the world” 

There are things that we have no control over and we can only trust in God to help us with it like the above examples, but there are a lot of things that we blame God for that we can actually do something about.  Today I know that it is not God that allows all the bad things to happen.  It’s us, we humans that allow it, and a lot of the time it is caused by wicked people!  What are we doing about poverty, famine, disease, war, orphans, the destruction of our planet etc?   It just the easy way out to blame God.  We always think that somebody else must do something about it.  But somewhere, someone must take responsibility and start to change the way we act and see things.  These problems are not just some nameless person somewhere in a third world country’s problems – we need to open our eyes and ears and become aware of all the problems around us.

 I never knew how many homeless people there were in my own home town. I never knew how many people there are out there, who are desperate to hear the gospel, and they do not know where to go to church and do not even own a Bible.  I never knew that there were so many hungry and poor people that are totally taken advantage of mere kilometres from my own home.  I’ve met people living in small rooms in total squalor and their only income is a small state pension and they have to hand that full amount over just to pay rent for a dark and dingy room, with no windows, no heating, and barely big enough to hold a bed.  They have to share a bathroom with about 10-20 other people in the same circumstances.  They are sending their children (who live with them in that small room) to school without any food, because there is nothing left after the rent is paid.  A lot of these people have no way of earning an income – a lot of them are disabled, or they never received a decent education, or they have made some bad decisions in the past and have a criminal record.  I only found out about all this when I ventured out into our town centre to reach out to people in need. 

What can you do to make a difference?  How can you help out?  What are your talents or your passion?  Please don’t say you cannot make a difference.  If everybody just started out with one project and sacrificed an hour of their time a week and spend a little money there will already be a huge difference.  I’ve mentioned before that I help out at a feeding scheme in our town.  We get food donated by Pick ‘n Pay – bread, meat, vegetables etc that they cannot sell anymore because it is close to the expiration date, but it is still edible.  Anything from 50 -100 people, sometimes more, are fed 4 days a week from one of the churches in town.  They get a decent cooked meal, with loads of bread and sometimes even cake and doughnuts, and it’s enough food for the whole day.  We have more than enough volunteers now, and the food is also getting more, so we are hoping that we will soon be able to hand out food 5 days a week.   Quite a lot of churches in our town have come together, despite being from different denominations, and made this feeding scheme a success.  Now they are looking at opening an overnight shelter for destitute people, abused women and children, prostitutes, and basically anyone who is in need of food and shelter.  They are looking into a skills training programme, to help them out of their dire circumstances. 

So I’ve seen with my own eyes that we can make a difference – now if everybody could just come to the same realisation and forget about themselves for a little bit and reach out to someone in need! 

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Introduction:

Lately I have noticed that I seem to come across the same messages again and again and from different sources.  They have been such a great comfort to me that I want to share them with anyone who is also in need of comfort. I’ll also share some stories of my life, and our problems with infertility. They will not be in any specific order of importance.  Please note that almost none of these messages are my own personal thoughts – it had to be explained to me by someone else.  I’ll mention the source of the messages where possible.  

I’ll start with the inspiration for my Blog title:

Hebrews 11:35- 12:1-3 (NIV): 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.    36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.    37 They were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated—     38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

 “1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.    2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.    3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

I heard this message for the first time about 9 months ago.  Our preacher at church was preaching about it and used some of the kids to bring home the point of the message.  She gave each child a dowel stick and asked them to try and balance it vertically on their hands.  First they had to keep their eyes on their hands.  They weren’t able to balance it for longer than a second.  Then they had to balance it vertically again, but this time they had to keep their eyes on the top of the stick.  They were much more successful – they were able to balance it for much longer. 

The rest of the day I kept thinking about the message I heard earlier, but I was feeling very despondent.  I was questioning whether we were wasting our time and money on fertility treatments.  I had a lot of questions like:  Why me?  Will I ever have children, and if so – when?  Must I just give up hope and try to accept my life as it is? Haven’t I waited long enough already? Am I punished for something I did? I certainly felt like I was not ever going to get pregnant on my own, and seriously doubted that my fertility specialist would be able to help me. 

I have learnt by then that if I am despondent or depressed I must seek out messages from God, by either listening to Gospel music, teaching CD’s, watching gospel messages on TV or DVD’s or even searching the internet.  I came across a Christian support site for infertility and I got the same message again, for the second time that day.  I looked up the scriptures in my reference Bible (Die Bybel in Praktyk) and it was explained so well. 

I’ll try to translate it:  “There are people who think that trials and tribulations are the exception in a Christian’s life.  When they have trouble in their life they suddenly want to know why them and not somebody else.  They will feel that God has abandoned them, that He doesn’t care about them, or that He is not as reliable as they thought.  Believers must never forget that we live in a broken and evil world, one where there is suffering and even Christians have to suffer.  In the midst of all of this, God is still in control.  He allows some Christians to be martyred for their faith, and some will survive in spite of their prosecution.  You must not ask:  “Why is it happening to me?”, but rather be surprised when you are not suffering.    Not everyone share the same values, and therefore they might not understand why you act the way you act.  The big comfort here is that Jesus also suffered.  He understands your worries, your weaknesses and disappointments. He promised to never abandon you (Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV): 18 Then Jesus came to them and said: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,    20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”)  He is the One who will intercede for us (Hebrews 7:24-25 (NIV): 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.    25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”) So if you should suffer or have trouble, trust in God, continue to do what He wants you to do in spite of all your problems.”

I learnt that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, the questions don’t matter.  He will help me according to His original plan for me, and that is all that matters.  He loves me; He will always be by my side but especially in the difficult times.  He knows my needs so much better than I know them myself.  He will comfort me and give me strength to go on, should I never have any children, but not only then – also when I face all the other challenges that I will have to face throughout the rest of my life. 

I must just keep my eyes on Jesus and trust in Him….

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