Beyond Faith: Trust

Some (spiritual) food for thought:

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.” – Isaiah 12:2. No fear or doubt in trusting God.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3. Steadfastness in trusting God.

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you…” – Isaiah 26:8. Active waiting.

…the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” – Isaiah 28:16. No regrets in trusting God.

Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” – Isaiah 25:9.

Flying

You gotta give the mind a lot of credit when it comes to dreams. It has such a powerful ability to make your dreams feel very real, even if they’re completely ridiculous. For this “dream” post, I want to talk about flying.

I have never flown before, and when I say fly, I don’t mean in an airplane. I mean like, flying for real. So I guess nobody’s really flown before, but I imagine people who have gone hang gliding have a better idea of what it feels like. My point is, I don’t know what it would physically feel like to really fly, like DBZ style fly.

But somehow, the mind can create an extremely realistic sensation of flying from virtually out of nothing. When I say “nothing,” I mean without any firsthand experience/feelings. It’s all “imagined,” but it’s a degree of imagination that is unattainable by the conscious mind. When I have dreams where I’m flying, I am flying in a way that DBZ people fly. I can feel “ki” or “chi” or however you spell it and manipulate it in a way so that energy is channeled towards “flexing” the right muscles that allow flight. If I could fly like Goku in real life, I feel like that is exactly how it would feel. And let me tell you it is pretty darn amazing!

It reminds me a lot of the episode where Gohan is trying to teach Videl how to fly. After having dreams about flying like a saiyan, I feel like I know what it feels like to really fly. It’s just so awesome. Can you imagine being able to fly like that? I have the same thoughts about being able to run as fast as cars speeding down the highway. Having these kinds of dreams alone makes watching DBZ episodes and being a DBZ fanatic in general worth it. And being able to generate fireballs? I know how that feels too.

But here I am, sitting on my butt trying to understand basic semiconductor physics, unable to fly, unable to generate fireballs, and unable to run faster than cars driving on the highway. I can’t even jog briskly for 5 minutes without getting exhausted to the point that I might poo in my pants.

*Sighhh….* ( <– Calvin and Hobbes reference).

When the Going is Good

For those who have believed in God for many years, reaching out to God in times of trouble is pretty natural. In fact many of us may be quick to ask God for help when we encounter a problem, and some of us quick to thank God when our problem is resolved. But what about the period in between, after our problems are resolved and before the next hardship has come our way? What about when the going is good?

For me, this is the period when I tend to push God away the most. Life is smooth; I just want to enjoy it. I want to spend more time hanging out or on hobbies/interests I don’t have time for otherwise. I don’t need to read so much Bible or pray thirty minutes at a time anymore; I can relax a bit and do what I want.

We have the faith to ask God for help and the courtesy to acknowledge him when he bestows a major blessing on us, but do we really treat God as our friend? Do we willingly spend time meditating on his word even when we aren’t looking for comfort? Do we praise and thank God for another typical day, smoothly come and gone? How much would it please God if we took the time, in our happiness and contentment, to say “Lord, I am happy and well. Thank you.”

In Luke 17:11-19, ten lepers cried out to Jesus. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest, and while they were on their way they were cleansed. Nine of them possibly thought, “I can finally go and see my family and friends! I can finally enjoy my life!” But only one threw himself at Jesus’ feet and humbly said “Thank you, Lord. I am well now.”

Sometimes when I talk with my mom over the phone, she asks me, “Are you happy?” Our parents try very hard to let us live a happy life. If we are happy, we should let them know so they can have joy knowing their efforts have made a difference. So it is with God, our friend and Father. As eager as he is for us to confide in him, he is eager for us to share our joys with him, to let him know that his sacrifice wasn’t for nothing, and that his love, in times of distress or peace, does not go unnoticed.

God's Reasoning

Cross posted here.

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In Isaiah chapter one, God begins telling Isaiah how Israel has gone astray, how their sacrifices have become meaningless. Similarly today, though outwardly we may profess to live for God, a closer look at our words, deeds, and thoughts quickly reveal that our lives are not worthy of Him.

God’s justice dictates that we be punished for our sins and removed from His presence, but in the midst of God’s sorrow and anger is another emotion. All of a sudden there is a change of tone:

“Come now, and let us reason together…Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Even as God is rebuking his people, he extends His generosity and mercy with gentleness by saying “Come now, and let us reason together.” Reason? It is human tendency and even policy to keep track of all the bad things that each person has does. But from this verse we see that God’s reasoning is forgiveness. His reasoning is love. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

And herein lies a fundamental difference between us and God: It takes effort for us to show mercy to those who treat us unfairly, but to God it is natural. We often have to force ourselves to obey God’s commandments and to love God. But our God is one who does not need to discipline Himself to love us. He does not need to force His compassion for us in order to meet the depictions of Him in the Bible; it is simply in His nature. He cannot help but have compassion. God’s nature is love.

Amazing, huh?