Why Is God Silent, When The World Is Not?

Why Is God Silent, When The World Is Not ?

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When life hits us with unexpected challenges or prolonged suffering, faith gets shattered. There will be times when grief and loneliness overshadows and make us question ‘Why is this happening to me? Why God is not interfering? Why is He quiet? If God is just, why did He not defend me from false accusations?’

In Genesis, we see Joseph lost His mother at a young age. He grew up in His Father’s love and care. His brothers envied him and had thrown him in a pit. They sold him as a slave to Egypt, separating him from his father. In Egypt, in-spite of being faithful to potiphar’s household, he was falsely accused by potiphar’s wife and was sent to prison and was later forgotten for few years. Have you ever wondered ‘Why was God silent when Joseph was unjustly treated and thrown into the pit by his own brothers? Why didn’t He stop them when he was sold as a slave? Why didn’t He immediately defend Joseph when he was falsely accused? Did God forget or overlook him?’ The answer is “God was preparing Joseph to carry the destiny He had planned for him.”  He did not stop it from happening. But instead, He was with Joseph in the pit and in the prison. He never left Joseph to go through it alone. He molded Joseph’s character in every trial he faced and prepared him to become the second most powerful person in Egypt.

Whatever hardship we go through, we have a High Priest who understands and intercede for us. “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted – Hebrews 2:18.” Jesus is our high priest who was tempted in every way when He lived in humanly form. Don’t lose heart nor give up for “the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast – 1 Peter 5:10.”

Remember always what God says about you: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

— Shabna Nikhil

When We Think Egypt Was Better….!!!

When We Think Egypt Was Better….!!!

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Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

The story of Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years teaches us many lessons. Thousands of years later, even today their disobedience and unbelief in God stands as a warning for us. When the Egyptians tormented them in Egypt, God heard their cry and raised Moses to bring them out of Egypt. God had departed the Red Sea and made them walk on the dry land. But even after doing so many miracles in front of their eyes, when they are running out of food and water in the wilderness, they grumbled against God. Now, let us take a moment and think. ‘The God who performed mighty miracles to bring them out of Egypt, is He not aware of their hunger and thirst?’ The Bible says that He tested them in the wilderness. But is God unaware of what is in their hearts? Is it a surprise to Him? Definitely Not! The Word says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” By allowing certain discomforts, God wanted to build faith in their hearts, so that they would keep His commands and receive all the blessings. Yes, they are absolutely walking in the will of God, yet God allowed certain discomforts to humble and train them.

When we were praying so earnestly for a new apartment in a particular area, God miraculously opened an apartment and also He customized it according to our likes. When we moved into the house, it was so beautiful and more than what we asked for in prayer. We felt very happy and thanked God. Two days later, the dishwasher stopped working and found there are few other minor repairs in the house and the maintenance people are responding very late. It was very irritating and my immediate response was, “God, I had a good dishwasher in my previous apartment, why did you bring me here to struggle with this faulty one?” Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Israelites who grumbled for food and water. Instead of remembering the previous miracles and praying to God with faith for their present needs, they grumbled as soon as they faced a discomfort. I realized and repented for my attitude and started praising God. Later, we were given a brand new dishwasher because of that faulty one and all the other problems we had in the house slowly got cleared.

Walking in God’s will does not assure us a problem free life. Sometimes, He allows certain discomforts along with a blessing just to grab our attention towards Him. They humble us and make our roots grow more deeper in Him.

— Shabna Nikhil

You Are In GOD’S Training Phase!!

You Are In GOD’S Training Phase!!

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“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Often, the time between God gives His promise and its fulfillment is the toughest. It can be compared to a seed germination process under the soil. When a seed is buried in the soil, it is surrounded by darkness, cut off from the outside world. Suffocating inside the soil, it feels to come out pushing through the soil, but it is helpless. It gradually develops perseverance to sustain inside the soil and slowly grows roots which penetrates inside the soil to hold grip. After sometime, the outer covering of the seed is torn and the stem shoots up through the soil. The seed doesn’t know that the one who buried it inside the soil is waiting anxiously for it to grow and come out. It may feel, why did he bury me inside? It’s dark and suffocating here. Why don’t he take me out of here?

When God calls us for a purpose, He disciplines us first before using us for His glory. There will be times where He hides us in the soil and wait for our roots to grow and our outer covering i.e., our fleshly nature to be removed because that covering prevents us from moving forward. And only the person who had buried the seed inside the soil knows what kind of tree it is going to be in the future. Similarly, God sees us the way what we are going to be. There are many examples of people whom God had disciplined before exalting them. God trained David before he became a king. Joseph went through slavery before he became the Prime Minister of Egypt.

Discipline is always painful. It’s not fun. But the fruit it bears is worth the pain. The father disciplines those whom He loves.

Hebrews 12:5-12 says,

“‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all… …God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”

— Shabna Nikhil

Watch Out In Your Weak Moments

Watch Out In Your Weak Moments

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So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NLT

It’s often in our weak moments, the devil tries to tempt us to sin. When we look into the story of Jesus, the devil tempted Him thrice, when Jesus was physically weak after 40 days of fasting. But our Lord has overcome the temptation with the Word. I would like to share one recent incident of my life.

On a Sunday morning, I started having a mild pain in my abdomen. I went to church by faith believing that God’s presence will heal me. The pain slowly started getting worse during the worship and by the time of Lord’s Communion, it became unbearable. I took the communion elements in my hand and cried out to God in pain asking Him to heal me believing in the power of communion. But the pain grew worse. After I came back to home, lying on my bed almost losing conscious, I heard the voice of the devil in my mind saying, “you went to church in spite of pain and took communion by faith, but God didn’t heal you. Here you are suffering with pain. Speak out now and blaspheme God that He has not healed you.” On one side, the unbearable pain and on the other side, the voice was so strong telling me to blaspheme God. It was at that moment the Holy Spirit strengthened me powerfully and I declared to myself, “My God is always good and I am not gonna open my mouth and say anything against Him.” The moment I said these words to myself, a divine comfort came upon me and I fell asleep. An hour later, when I woke up, the pain had totally left me.

In my weak moments, the devil tried to tempt me to sin. God could have healed me in the church but He allowed me to go through the pain to show His divine power to me during the battle. God always doesn’t heal us immediately. Certain times He allows us to go through that sickness and pain to display His magnificent Glory and Power in them. The devil tries to crush our spirit in our weak moments by spitting all lies and discouraging words at us. Do not give your ear to them. Resist him and he will flee from you.

— Shabna Nikhil

Are You Searching In A Wrong Place?

Are You Searching In A Wrong Place?

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“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” Philippians 4:12

I struggled for a long time with a heart of discontent. Whenever I buy something, I would never be happy and satisfied with it thinking there might be something better than this. Fed up with this attitude of mine, I cried out to God to give me a content heart. The Lord started working in my heart and taught these things through the years.

Covetousness is a discontent with what we have and an intense desire for something else, something we believe will make us happy or satisfied. It may be a job, house, spouse, car, physical beauty, ornaments, etc. Bible clearly speaks about the sin of covetousness. We have a tendency to always look at others life. God never said it is wrong to have desires but it is wrong to crave for things belonging to others. Complaining or grumbling to God about the things others have, is like saying to God, “You have not given me good things like my neighbor have.” This attitude grieves the Holy Spirit. God’s plans for everyone are different. Do not compare or strive to live others life. A discontent heart demonstrates lack of faith on God.

Contentment is neither living a Complacent life – a feeling of being settled with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better, nor a Compromised life thinking we must not ask God for more but be satisfied with what we have. God knows our needs even before we ask Him and it is His will for us to be fruitful and prosperous. The Lord allows certain situations in our life just to teach us to fix our eyes on Him and find our contentment in Him alone. According to Philippians 4:12, true biblical contentment is a conviction that Christ’s power, purpose and provision is sufficient in all situations. It does not depend upon our circumstances or possessions but our soul can find rest and satisfaction only in Christ alone. A content heart is always joyful.

Dear ones, today I would like to ask this question, where are you trying to find your satisfaction? If it is in Christ, the result is joy and gratitude flowing at all times. If you are finding it somewhere else, then you are searching it in a wrong place!

— Shabna Nikhil

There Is A Giant To Deal With At Every Stage !!

There Is A Giant To Deal With At Every Stage !!

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“And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)

Seven years back when I had accepted Christ, I was struggling with lot of problems. I was jobless, dominated and mocked by my relatives, longing for a Father’s love and support, waiting for marriage and dealing with many health issues. I was desperate to get the deliverance. I often pray to God, “Jesus, deliver me from all these problems, I will do your work with full strength.” In a span of 4 years, the Lord delivered me from all my problems and restored me well. I got a job in an area of my interest. My Dad came into contact with me who left us when I was 3 years old. My health issues slowly started to disappear and I got married to a godly person.

God answered all my prayers. But after sometime another set of problems arised. Today, when I was thinking about my 7 years journey in Christ, I felt God speaking to me in my spirit, “There is a giant at every stage. I have made my joy and peace available to you. It’s your choice to get access to them. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Today, if anyone here feels like you can serve the Lord better once all your problems are solved, its never going to happen. We are continuously on test. Once we slay a giant at level 1, the other one is waiting at level 2. God never promised us a life without problems. But He has made available to us, all the time, His joy and peace and they are accessed only through Faith.

It’s not just about getting delivered, but more important is how is our attitude during the test? What are we learning? Are the people around us able to feel our peace? Has our faith improved than before?

— Shabna Nikhil

Is This Real Work For God?

Is This Real Work For God?

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Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Yesterday, while driving to a grocery store, I stopped at a signal. While I was waiting for the signal to turn green, my eyes fell on a person who is mowing grass on the sidewalk areas. He was doing it very carelessly, leaving half of the grass as it is with uneven levels. Watching him doing his job with such carelessness, made me feel bad inside. I was thinking “He is being paid for this and why is he not doing his job properly? How can he be such careless?” It is then God spoke to me, “This is how it looks when people doesn’t show faithfulness in the work I have assigned them.”

God has assigned a task for everyone of us who are born again in His Spirit, that is to “SPREAD THE GOSPEL AND MAKE DISCIPLES.” We may be already doing the work of God, serving in the church or in other ministries. But the question is, ‘Are we doing our job with integrity, excellence and faithfulness?’ Honestly, how much interest and passion are we paying towards our work? Sometimes we may begin with lots of zeal and passion but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things may creep in and water-down the fire we have for the kingdom of God.

Jeremiah 48:10 (NASB) – “Cursed is the one who does the LORD’s work negligently.” We are in the end times. The Lord’s coming is very near. Let us be sober minded and faithful to do with excellence in whatever work God has assigned to us.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

— Shabna Nikhil

You Have Everything You Need

You Have Everything You Need

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His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

One fine morning, I was craving to eat Vada (a traditional south Indian dish). I went into kitchen, prepared Vada and enjoyed having it. At that moment, God spoke to me “Everything is available in your pantry required to make Vada, but it’s you who need to make use of the resources and prepare the dish. In spite of having all the provisions, if you have stayed lazy, you could not have enjoyed the dish”. Similarly, in your life, everything needed for your assignment is already provided through promises sealed in Christ. It is your responsibility to open the lock through the access of Faith to live a victorious life.

Dear ones, God’s all-sufficient resources are contained in His precious and magnificent promises sealed in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (AMP) says, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes”. So through Him we say our “Amen” to the glory of God.”

God does not allow anything in your life without equipping you. The Holy Spirit is your powerhouse. You are not alone. Whatever you need, you have it in Christ. Don’t just sit in your place complaining about your situation or feel self pity. Rise up, believe and claim the promises sealed in Christ by faith. “For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you.” Mark 11: 24 AMP.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the provision through the death and resurrection of your son Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe that I have all I need in Christ and the victory is already achieved. For every promise you have made, they are “Yes” in Christ. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

— Shabna Nikhil

How Do You Protect Your Mind?

How Do You Protect Your Mind?

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“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”(1 Peter 5:8)

Satan attacks the most vulnerable place in us, our Mind. He attacks our thoughts and emotions resulting in depression, pain, suspicion, self-pity, stubbornness, misunderstanding. A person effected in the mind cannot progress much. He becomes crippled. Some of the ways how satan works are;

  1. He uses all your past life and hurts and keeps reminding you which crushes your spirit.
  2. He works through your loved ones and bring you hurt.
  3. He keeps telling you all discouraging words like ‘what do you think of yourself, you cannot do it, you are not worthy enough, you can never make it, your will life will be miserable forever, you are never going to have financial breakthrough, God doesn’t love you anymore, etc.’

If you are constantly bombarded with these types of thoughts, know that the devil is attacking your mind.

So how can we protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil?  The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10-18 to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

  1. Renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2): Old ideas, opinions, world views must be replaced with the scripture. Fill your mind with the word of God. Be persistent in prayer.
  2. Sing Praises to God (Isaiah 61:3): Praise and worship have tremendous power. When you praise God, your heaviness will be lifted away from you.
  3. Reject doubts that arise from circumstances (Peter 1:8-9): Never give yourself into negative thoughts. Speak the words of faith.
  4. Remember that victory is already accomplished (2 Corinthians 5:17): The defeat of satan by our Lord Jesus Christ is complete. The victory is already achieved. Now it’s our responsibility to exercise the victory. The Devil can have grip on you, only when you give him. Exercise your authority and kick him out.

Prayer:

Father, cover my mind with the helmet of salvation reminding me constantly that I am your child and the enemy cannot mess with me. Fix my thoughts on you alone. Help me to think what is right, pure and praiseworthy. In Jesus name, Amen.

— Shabna Nikhil

The LORD Is Faithful, Always…!!

The LORD Is Faithful, Always…!!

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“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11

Bible speaks about Israelites that though the Lord performed many miracles amidst of them, they often failed to trust Him. They had witnessed the ten plagues, the parting of Red Sea, the protection of the Lord as a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire in the night. But every time they face a new challenge, they would forget the old miracles and choose not to trust God.

Recently, I was asking God for certain things and I became so anxious and desperate. One day, the Holy Spirit inspired me to open and read my old personal diary from the beginning. I was amazed to see how much God had strengthened me during my tough times, how many times He had protected me and answered my prayers. However, there are some unanswered prayers in it which I couldn’t understand why God didn’t answer those at that time. But after few years, as I see them now, God has blessed me with the things which are far beyond and better than what I had asked for. That moment, I got strengthened after recollecting all my previous journey with God. He always proved to be faithful.

Dear ones, our God is always faithful. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God’s plans for us are higher than our plans. He wants us to give the best. You may be praying for certain things from God and not receiving answers. You may be thinking, God is answering prayers of all other people, but not listening to my prayers. You may have come to the end of all hope, like how the Israelites came before the Red Sea. The Israelites failed to remember all the miracles that God performed in Egypt to bring them out.

Today, if you too are finding it hard to trust God, just recollect all the previous experiences with God, the times He carried you, strengthened and protected you, the times when He supplied all your needs. The God who carried you in the past, will carry you now also. The answer may not be the way you want, but God is always faithful. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You just have to trust Him for your life.

Prayer:

Loving Heavenly Father, thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for all the mighty works you performed in my life so far. Lord, whatever I am praying for now, I choose to trust you for your plans are to prosper me but never to harm me. In Jesus name, Amen.

— Shabna Nikhil