Photo courtesy of Simon Roy.
"Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
The wise in heart are called discerning,
and pleasant words promote instruction."
Proverbs 16:20-22.

I believe God is going to create many breakthroughs for both you and me in 2014. He will open doors that were previously closed, some because we are willing to surrender in a deeper level with him or some by force because He loves us so much as His dear children. The secret into realizing and witnessing these supernatural breakthroughs is faithful obedience rooted in His word.

As you may already know, I am currently studying more about the book of Proverbs. It hasn't been an easy journey for me. Some verses really stood out to be harsh and rebuking, but as stated in my last post, I continuously tried to understand and fully accept the Word as it is written on the Bible. No crooks or turns. Although it's hard, I believe God uses all forms and ways to speak into our lives. Don't close him out. Always try to accept and receive it, if it's not yet automatic. Sometimes harsh words from God, your parents, your teachers, your siblings or your friends are true tell-tale signs that they deeply care about you.

We had the privilege to hear from our Bethany Indonesia youth pastor earlier at 180 this morning. The message was simple. He talked about surrendering for God and 'suffering' for God. Automatically, most of us would have defined 'suffering' as a daunting, potential experience when we face something terrible, threatening or grieving. However, 'to suffer' is not always to lose something or be at loss. Suffering also implies encountering the good things due to someone. Because of our belief, we will be handed to the persecutors and be persecuted. Because of Jesus, we will also receive our well-deserved rewards in heaven, and because of Jesus too will we see lives getting saved and won over for His Kingdom. That is s also suffering. Yet, regardless whether suffering is good or bad, the question still stay the same. Are we willing to suffer or sacrifice aspects from our loved, comfortable life to pursue the unknown such as Jesus? Many of us would probably lift our hands in public claiming that we are Christian and that deeply, we love God with the fullest of our hearts. Yes this can be true but how much are we willing to sacrifice or surrender into God's hands before we start to be wary for the safety of our own lives? When God called Abraham to sacrifice his first-born Isaac, what did we see? Did Abraham refuse to do what was commanded? The name "Father of faith" would never be handed down to him if he weren't so faithful and trusting in God's hands.
Photo courtesy of Gianluca Fantoni.
Many times God calls us out of our comfort zones and routine schedules to do His work. It may seem like the most tedious thing ever, the riskiest thing that could get you in deep water, or something way beyond your ability. Often I asked God why he would give me challenges way past what I can do, and it is during these moments that I failed to pause and think...He never wanted us to do things, or anything (!) in this world alone. That's why He draws himself nearer to you, planting you in supportive youth group networks, families, mentors and friends. If you pay attention to His presence and never take anything for granted, I believe you are going to witness pretty spectacular things in life regardless of where you are, who you are and what situations you are facing.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5 immediately came to my mind after whenever I read Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 55. It is essential that we remember innately that God's ways are NOT our ways. His perspective goes beyond our expectations and genius. If no man could predict the future, God has already shaped the future before we were born. Doing something that is according to God's will may sound tough and restricting at times but we should always bear in mind that He knows our future and our own lives better than ourselves. It's amazing to think that this complicated life actually looks very simple and straight before God and that He is the one who is going to guide you through all things. Now the question is, are we ready to walk within His guidance? 

But if you are abiding in me and my words abide in you,
everything whatsoever you desire to ask shall be done for you.
John 15:7.

Maira Gall