DO NOT SAY IMPOSSIBLE

“I sit and I listen to john crying and I wish there was something I could do to help him. I sit and I listen to john and I wish there was some way I could make him better. There is no hope for john, no hope at all. He could go to five hundred clinics and spend ten years working the twelve steps and it wouldn’t make a bit of a f………. difference. He has been broken beyond repair, wounded beyond the point of healing, abused beyond the point of recovery. He will never know happiness or joy, security or normalcy. He will never know pleasure, satisfaction, serenity, clarity, peace of mind, or any semblance of sanity. He will never know trust or love”.

Now that was a frank and honest evaluation James Frey made about John, one of the characters in his book, “A Million Little Pieces”.

I forgot to add blood chilling. James’s evaluation of John’s situation is blood chilling. John ought to throw himself off a building. Or stand in front of a moving train. Or hang from a rope. Or take an over dose of whatever would help him go to sleep, permanently.
Who is john and why did James describe him as hopeless?

As a child, John was a victim of sexual abuse in the hands of his father. As an adult, he spent some time in prison where he was further assaulted sexually. John has sodomy urges that he can’t control as a result of his horrible experiences. He is a total wreck emotionally and psychologically. He is neither dead nor alive, but better dead than alive if James’s evaluation of his pitiful life were accurate and final.

James’s report carries an air of finality, for obvious reasons, but I can’t help but wonder, is it possible for someone like John to get up and live rather than stay down and die? I bet if you ask the Lord Jesus He would say that all things are possible to anyone who believes. And I bet if you ask renowned preacher Joyce Meyer, she would tell you that it is possible because as a child, she was also a victim of sexual abuse at home and despite the pain and the trauma, she is alive, she is well and she is fulfilling God’s purpose for her life. Great testimony, but what if someone argues that perhaps Joyce wasn’t broken beyond repair, or wounded beyond the point of healing. Perhaps her own experience did not drive her completely out of her mind because God had plans for her. Who knows, no two experiences are ever exactly the same and people handle misfortune differently. But James didn’t say the things he said about John just because he is a pessimist. He met John in a help facility, where everyone including himself was damaged. They all had but a slim chance to return to normal life. Yet John was the only one James wrote off as hopeless.

James described John as unfixable. John was like a vase shattered into a million tiny pieces, just how do you put that back together? I would like to answer scripturally by saying that with God, all things are possible. It however does not mean that what is possible will happen automatically. Or that it will happen nice and easy. Humans are supposed to use the word impossible; we will always encounter things that are bigger than us. These are the things we should hand over to the Lord. But if God is alienated from our lives, what is left for us to do? Admittedly, even when you have God in your life, some things can still hit you so bad; strength is drained out of you. But God always finds a way to renew the strength of those who trust in Him. Haven said that, I say, God has the power to make a difference. The availability or lack of the power of God is what determines whether a write-off like John will die in misery or receive the gift of a brand new life.

James predicted that John’s case was hopeless, he was right, “for with man, it is impossible”. But the power of God can repair and heal John, “but not with God, for with God all things are possible”. Who am I to tell John that there is hope for him in God? I don’t have the experiences that he had, who am I to give him that kind of assurance? Here’s the thing, it is not I, but the word of God that gives the assurance of miracles. It is left for John to believe and embark on a journey of recovery with God. A life time journey that will challenge, test but reward his faith every step of the way. Or he could accept that it is all over, that there is truly no hope for him, no hope at all.

Dear FOJ,

Always remember that whatever is impossible to you is possible with God. Never forget that if you are willing to believe, anything is possible.

Yours truly,

Moni.

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I DISAGREE WITH JAMES FREY

James wrote:

“I think God is something that people use to avoid reality. I think faith allows people to reject what is right in front of our eyes, which is that this thing, this life, this existence, this consciousness or whatever word you want to use for it, is all we have, and all we’ll ever have. I think people have faith because they want and need to believe in something, whatever that something is, because life can be hard and depressing and brutal if you don’t”. (Excerpt from James’s book, A Million Little Pieces)

I write:

Reality is that which is real, the oxford dictionary defines it as the true situation and the problems that actually exist in life. Reality cannot be avoided, no more than one can avoid breathing. Your reality is that which is always in your face whether you like it or not, and if you do not have the power to dominate it, it will dominate you. God is the power that makes it possible for people to have dominion over reality. God gave man the authority to have dominion over life on earth, (see Genesis 1 verse 28). Needless to say that man has lived up to that charge.

When there is a connection between God and man anything can happen, and this truth makes nonsense of reality. Abraham and Sarah were old, all their lives they wanted children but they were childless. That was a real situation and a real problem. The reality dominated them until one day God came to Abraham and said that He can change the situation and because Abraham believed Him, He did. (See Genesis 12 verses 1-3, Gen. 13 verse 16, and Gen. 21 verses 1-5)
In acts 3 verse 6 peter exercised dominion over a situation and a problem. A man who was confined to a life of begging for alms because he was lame from birth had the reality of his life changed forever. Peter told him to get up and walk in the name of Jesus, and he did.

God is not something that people use to avoid reality; God is the power that makes it possible for people to exercise dominion over reality.

Faith does allow people to reject what is in front of their eyes but not so as to live in denial but rather to look beyond what is seen and aging to what is unseen and eternal. Life as we can see, feel, touch is not all there is. The natural order proceeded out of the supernatural. Life existed before earth and if the earth is suddenly taken out of the way, life would still exist. (See Gen. 1 verses 1-2, John 8 verses 57&58, Mark 9 verses2-4, John 14 verses 1&2, Gen. 28 verses 12&13, 2 kings 6 verse 17, 2 kings 2 verse 11, Luke 24 verse 51).

Life is beyond what exists around us physically, therefore this existence, this consciousness or whatever word anyone might want to use for it cannot be all we have or all we will ever have.

It may be a fact that some people have faith because they need to believe in something, whatever that something maybe because life can be frightening if one doesn’t, but can this kind of faith hold up against the storms of life? Bible faith does not fit that description. Bible faith is living faith. Abraham didn’t just believe in something, he believed in a God who spoke to him, made him a promise and fulfilled that promise. Isaac didn’t just believe in something, he believed in a God whom he could cry to when his wife didn’t conceive in time. Jacob didn’t just believe in something, he believed in a God who appeared to him, wrestled with him and made wonderful promises to him.

Bible faith is living faith, you know whom you believe, and with Him you have a relationship that positions you to receive help and comfort in a world full of pain and sorrow.

On a final note, believe in God comes by revelation, (see Gen. 12 verses 1-3, Gen. 28 verses 10-15, Exodus 2, 1 Samuel 3).

Believe in God is a calling, (see John 6 verses 37&65).

Without a revelation or a calling, one would not believe.

Yours truly,
Moni.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT YOUR EYES

It doesn’t matter what colour they are; brown, blue, black, green or hazel. It doesn’t matter what shape or size they are; big, small or slant. And you might disagree but whether they are attractive or ordinary is not the most important thing in the world either. What really matters is how you use them. What else can one do with a pair of eyes other than to see? Yes, but the question is, what are you looking at? That could make all the difference in the world.

I know a man who created something out of nothing by the power of the eyes, his name was Jacob. Living things procreate after their kind but Jacob broke that rule. By the law of “what you fix your eyes on affects your life”, Jacob made livestock that were not streaked to produce streaked, and those that were not spotted to produce spotted, and those that were not speckled to produce speckled. (See Genesis 30 verses 37-41)

I know a man who walked on the sea, his name was peter. The water was real, dangerous and deadly. It was an impossible thing for a man to think of doing but Peter did it because he fixed his eyes on Jesus. However, Peter had an accident that almost cost him his life. The sea knew its own strength and it wanted to know if Peter could say the same for himself. The sea snarled at Peter and immediately, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and fixed it on the sea. Glad that it had Peter staring into its cold, brutal eyes; the sea clamped its hands around Peter’s ankles and attempted to drag him to the bottom. Peter cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” (Mathew 14 verses 26-31)

What you fix your eyes on eventually sucks you in or fills you up. And what fills you up controls what comes out of you. That’s the reason why Jacob was able to make non-streaked goats produce streaked kids. And that’s the reason why the fearsome water was able to fill Peter with fear.

To everyone who has eyes to see, I ask, what are you fixing your eyes on? What are you allowing to suck you in or fill you up? Whatever it is will control your feelings, your thoughts, your attitude, your perception, your decisions, and your actions. It could be anything but I strongly recommend the word of God. Unlike lust for power and money, it will not corrupt you. Unlike lust for beauty, it will not mislead you. Unlike lust for sex, it will not debase you. Unlike lust for drugs and alcohol, it will not destroy you.

There are other things we fix our eyes on that make us experience what Peter did walking on the sea; the fear of losing it and going under. A very good example is the mysteries of life. When things happen around us that are shocking and impossible to explain, our natural reaction is fear. Another thing is the challenges of life; circumstances or situations we find ourselves in that are just too difficult to deal with. And last but not the least is our past experiences. Some things need to be forgotten but if we keep looking back and fixing our eyes on them, they will eventually drag us under.

Dear FOJ,

We can walk over lust of the eyes as well as the mysteries of life if we fix our eyes on the word of God. We can walk over life’s challenges, past experiences and anything that has the tendency to suck us in and take over our lives by just keeping our eyes on Jesus. While on earth, Jesus walked in dominion, walking on the sea was a significant illustration of walking in dominion over the forces of nature. Jesus said to Peter, come, you can do it too. And He is saying the same thing to us today. So stop looking at the “threatening waters”, and keep your eyes off the harmful addictions. If you don’t you will lose your faith, and if you lose your faith, you will lose your life.

Yours truly,

Moni.

OF STRENGTH AND POWER

“For by strength no man shall prevail”- 1 Samuel 2 vs. 9b

Simon peter, the son of Jonah was not a weak man. At first glance, the Lord Jesus called him a stone, (John 1 verse 42). Later, the Lord referred to him as the rock on which He would build His church, signifying that Peter will play a significant role later in church building. (See Mathew 16 verse 18)

Simon Peter the son of Jonah was vocal, brave and bold. When Jesus asked His disciples who they believe Him to be, it was Peter who answered boldly, declaring that Jesus was the Christ, (see Mathew 16 verses 15-16). When Jesus hinted His disciples about His death, it was Peter who voiced a stern objection. On the mount of transfiguration, Peter was as scared as James and John at the sight of Elijah and Moses, but he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Does it matter if what he said made sense? He just had to say something, that was peter, couldn’t help but be brave, bold and vocal, (see Mathew 17 verse 4).

All the disciples submitted their feet quietly for feet washing except Peter. He had to rebuke Jesus for acting like a servant when He was the master. And after Jesus explained what was going on, Peter wanted a bath! (See John 13 verses 5-9) That was peter, passionate about Christ; every single blunder spoke volumes about his passion and zeal for Christ.

Jesus knew that Simon Peter was a strong man, but He also knew that the arm of flesh would fail him. He said to peter, “ assuredly I say to you that today, even tonight, before the roaster crows twice, you will deny me three times”, (see Luke 14 verse 27-31). Peter argued vehemently; he was never afraid to argue with the Lord. But when the moment came, and it happened, just as the Lord said it would, Peter realized that his strength was not sufficient to carry the weight of the love that he had for his Lord and master, Jesus. Peter wept.

There were twelve disciples, one fell away and there were eleven. Jesus loved them all and He knew that they loved Him, but it was only to Peter that He directed the question, “do you love me?” There were eleven disciples standing, but only to Peter did Jesus say, “feed my lamb.” And then, “Tend my sheep”. And, “Feed my sheep”. And finally, “follow me.”

Yes, Simon Peter, the son of Jonah was not an ordinary man, he was called and he was chosen but he needed help. His strength failed him when he needed it the most but the Lord Jesus had a solution to that. Jesus told His disciples, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth”, (see Acts 1 verse 8)

Right after Peter received power through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he preached a sermon that got three thousand people saved at a go. Same Peter; brave, bold and vocal; however, he was not depending on his natural strength anymore but on the power of God. Glory!

Dear FOJ, if you are naturally blessed with a tough personality, it’s an asset. To be built like a stone certainly has a lot of advantages but, in our walk with the Lord, our natural strength can never be sufficient for us. Our natural strength has its weaknesses and it can fail us at any time. To stand firm in faith always, we must depend on the power of God. To be productive in our lives as Christians we must depend on the strength which the power of God supplies by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Yours truly,

Moni.