Tag Archives: Jesus

Panic, Desolation, Hopelessness…Who do You Trust now?

“The crisis surpasses everything that human efforts could do.  And it’s just not the virus itself that causes illness and even sad losses everywhere…”

 

It’s true that from January 2020, all media and social media have been burdening us with thousands of headlines causing -some of them more than others- fear, anguish, hopelessness; in other words, chaos and instability.

For example, in January, “Fires in Australia are threatening the future of 327 protected species of plants and animals, says the Government.”  Also, in January, “Earthquake in Puerto Rico: How the earthquakes changed the view of the shape of the island from space.”  Later in February, “At least nine people died in Turkey because of the earthquake.  The epicenter was in Iran.”  And, of course, we haven’t been unaware of the widely debated “global warming” topic.

And yes, the earth has indeed faced fires, earthquakes, floods in different zones of the planet, and there’s no doubt that many populations have been affected in different and very critical ways.  But, in any case, each of these problems were specific or have attacked specific places.  And even though their neighbors from all over the world sympathized with them, nobody suffered from these tragedies but the people directly involved or affected.  Thus, it was a sort of sectorial pain, just to give a name to it.

However, lately some other headlines have joined the ones above mentioned: “UK ‘under house arrest’ as coronavirus measures ‘end freedom’”; “Coronavirus in Ecuador: questions and answers about corpse treatment during the health emergency;” or “The pandemic could reduce the world economy by almost 1% in 2020, says the UN.”

Hence, the outlook takes a radical turn, of course.  Headlines of this kind, about a particular topic, start to emerge in different countries around the globe, one after another, minute after minute.  Just like a clock that won’t stop ticking news after news, announcing an “invisible enemy” –COVID-19.

Enemy who, as of press time, has attacked over a million victims and killed 64,743 people worldwide.  An actual tragedy!

But, what kind of enemy is this, coming to disrupt the life of all the inhabitants of the planet like no other has before?  Panic isn’t sectorial anymore, panic is global!  The disaster isn’t sectorial, it’s global!

How can we leave this confinement?  How can we defeat the enemy?  Who can we trust?  These are some questions of all humankind in the midst of this world crisis.  But, despite the good spirits of some people, the high motivation of others, and mostly the amazing good will and self-sacrificing service of some more, and the strategic action of the governments that must be mentioned, of course; nothing is enough to bring well-being, good health or real peace feeling back.

The crisis surpasses everything that human efforts could do.  And it’s just not the virus itself that causes illness and even sad losses everywhere. It’s also the emotional tragedy that has reached families, communities and the entire global environment.

But it is right there, when we as human beings, we have nowhere to turn to and nowhere to go for shelter, when we realize our vulnerability, weakness and powerlessness to face the unknown. That’s when we dive into the deepest of our heart and acknowledge that there’s someone we can and we should turn to.

That someone is God.  And the word “god” might be too “shabby,” too “underused”, or too “decontextualized.”  Does the world have a true understanding and knowledge of who God is?  Does the world really understand the essence and greatness of God, the Creator of heavens and earth, the universe and everything that exists?

If indeed humanity understood the magnificence of this God, they would join yesteryear’s Psalmist, David, and cry out from the depths of their heart in these times of crisis:

“ I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
  My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!”

The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.

 (Psalm 121:1-2,7  NLT)

 

When we come to understand that we ran out of “human” resources, in the midst of this pandemic, there’s no wiser action than turning to the Creator of all humankind.  There’s no wiser action than turning to the One who gives life, the One who saves and heals, the One from whom flows true peace.

There’s no other way than turning to the true and almighty God, to Jesus Christ, the Life itself, the Savior of the world, the Prince of peace!

While the news proclaim panic, desolation, hopelessness; only those who put their trust in the Eternal God, the Creator of heaven and earth, will have the strength to proclaim serenity, consolation and hope; always understanding that their protection comes from above, from their Creator.

“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.”

(Isaiah 26:3-4  NIV)

 

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Photos:  Cecy Yepez (1) & Envato Elements (2, 3, 4) – Design:  YNS

 

A Week full of Victory!

The Holy Week, as we know begins with the well-known “Palm Sunday”, which is nothing but the “triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.” Yes, triumphal entry because all the people received Him with joy, excitement, offering palms, spreading their coats for the King to enter the city. “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9) Hosanna is truly a plea for salvation, as it is said in Psalm 118: 25: “O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!”

The people longed for salvation. But, what kind of salvation? Probably, salvation from the conflictive social state of those days. But Jesus came to bring us even deeper salvation, salvation to our souls. A week later, Jesus dies on the cross. The acclaimed one is insulted, mistreated and reviled. Hope dies. The Man dies.

Yes, Jesus died in His human essence; but, His divine power was revealed 3 days later, when He rose in victory. When He overcame death, because Jesus Himself is the giver of life, He is the Life itself!

Jesus Christ is the only one who can rescue you from death, from the spiritual death that is the most serious! Do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you think that when you physically die, everything is over? Jesus tells you, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) Do not wait longer. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no other way to ensure a life full of peace here on earth and of hope of eternity in the very presence of the Creator of the universe, where there will no longer be crying or pain. Where Jesus Himself will wipe away our tears and give us eternal peace on his lap, as a true loving Father.

For many, the Holy Week began in victory, but ended in despair, in pain, in tragedy, in death. But, the Holy Week began in Victory and ended in even greater Victory. Because Jesus Christ rose from the death and lives forever and ever! God is not dead, and He can transform your life…open your heart to Jesus today!

 

Photo License by 123RF.

The Only Reason for Christmas!

Christmas…

Over 2,000 years ago, humankind celebrated the first Christmas in history. ¡The only and true Savior was born! The one whose main purpose was to release this planet from the worse exterminator…sin.

The wages of sin is death. But, Jesus, the Savior came to give us life and life to the full.

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.                (Romans 10:9-10)

 

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A Blessed Christmas and an Extraordinary New Year!

Matthew 2:5-12  (ESV)

5 They [the wise men] told him [Herod], “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path?

“There was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced …”

 

Recently, I shared some outdoor activities, in which I had the opportunity to take short and long walks on trails in the middle of natural forests. It was a unique experience, so I incredibly enjoyed it despite the complexities that arose at certain times.

Eventually, one of the trails was much more complicated than the others, not only more complicated but also longer, almost endless. And in addition, many obstacles appeared throughout the tour.

Endless slopes for climbing; some sections downhill, slippery with mud; suddenly some ditches to jump; and in some cases, small streams or mud pits that demanded some impulse to cross them.

 

 

To the rhythm of the spectacular twittering of the little birds that fluttered in the middle of the forest and suddenly accompanied by a pair of friendly canines that joined the group as if they took the role of guides, the walk along the road suddenly acquired a different nuance. Some were losing strength; others, with a short break in the middle of the path and a little water was enough to regain the strength; others found it tremendously common, they knew they would face obstacles and were ready to face them.
But for everyone, there was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced … a single, but powerful thing … our goal: to reach one of the majestic waterfalls of the area.

And so it was, after almost two hours, our eyes could not believe in front of us, one of the most wonderful spectacles, the Cascada de Cóndor Machay, fruit of the thaw of the Cotopaxi snow-capped mountain, located in the Ecuadorian province that bears the same name.

How refreshing it was to stand in front of this spectacular landscape, not

At Cascada Condor Machay

only by the breeze that threw the force of the fall of the waters of the Condor Machay, which definitely brought freshness to our faces and bodies; but also because it brought refreshment to our souls, upon knowing that we achieved our goal, we discovered the beauty of Condor Machay, more than 3,000 meters high. Amazing! What an extraordinary live stage!

Walking along these roads and in particular this one that took us to Condor Machay, at times seemed a myriad, endless and irresistible path, but our eyes were on the finish line, the inestimable goal that was finally achieved and enjoyed.

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path? Have you ever thought that the path of life sometimes seems to be an endless and overwhelming path?

Many times, walking through life may seem like a path whereby we walk without reaching the finish line. We certainly face many obstacles, but unfortunately we do not reach our goal. Now, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve at the end of life?

Perhaps, having a successful marriage, children fulfilled both as persons and as professionals, a highly respectable professional development, businesses that reach their maximum magnificence; and all this can be valuable and if achieved, it will be truly worthy of admiration. However, even if all this seems stately and invaluable it remains purely physical and emotional. But, what about the spiritual realm?

Do we think perhaps that after all the innumerable hurdles overcome and the success achieved on this planet, everything ends there once we leave it?
Well, absolutely not, God, our Creator according to His Word, “… and has set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are eternal beings, once we leave this earth, we will live – our spirit will live forever. The question is, where?

And while our life does not have a clear and transcendent purpose, all success achieved even in the midst of huge obstacles becomes transient, temporary, fleeting achievements and even futile. Why? Because very often everything we do, and with great effort, is simply done to bring about recognition to our own name.

The writer John Piper, in his book, “Don’t waste your life” states: “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”

The moment we recognize that we are creatures of God, the creator of the heavens and earth, of the human being, of the entire universe and of everything in it; our perspective will change completely. We are beings created by the great Almighty God and we are made in His image and likeness and we are created for good works; as His Word states: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Then everything makes sense. It’s not about us, it’s about who made us and what He created us for. God is the one who gives purpose to our lives, He is the one who will fulfill His purpose in each one of us (Psalm 138: 8), of course if we turn to Him, if we seek His direction, if we long for His purpose in our lives.

The journey of life is complicated, exhausting and confusing at times; but if we are clear about our purpose and we set our eyes on it, we know that every obstacle will finally be overcome. Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that you may find peace in me. In this world you will face afflictions, but be encouraged! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And He also said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14: 2).
Today may be the day you find true peace and salvation. Surely, you may have been walking on seemingly blind alleys, endlessly. And perhaps, without any major achievements. But Jesus Christ invites you to leave all the burden at His feet today, to confess your sins before Him, to let go everything that troubles you before Him. Jesus today listens to you, He listens to your heart and invites you to release everything that overwhelms you. He is your Savior, your Healer, who forgives all your evils and is ready to welcome you with open arms.

You have tried to jump or evade so many obstacles but without any luck. If today you open your heart completely, without regrets, if you repent of all sin, Jesus promises you eternal life in His presence, and also to walk with you the path of life. At the end of the path, the majestic inexhaustible source of living water will surely await you, Jesus Christ Himself who will receive you with open arms, who will wipe away your tears, who will refresh your soul!

His Word indeed states: “The LORD Himself goes before you and be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged”                                                                                             (Deuteronomy 31: 8).

Photos:  Courtesy of CI colleagues.