Hallelujah! Praise to the name of the Lord!
Thank you very much for you prayer for JCFN annual Joint Staff Meeting. Official report will be posted later; however it was a great time to reflect of the fiscal year of 2013 and refocus of JCFN's purpose and target in the coming fiscal year (JCFN fiscal year begins in July). We were reminded of how equipper conference takes important role in JCFN ministry. This month, we would like share another great testimony from the one had life changing experience through ec13. ec13 preparation has started. Please remember ec in your prayers!
Standing Firm in the Faith
This past year I have been struggling a lot with anxious thoughts, doubts, and questions about faith. Just last year, I've experienced couple people I knew, and didn't really know, committing suicide. Since then, I questioned what my purpose was in life and the anxious thoughts of what if people close to me start committing suicide. I was living in fear and was getting scared because I didn't have all the answers. Going into EC, I had two expectations from God. The first was to find my purpose in my life and the second was to clear up the questions I had on suicide because that is what brought fear in my life.
Something that EC emphasized was the small groups. Including myself, our small group consisted of 4 bilingual college students. Being honest with my anxious thoughts and questions about faith, I shared the struggles I was going through which opened the gate for the Holy Spirit to start the healing process. I prayed for others, I was prayed for; we were brothers in Christ supporting and encouraging each other. The Holy Spirit was working within us and through us to equip and transform us.
God answered my first expectation through the conference right off the bat. The scripture that EC was based off was Matthew 5:13-14. We are called to be the light of the world and salt of the Earth. Right then, I didn't know how exactly, but I knew that God is going to be using me to be in some way shape or form to share the gospel.
God answered my second expectation on the plane ride back to Hawaii. Since the conference was on Matthew 5-7, I decided to read the chapters before to get more background knowledge on what happened to lead into where we focused on so much during the conference. As I opened my bible, I realized that the question that lingered in my mind for almost 9 months was still unanswered; if you're a Christian and you commit suicide it's okay because there's Gods grace. This thought, or deception from Satan left me sleepless countless nights during the summer and fall semester of college. But after reading chapter 4 of Matthew, God answered this question that was weighing me down. In chapter 4 Satan was trying to deceive Jesus during his time of fasting for 40 days and 40 nights in the mountains.
In verse 5 it says, then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God", he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and they will life you up in their hands. That you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "it is also written, do not put the Lord your God to the test."
When I read this passage, I realized it was so simple. It is not okay to test the Lord. Taking advantage of God's grace to save you would be putting God into test. Satan tries to deceive us and twist the truth and even the scripture sometimes and that is exactly what he was doing to me. The most valuable thing I've learned through this season of being deceived is that we have the right to fight back. The scripture, the word of God holds power and authority over Satan, it is our two edged sword that God provided us to protect ourselves. I realized how important it is to read the bible and be prepared for this spiritual warfare. Satan tried to deceive Jesus numerous times but Jesus used the scripture and the truth to fight back, and later it stated that the devil left and the angels attended him. I lived in fear this past nine months because I wasn't prepared with the scripture engraved in my heart. But, now....I know.
I also learned that consistency is another important aspect in our lives. I need to discipline myself to read and have that personal relationship during both the highs and lows so that I may be equipped against the trials that come. I was named after this verse and I realized how much it relates to my life. In 1st Corinthians 16:13 it says, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." Just like how Jesus lived against the temptations in the mountains, I want to stand firm in my faith and not be shaken from the temptations of this world.
(Ken, on the right front in the photo)