Our God who allows the good and the bad

If you think God is just a God who allows good you are wrong. God is a God who allows calamity as well.

Isaiah 45:7

The One forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the Lord who does all these.

 

I know people always question, how can a good God allow calamity or evil. Numerous answers have been given. I for one particularly like what Ravi Zacharias said in one video.

Yes, this is a hard question to answer and who are we to really question God’s ways. But there is one thing that I know, even though God permits calamity, distress or evil in this world, He can always turn it for our good. So even with the bad that we think is happening in our lives, in God’s eyes, it is actually good because He can turn it for our good.

Singles Retreat 2018 Group PicI remember the past retreat that has just passed. I have been organizing retreats for years and by far, Singles’ Escapade has been the biggest one yet. When we started planning for this retreat we were only expecting 250-300 participants. A month before the retreat, a surge of registrants entered. For the first time, we had to close the registration two weeks prior to the event. We closed our registration at 397 and some people were still asking if they can join the retreat. Some problems are bad, and some are good, and this is definitely one good problem to have.

Then we started to think, how will we be able to accommodate all of these participants. We checked the venue, added an additional bus and even bought more materials. In the end, God delivered us, and we were able to serve 393 participants during the retreat.

Even during the retreat, I encountered so many setbacks and concerns:

  • We encountered a brownout during the second session
  • Only one shuttle was provided during checkout when it should have been four
  • There were so many concerns with the participants’ room
  • Food portioning was so small
  • The volume of our own speakers was not enough
  • The temperature of aircon in the hall cannot be adjusted

When all of these things happened the only thing that I can do is pray. Plus, I remembered what God showed me in Isaiah 45:7, “The Lord causes the good and the bad – well-being and calamity.”

It was then that I just started to really trust God. Yes, it is God who allows the good and the bad because he wants us to know that nothing is beyond His control. Even if it looks like everything is already bleak and hopeless, God is still in control and can do the impossible.

122 BaptizedIndeed, that is what I saw. Despite the many issues that we encountered during the retreat. God still worked mightily, and His word did not return to Him empty. The brownout did not stop the word of God from convicting people of their sin. The issues with the participants’ room cannot hinder God’s plan. And even if the volume of the speakers was not loud enough, God’s love through Jesus spoke so much volume that 121 people declared their faith in Him and were baptized.

Who can really thwart God’s plan? Man is just an instrument used by God for His glory. The bad that we encountered during the retreat was used for good. Truly God is good no matter the circumstance.

I know sometimes we view God based on our circumstances but remember, who God is according to His word and not according to our own circumstances. Not matter if we are experiencing something bad, God is always good and he can turn our situation around for our good.

I hope this gives you encouragement to just trust God and see Him work in your life. If there’s anything that encouraged you in this post, leave a comment below and I would love to hear from you. May the Lord strengthen and establish you. God bless!

1 Peter 5:10-11

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

His Man and His Woman Q&A (Part 2)

It’s been two months since I posted the first of part of this series. I know some of you were anticipating the second entry. Again, there were so many panel questions we weren’t able to answer during our Biblical manhood and womanhood series. This entry is meant to continue that topic.

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Question #3:

Hi! It has been said men should step up. Could you expound more on what stepping up is and what it means?

Answer #4:

I have seen single men who are passive. It breaks my heart because I see so much potential in them, but they don’t want to step up. When I say “step up,” it means being more involved in the context of ministry. I want them not to be scared of volunteering, taking a leadership position, and preaching the Gospel if they have to. It also means doing what God wants them to do even if that might result in failure along the way.

For example a lot of men need to share the gospel and disciple other men, they need to obey God’s commission to make disciples and evangelize. They cannot allow their fear of failure to hinder them from building their own DGroup and spreading the Good News.

A lot of men don’t step up because they’re scared of failure. They have to accept the possibility that they might fail along the way. Not that they want to, but as imperfect human beings, we are prone to mistakes. It’s not about making mistakes or failing. It’s how you come back strong that will define your character and leadership.

So men, step up. Don’t be scared to lead, fail, and not know everything before doing so. Be scared of being passive and disobedient to God’s direction in your life.

 

Question #4:

How do you make sure that your single life is maximized for the Lord?

Answer #4:

Whenever I hear this question, I always think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:34.

“…and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

So to maximizing your single life to the Lord is being undivided in your devotion to Him. This means while you’re a single individual, you will make the most out of your time to focus on Him and what He wants you to do. You have the luxury of time, so go and attend as many conferences, seminars, and Bible studies that you can. You are free from serious commitment, so serve God as well. Serve in a ministry. Build your discipleship group. Go to different mission trips. The insight here is: Spend your time on activities that have eternal value.

 

Question #5:

What if you see your preferences in a girl who goes to the same church (Connect)? How would you respond?

Answer #5:

Don’t be aggressive and carried away by your emotions. First pray, then observe. Observe how that girl serves the Lord, how that girl worships the Lord, how that girl studies God’s word, how that girl relate to other people, and that girl’s lifestyle. In time, combined with prayer and the blessing of your parents, DGroup leader, and other related mentors, look for opportunities to know her more in a group setting (refer to my answer in the first question about group settings).

Then when everything seems to be clear, and you sense this might be the person that God wants you to pursue, ask your mentors what the next steps are. Just ensure that you are covered with lots of prayer and accountability.

 

Question #6:

How should a godly man respond to a girl that made up a story about him?

Answer #6:

First of all, how did the news come to you? Did you have a friend that said this is happening in their DGroup? Or did you personally see and hear the girl gossiping to her DGroup about you? If you personally saw and heard that happening, you have to confront that individual. You should rebuke the individual in a loving way. You can politely butt in and say, “Pardon me, I overheard your discussion but that is not actually what happened…” Then you explain what actually happen or say the real story. Then ask the person who was telling the wrong story why she is sharing something untrue from what actually happened.

Your objective is not to embarrass her in front of her friends, but to understand her heart and what led her to do this.

But, if this is news you heard from a second- or third-hand source, it may not be wise to confront the individual.  One thing you can do is pray for that person. Another thing you can do is to respond in a godly way. Do not be affected by this gossip since they are sharing a wrong story about you. You know the truth. There’s no need to worry if you really know that you did nothing wrong. Allow your life and your actions to speak the truth. If you do that and you are above reproach, whatever people negatively say about you will not be accepted by others because they’ve seen the real you. Pray and surrender this to the Lord. Allow your godly actions to speak louder than ungodly, untruthful words.

 

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There are a couple of more questions to answer which will be tackled in the third and final entry. Thank you for your patience. Again, if you have anything that you want to share, just leave a comment below. I like hearing from you. God bless!

His Man and His Woman Q&A (Part 1)

Recently, we concluded our series entitled, “His Man and His Woman.” It was a series talking about Biblical manhood and womanhood. We concluded our series by separating the men from the women and having a Q&A per group.

HIs Man and His Woman

It was really fun to be a panelist and answer questions men have about contemporary relationship issues. We weren’t able to answer all the questions, so I decided to answer them in my blog. I hope everyone finds this information full of insight and wisdom.

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Question #1: 

Is it okay to invite a girl to go out? The invitation is to get to know her more.

Answer #1:

I normally advice singles to go out as a group if they want to know more about a specific person. Why? Because in a group setting, the person doesn’t put his or her best foot forward. If it’s an intimate date, of course a person would try to impress. But in a group setting you would most probably know who the person really is – what she likes, dislikes, her good side and bad side as well.

Then, when you get to know the person in a group setting, pray, seek advice from Godly leaders, and if you sense God is leading you to know the person even more, then that’s the time to ask her to go out. Not immediately inviting the person to go out will give you more time to pray and objectively seek what is in your heart. You don’t want to be overcome by your emotions or even let emotions cloud your judgement. For example, if you suddenly invited her out, then during the date you suddenly see something you don’t like. If you decide not to have another date, this might hurt the other party and you don’t want that to happen. You want to protect your sister in Christ.

In a group setting, the person is who she really is and most probably you will see something there you don’t like in the person. Then when you see that, you can now observe if you still want to get to know her beyond platonic friendship….

 

Question#2:

How do you identify that a person is a potential suitable helper to the calling that God want her to be?

Answer #2:

Let’s first discuss that word “calling” because there are callings that are applicable to everyone, and there is a calling specific to you.

For example, everyone is called to make disciples or everyone is called to serve God. Now, since you are called to make disciples, who would be a suitable helper for you? Most probably it is someone who believes and accepts that she or he is also called to make disciples, too, since it is the calling of every believer. That’s why the Bible tells us not to unequally yolk with unbelievers. So if you want to find a suitable helper or partner,  she should be someone of the same faith.

Now let’s talk about specific calling. This is unique with everyone. For example, let me use my personal situation: My specific calling is to lead the singles ministry of the CCF Alabang. That is unique to me. No one else has been assigned to that role. Now, I should think, based on my specific calling, who is the best partner for me? Most probably it is someone who is also passionate in serving the singles as well. This should be someone who is willing to accept that her family’s life will be open to the public and supports the ministry of her husband. That is why one absolute requirement for me is she should serve in the same ministry as I.

But this is using my situation as an example. That’s why you should pray for God to reveal what He specifically wants you to do in life whether it’s become a pastor,

corporate executive, business man, entrepreneur, philanthropist, etc..

My simple advice regarding the best helper or partner for you is to look for someone who not only loves and serves the Lord Jesus Christ, but also shows Christlikeness in her actions. You’ll never go wrong with a Godly woman.

 

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There are still other questions to be answered. I will tackle them in my next blog post. If you have anything that you want to share just leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. God bless!