Weekly Prayer Posts from Thailand
These Three Remain — FAITH — HOPE — LOVE
January 21, 2021
Dear Friends and Loved Ones,
After all is said and done, we must all return to our drawing boards and roadmaps to see where things stand — to see just where we are on our present journey. For Christians, our blueprint, or guidebook, is the Bible. The Word of God is the only reliable navigational tool we have for life. If anyone feels disoriented by how this year has been unfolding so far — get back into the Bible. Only this time, try reading every scripture passage “very slowly.”
“And – now – these – three – remain: – faith, – hope – and – love. – But – the – greatest – of – these – is – love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
Seriously, unless we slow down to a crawl — we are going to accomplish nothing. The world is so full of commotion, it has now become downright pitiful! All our yelling and screaming will get us nowhere. Instead of fuming, we need to start simmering. Only by slowing down will we find the time to take stock of our situation. We will never be able to move forward a single inch until we discover why it is that we continually sabotage ourselves!
So why do we sabotage ourselves? That is the million dollar question that each person will need to answer. Because each person is different, each person’s disjunction will also be different. There is no “one size fits all” solution for our problems. This is why we so desperately need God in our lives. Without God’s merciful intervention in our lives, we are already dead in the water!
Faith helps us dispel our doubts — What kind of Faith are we talking about? This is not your ordinary “faith” that every person possesses. We are talking about a supernatural Faith that only God can impart to us. Our garden variety faith is what we use every morning when we get out of bed. How can we be sure that a rattlesnake isn’t curled up under our bed, and that it won’t bite our foot as we swing out of bed? Well, we don’t know — we are trusting that a rattlesnake isn’t hiding under our bed!
We are exercising an innate faith that functions pretty much on auto-pilot. Without this basic faith we
would freeze in our tracks. We wouldn’t be able to muster up the courage to get out of bed.
By now I’ve probably ruined your mornings for you! From now on you will not dare swing your feet out of bed without wondering what may be lurking under your bed! Fear and doubt are tricky things — they can play games with our minds. It doesn’t take much to traumatize us and turn our emotions into egg-drop soup! But the Faith that God bestows on us is able to dispel our doubts and fears. Not only that, the Faith that God gives us is able to accomplish amazing things.
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Hope helps us overcome our despair — Sometimes conditions around us can look pretty bleak. When we look at our world today, there isn’t much over which to celebrate. What is there to be joyful about when everything seems to be falling apart? The present pandemic that is sweeping over the earth has left nothing untouched. Chaos and confusion has become our reality. Taking one step forward and two steps backward is now the new dance move that is all the rage!
Can anyone be blamed for feeling sorry for themselves? If there ever was a time when it was okay to cry our eyeballs out — this is that time. The psalmist captures our collective anguish as he beseeched God for mercy. He too had more questions than answers.
“Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord , for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”
Who can not despair when ruin is standing at the very door — when we feel like helpless passengers trapped in a runaway truck barreling down a steep mountain road? Who can not feel desperate when all that’s left in our pants pockets are flattened balls of lent stuck between the stitchings? And yet, as if it was written for such a time as this — the prophet Jeremiah manages to post us an optimistic hope-filled word from somewhere on the far side of antiquity.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The apostle Paul echoes this promise and takes it one step further. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been ushered into a realm that is saturated with God’s glory. By God’s grace, we have been given the opportunity to stand in God’s very presence — where everything comes under the care of God’s superintending Spirit. It is up to us to appropriate this great privilege.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Love helps us resolve our conflicts — The apostle Paul presents Faith, Hope and Love, as being eternal attributes of God. Paul goes on to say that of the three — Love — is the greatest of these core values. In a world that has become increasingly divided, it is now plain to see that — “Love” — will be the only avenue available for mending the fragmentation that has occurred among us. The world has pretty much run out of options. There doesn’t seem to be any other path available to move us beyond our current impasse. God’s people are going to have to lead the world out of the tangled thickets in which we now find ourselves.
The Bible has a lot to say about — Love — and its role in conflict resolution. Here are just a few of the passages that touch upon the “Power of Love.”
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
Love will find a way — Love always finds a way!
Let us be a people who embody God’s own core attributes of
Faith — Hope — Love
Holding the line with you,
Joni & Nangsar
🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏
- Let’s continue to pray for our broken World.
- We as God’s chosen people will need to take the lead in showing the world — a Faith that reflects the Spirit, a Hope that realizes the Son, and a Love that reveals the Father.
- Join us in praying for the persecuted Church.
- We have received reports from Laos of increased incidences of Christians being persecuted for their faith. Pray that God’s people who are experiencing persecution will be able to endure these injustices.
- Let us continue to pray for an end to the worldwide pandemic.
- Countries the world over are in the grip of a life or death struggle with the Coronavirus. Let’s pray for all the people serving on the frontlines of this great effort!