The Formula of Grace: 2 Corinthians 4:17

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

What a verse! 🙂

I was reading a book at that time. Of all the verses contained in the chapter I was reading, that verse has piqued my curiosity. I closed the book and I opened my Bible. I headed towards the address of the verse, read its full chapter, and compared it with different version and different language. Sounds hectic, doesn’t it? But that’s what I used to do when I figure out something—accumulating many perspectives. Somehow it works. And as I studied His word, He taught me 😉

I kept the doodles on my notes. ‘My notes’ means the place of things I won’t share with anybody. I have bad history about sharing. I admit that I’m not good at speaking. So my best way to testify God’s favor is by writing. But when I share it through writing, they said I was haughty. (Take a deep breath) I still can’t understand why to share God’s favor is counted as prideful deeds. That’s how my bad history shutting me down to share. However, today’s devotion has spoken the opposite. Let me write the part of contain here:

“…So how do you bear fruit when God tells you something? You pass it on. When God tells you something, the quickest way to let it bear fruit in your life is to tell somebody else what you just learned…

Hence, let me take heart. I would like to share what God has taught me no matter what they would say. Let the pharisees judge; let the Lord be glorified. I would like to share even if it only reaches one person. I pray that it will bless anyone who read this as it has blessed me. For God’s word never returns void.

Let us read that verse again, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”. 

At first I was thinking this verse was talking about the reward we would get as we’re being afflicted. But let’s see what the meaning of reward is. Collins English Dictionary defined ‘reward‘ as ‘something given or received in return for a deed or service rendered’. Well-defined. Reward is something we get in return for what we have done (paraphrase by me). So reward is supposed to be directly proportional to effort. Reward is kind of merited things.

Less reward = Less effort

More reward = More effort

Yet I found such an inequality in this verse. The equation was not balance. If this verse was true that’s spoken about reward, the equation should not be like that. It should be:

Light momentary affliction = Light momentary glory  (or)

Weight eternal affliction = Weight eternal glory

What does it mean? Did I say the Bible was wrong? NO. My understanding was. I was (or maybe, just maybe, you too) thinking this verse was about the reward of our affliction. But it’s not about it at all. This verse is about grace!

Let’s take a look back. The equation of this verse is:

Light momentary affliction = Weight eternal glory

In Linguistics, ‘light‘ is the opposite of ‘weight‘. Let’s say light is the negative and weight is the positive. And let’s bring it into Mathematics. The negative is x variable and the positive is x to the second power ().

So the equation of Reward is x = x, as well as x² = x². So, it also means x ≠ x²

But instead, the Bible said x = x²

Upside down much?

Let’s take a look again. Isn’t it unequal? Yes, it definitely is. But, doesn’t it how Grace works? It’s always been Grace who changes the () into the (=). And grace makes logic upside down.

The same goes well to us which were the sinners (x) who’s supposed to be unequaled () with the Kingdom (). But it was grace through Christ Jesus who came to die that has removed the slash crossed on the unequal symbol () so it became equal (=).

Let’s now open Collins English Dictionary again. One of the definitions said that ‘grace‘ is ‘an unmerited gift, favour, etc, granted by God’. Again, well-defined. The keyword is ‘unmerited‘. If one burger was worth for $5 do you think it’s merit to get one as you pay it for $5? Absolutely. But how if you got one and paid it by only $1? You would get high-five on the face by the oh-so-hot pan. If weight eternal glory was equaled by weight eternal affliction, do you think it’s merit to have it when you only experience light momentary affliction? No. It’s unmerited at all. That is grace.

And “…beyond all comparison.” ended that verse excellently. Isn’t it the adjective of grace?

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Such an evidence: the doodles!

I’m not literally trying to look for formula. God’s favor’s immeasurable and indescribable. There’s no formula nor pattern for it. What I would like to share is that God’s favor was implied in this verse. It’s actually not about a reward for what we have done or have gone through, but it’s grace after all. And that grace’s what makes Matthew 11:30 makes sense. Thanks God for revealing. To God be the glory!

 

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16


 

What He does when we wait…(Guest post)

It’s an honor to be contributed in your blog! Thank you for inviting me to write on Kingspeech. To God alone be the glory! 🙂

kingspeech

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Hi friends! This is a very special post. Today, I have asked my good

friend Meilisa from Living the Imposibilities blog to talk about waiting

on God.

I have spoken a lot on waiting and I like I always say,

“God makes us wait because He loves us”. Meilisa has

a revelation from God  about waiting  I believe you need to hear

as she has been waiting on God too….I am so glad I found Meilisa’s

blog. She is someone who loves the Lord and loves His word deeply.

Her love for God and His word bleeds profusely through her posts.

I strongly encourage you to visit her blog. I believe

you will be blessed as I have been blessed. With that said,

Let’s get moving…..Meilisa, take it away! 😀

Meilisa

Waiting. What’s the first thing popped out in your mind when you hear that word? Some of you may sigh as the…

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Then Louder I’ll Sing

Even when it hurts like hell, I will praise You…

Even when it makes no sense to sing, louder then I will sing Your praise…

 

It’s part of my favorite song from Hillsong that keeps playing repeatedly on my playlist. This song says a lot. I keep singing this song, without words. It’s bit weird when you praise someone not with smiling eyes and dimples on your cheek, but puffy eyes and water running down your nose and coughs. I don’t know why praising Him in the storm feels more “get it” than praising Him under the rainbow.

As I wrote before, I have been struggling with funding for going to seminary. Then I found a scholarship foundation which provided funding for missionary and/or future missionary. This foundation came like fountain in the desert. I got grace that was a permission to send the application package by email considering that I was an international student and it would be harder and out of time if I sent it by mail. So I prepared and made all things required. For some nights I didn’t sleep to just prepare it all. In a nutshell, I have given my best to this chance. All things was good till it came to recommendation letter. I needed 3 letters as it required. All documents and essays were ready to send, but I needed to wait 1 more recommendation letter. I have requested the letters from 3 different people. I asked them long time enough from the deadline in order not to burden them. I know they were busy. 2 of them has made it. Even one of them who I guessed the busiest among those 3 sent it directly to the foundation BY MAIL. One letter, two letters, and it stopped there. There’s no third letter.

MAY 31, 2016. I hope it’s removed from calendar. The application was officially closed as well as my dream was officially shut down. Someone just cut my dream off. Ironically, it’s someone who understood my struggle with funding but she just… Well, words couldn’t explain it well. I realized that I was not her priority. Her priority was foreigners. But she showed me like I was. A proper standing ovation for perfectly breaking my hope. What a perfect ending for my month!

Goodbye, school…

Goodbye, California…

Farewell, dream…

I didn’t know what I have to do next. Yet I knew surely that it brought me to the skeptic thoughts. Pathetic decision. I was preparing myself to be ordinary. I equipped myself to be normal. Briefly, to live mediocre.

But little faith, is faith…

HAHAHAHA! God! You see? All the doors closed! CLOSED! BEING CUT OFF! I see NO WAY!  It’s over now. HAHAHA! I can’t wait what are you going to do now. What are you going to do with shattered dream? Someone just broke my very work, my best effort. And I cannot handle the pieces. I give it all to You then. You can do whatever You want! Take this. And amaze me again! You know that I love surprise. Surprise me once again. You said you love impossibilities. Here, You can take it all. Make sure there’s nothing left.” with husky voice, hands-knees-chest on the floor, and bloated wet face also on the floor, I prayed like crazy.

Like a cast came to his film director asking how to act the next scene, or a student to her teacher came to get to know the chemical formula, or a toddler came to his mom tries to solve why his milk doesn’t come up from his bottle, so I came to my maker as I didn’t know anything and He knew everything. I can’t, He can.

The rain fell like meteor. Waves was craving for boats to eat. I couldn’t see where the wind went since salty water was overwhelmed my sight. But I saw Him standing on the stern. Robust and firm, like nailed deep down to the lung of the sea, planted deep down to the core of the earth. He started to stretch His arms. His clothes was wet and His palms were pierced. He looked up. That pose was familiar. It’s like a silhouette seen upon Golgotha. I saw His back from behind the cargo which was my holder in this deadly waves. But then came attack from the left side and my version of strong holder has thrown away. I have no more solid things to hold. The ship was still shaking and the sea still running riot. I couldn’t see where’s the downside nor the upside because all things turned upside down. But in the roar of lighting thunder, I saw nothing’s as sturdy as His feet. I could not think anymore. I ran on the unbalanced boat to the feet I didn’t even deserve to take the shoes off.

I came to Him asking not to calm the sea. That would not be the first thought you got when you’re in the midst of raging storm. You would ask a holder, to keep you standing, or to just keep you alive.

I came to Him asking not for funding. That’s not my first thought when my dream was cut off by someone I trusted. I asked for a Helper. Because I could not help myself.

And He was there. He helped.

He’s there not to help me telling “The Best Way To Raise Your Funding” or “10 Steps To Get Scholarship”. Instead, He was teaching me a way world could never believe: to praise Him in the midst of storm.

I was reminded to Titanic movie. When the ship was sinking, the musician kept playing their instruments. In movie it feels sweet. But when it comes to reality, it’s nothing but silly. Yet, that’s what I am learning now. And this song which also has been playing repeatedly says at its best, “There’s safety in the falling when I surrender fully.”

I keep praising Him in this tempest. I am learning to be still and know. Even when the dull screams loudly on my ears. Even when I don’t know where are the north, south, west, east. Fight never stops. It’s getting heighten every day. And somehow it drains myself.

Father, haste to help me. My strength is going to lose.

As He heard my heart cry out, He helped, “Psalms 71.

Psalms is my most favorite book in Bible. I have read it all. But I can’t remember the detail of the verse. So when He said that, I took my bible without remember what’s that verse about.

Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent. That’s Psalm 71. As I finished reading it, my strength was charged. I know that He was still not giving me the funding, yet He gave me what I really need the most at that time.

At the beginning of May. I remembered when I thought I would lost in the fight with Worry-Warrior, He helped me. “March 22” as He asked me to open the page of March 22 from my yearly devotion book. It’s not today’s devotion. But His ways was not limited by day or time. So I just let myself be told by Him. “Matthew 6:28-30. You cannot have a need I cannot supply.

May 27. As it came to the end of the month, the fight was getting hot, inside and out. Yet, I served good God whose hands bring victory. “Read your today’s devotion.” “I have done reading it for today.” defended me. “No, the another book.” I know what book He meant. Then I took it and read. “Can you not trust My supply? All is yours. Could I plan your journey, your way of life, your work and not count the cost? Can you not trust Me even as you would trust an earthly friend?  Live in My Kingdom and then the supply of the Kingdom is yours. I wish you to learn the Glory of a God-protected life. No idle, fruitless rushing hither and thither. Storms may rage, difficulties press hard, but you will know no harm . . . safe, protected, and guided. Love knows no fear.” Once again I know the funding I needed has not on my hands yet. But He fed my faith, again. And He gave me what I need the most: not His hands, but His heart.

Today. June 7. I laid down at my mini backyard gazing up the blue sky. “It’s June already God, but still no progress. It’s broken instead. Whatever Your will, whatever you’re going to do, please don’t leave me in this dull season. To be honest, sometime somehow I feel forsaken.” Then I came to worship. I could not hold on His greatness. He’s way too greater for a puny me. He’s way too good for a wicked me. But He loves me. It’s still a mystery world could not revealed. “Psalm 37”  I knew once again what He meant. And over again I went inside to take my bible without remember what it was about. Thankfully, He cares of me. Psalm 37’s about “He Will Not Forsake His Saints”

I remembered when I said that I want to be a woman of faith. Maybe these seasons are the seasons given from God to mold it. Who knows? I remembered when God answered my platitude prayer as easy as I asked it. Just like when He gave me unexpected money to just….. just hanging out with my friends! It’s a tiny little unimportant thing and not even a significant thing to be written in someone’s history. But the point is, He even granted it. So what is He going to do especially to the prayer that seriously grappled? We can be so sure that He hears. Because He is God! He will answer, in His perfect way and His perfect time. Whatever His answer, let His name be glorified.

 

I am writing in the midst of raging storm.

I am writing at the peak of the drought.

I am writing at the house of uncertainty.

I am writing in the blindness of knowing of God’s will.

I am writing in the middle of shards of my shattered dream.

Some people would laugh at my fiasco.

Some people would mock my faith.

But I worship gracious God who is abounding in steadfast love and abundant in power.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

His rod and staff, they comfort me.

 

 

“Hold me through the trial, come like hope again…”

strength in pain

The failed rescue mission………

I am now in the moment as you said “I had to trust in God and if He didn’t come through I was finished!”, yet this post has strengthened me. Keep on being blessed to bless!

Blessings,

Lisa 🙂

kingspeech

THOUGHT OF THE DAY.

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Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed [over what he had done] and set his mind on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored until the sun went down to rescue him.”
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Daniel was about to be thrown into the lions den and the King

who at the time was one of the most powerful men tried to deliver

him. But for all his power and prominence he couldn’t help Daniel.

He labored until the sun went down but all his influence

couldn’t save Daniel!!

Man at his best is just a vapor.

In the fire, in the lions den we need to look to God. Daniel didn’t

rely on the King to save him. The word is very clear about where

Daniel looked to for help:

Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel…

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W.W.J.D

It’s a day when I was on the quality time with my friend. We let ourselves going to a mini-shop that sells Christian stuffs. As I found my treasure on bookshelf, my friend found hers on accessory corner. She found a soul-catching bracelet! Actually it was a very old-fashioned bracelet. The booming era of this bracelet was long years ago when I was still in Junior High School. But the message on it could never faded away by age.

W.W.J.D

What Would Jesus Do.

What would Jesus do, if He lived a life you live? And breathed the air you breathe? Or saw all things you see? Thought all things you think? And faced all things you face? What would He do?

Since I use this bracelet every day, those questions always be in my head. If I were Jesus what would I do  when I was on the line to order food? Or when I was in the idle caused by hanging train what would I think if I were Jesus? When I met the sassy stranger who scolded me by no reason, what would I do if I were Jesus? Preach and insist them to repent? No, not that radical. But at least Jesus would still be kind to them.

This bracelet was like a soul-keeper. It made me think about Jesus and watched over my attitudes. Some(many)times I got lost in evil thoughts or deeds by my ego. Then I have been reminded or realized by just looking at that abbreviation.

And another good thing about this bracelet is it is MINT colored! Yay! That’s why my friend bought it for me. “I found your-green bracelet!” said her. LOL. There is a new color in this world named your-green that is Mint. 😂

Thankful for this simple bracelet!


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. Amen.