Happy New Year! 🙂
I hope you’ve had a good fill of the previous year, and that you are quite looking forward to new and exciting things this 2018. As for me, I have updated my so called “faith goals,” in time for Victory Makati and Every Nation’s annual prayer and fasting during the first week of January. I have started participating in our prayer and fasting about 12 years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, and just a new convert from Roman Catholic to Born-Again Christian. Ever since then, I make sure to set-aside time not only to lessen the food I’ve accumulated the previous year (wink), but most especially to humble myself before God at the start of each year.
So now, about my faith goals. These are actually prayer requests I have, but I’m in faith that God will answer them within the year. Some are small and petty, some are life-changing. Over the years, I’ve come to realize how immature and self-centered I am when I was younger, and how God has shaped my character (and my prayers) to what He wanted me to become. When I look back, I’m thankful that I’ve received YES from certain prayers, and a consistent NO from other ones. I thought to myself, if I have instead received YES from those prayers, I might not be where I am supposed to be right now, plus I maybe miserable right now.
Before anything else, I’d like to give you an idea about what I believe are God’s answers to our prayers. There are three I can think of:
YES – these are always according to what God wants to happen in our life, at the moment. He gives a resounding YES if our prayers are according to His will — that is, it is not opposite to what the bible says, and according to His perfect timing that will either help us, or use us to help other people.
NO – these answers will be hurtful to us at times. There will also be times when we get confused to receive a resounding NO from God, but He knows everything. So He definitely knows the best for us and it’s only a matter of trusting Him for a better one.
NOT YET – it means, WAIT my child. Our prayers may be according to God’s will, but not yet in His perfect timing. God wants you to grow in your character while waiting for an answered prayer. That could be more patience, more faith, and more contentment where God has put you where you are right now.
With these answers to prayers, let me share to you some personal answers from prayers I’ve had over the years, in hopes that it may encourage you to remain hopeful for a better 2018:
FAMILY – if you’ve followed this blog over the years, you’ll know I came from a broken family and my father has left us in the dark years ago. When I was assigned in General Santos City for work, I had the opportunity to see my father again, and tell him I’ve forgiven him for what happened, as I’ve written in this post . This answered prayer is my most memorable answered prayer, yet cross fingers.
RELATIONSHIPS – for some time, I’ve been asking God to meet people whom I can consider as real friends, who will be there for me through ups, down, and all the sideways of my journey in life. God has given me a support group (as you can read here) to whom I can share my life with, and while waiting for a romantic partner, they have made my life joyful, colorful and contented with what I have at the moment.
CAREER – for this one, after I graduated in college, I’ve always asked God to give me a career and put me in a workplace where I would grow professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. This one is tricky — because there are so many times I want to resign from work, or look for another place to go to for financial reasons, but all throughout, I’ve realized that God has been teaching me and allowing me to grow professionally, emotionally and spiritually through my workplace. In this post, this one, and another one, God has been faithful all throughout. Have I mentioned last year about an answered prayer? God gave me a promotion to the next level in my current role — where I am not that stressed, but instead enjoying the projects I’m doing right now to improve one aspect of PH education. What’s more, I have a supportive manager and colleagues that I’m truly thankful for.
MINISTRY – since I started my walk with God when I joined Victory, it has been my desire to share the unconditional love I’ve received to anyone who is willing to listen. So in the past three years, thankfully, God has used me as an instrument to become an encouragement to a group of women, and lead them to a more fruitful spiritual walk with God with my motivation as written here.
So there. Those are the answers to my prayers. How about you? Are you in faith for new things this year? Let me encourage you with this verse:
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)