That’s how I see my failure..

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I was given an independent task in my office and I gave my 100% to it, only to know that it’s a failure- the day before the launch. So embarrassing right? Yes, it was. It wasn’t my mistake but I failed. What’s more serious is the impact of my failure in my mind. The kind of thoughts that’s running in my mind right now is something I am concerned about as they are weird and convincing that I am the biggest fool on earth, I am a looser, I am incapable of doing anything. The solution that easily pops up in my mind is to run away from this environment, to run away to a distant place where no one can see me especially the eyes that saw my failure. I am sure that I am not the only one who gets engulfed in such extreme thoughts in times of a failure.

Thoughts are thoughts. The thoughts that comes up at this point of time is not true and the solution our mind suggests at this moment is dangerous. Practically, it’s not possible to run away from situation or people. So, I chose not to get dejected any more and as a result, I compiled this list of solutions that’ll help me and anyone who is facing similar failures in their life to bounce back with a smile.

  • Accept your failure

There is nothing harder than this but it takes a lot of courage to accept failure. Remember, only when you accept the reality, you can think about what next. No one ever tasted success without facing failure. Not even the great heroes in the bible escaped failure.

“for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,..” -Proverbs 24:16

  • Learn from your mistakes

It takes time to come out of overflowing negative thoughts. But we have to come out of it to look back, to see what actually went wrong. It might be an attitude issue- Overconfidence, pride, negligence or strategy issue, be it anything. It is important to learn from our mistakes, most importantly to avoid repeating these mistakes in the future.I have a habit of writing journal, I record all the interesting, irritating, crazy, funny, happy, sad, good and bad moments of my life in it. When I page through these journals a few days or a few years later, It simply reminds me of the problems I faced and how I dealt with it over the time. As the psalmist says,

“My punishment was good for me, because it made me learn your commands.” -Psalms 119:71

  • Maintain a gratitude journal, most importantly update it

Remember this song?

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

It is good to jot down the blessings we received in our lives and incidents when God rescued us, as this helps us to praise God in times of misery and trust in him.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” -psalms 103:2

  •  Where have you kept your trust?

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalms 73:26

In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus Christ tells us a parable about two builders, one built the house on rock and the other built his house on sand.

Where have you kept your trust? Is it on God or on situations, people and your effort?

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my  God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalms 18:2

  • There is a reason we all have to fail

Every time the people of Israel turned away from God, he punished them. They lost in their battles. But once they confessed their sins to God, he lifted them up in front of their enemies and gave them victory.

“Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” -Proverbs 20:30

  • Look ahead, Move on

You have failed doesn’t mean you have to dwell in your failure.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” -Isaiah 43:18

If you have failed doesn’t mean God gave up on you.

“He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
  Even those who are young grow weak;
    young people can fall exhausted.
 But those who trust in the Lord for help
    will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not get weary;
    they will walk and not grow weak.” -Isaiah 40:29-31

If you have failed doesn’t mean you should stop trying.

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:10

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13

 

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How can I trust God?

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Born and brought up in a Christian family and was taught to believe in Christ since childhood, and asking this question after twenty two years is a serious concern. I decided to write on this topic today because I am currently under so much of confusion. I am writing this in the heat of the moment so that I will not miss out to record any feelings or thoughts that’s in my mind right now. Most importantly, hoping to remember God’s promises and find an answer at least before I finish writing.

Trusting God is something that’s not easily executable to someone when things are no longer in their control. One such scenario is marriage. All I know about marriage is it is the perfect gift one can get from God and it can make or break one’s life.

In most of the Indian families, it is parents who will find a match for their children based on the criteria that differ from family to family. And children are no greater than a lamb ( currently, I can’t get a better picture of myself than a lamb) crushed between their own will, parent’s will and God’s will, as a result loosing the courage to follow anyone’s choice.

I believe it would be a wise idea for me to calm down for a while to describe everyone’s will in order to analyse them and decide who’s will stands out to be promising than the rest.

My will– Honestly, there is nothing like “my will”. There is a lot of fear and anxiety that’s rushing my heart and shooting my blood pressure up that even led me to google stuffs like “what to look for to marry a christian guy?”, “10 things to know before you marry” etc.( I completely agree such posts are good check lists). First of all will this marriage really work? As I have personally seen many broken marriages and a few successful ones, my strong belief is to build a right career first. My thoughts on life and marriage is completely different from that of my mom’s and the people of my community. Should I marry someone from my cast only? I thought followers of Christ have no caste and language based difference. Can I pursue dancing as a parallel activity before/after marriage? Is it wrong to postpone marriage till I get matured enough to take up responsibilities ( At least till I am 25)? Should I really pay someone to marry me? Will I find someone whose thoughts matches with my thoughts?

Parent’s will– Parents look within the same caste for a right family, right guy in terms of character, job security (in my case with an additional concern to match my height). Their genuine motive is to secure their children’s life- as quickly as possible.

God’s will– Unpredictable! Remember 1 corinthians 2:16?

“for, Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” ..    

God knows “my will” and “parent’s will”. I am just wondering whose “will” is gonna take place.As the psalmist says in psalms 37:4,5,

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

At the same time, Paul warns us in the letter written to Romans that our thoughts should not be that of this world. The actual problem starts only when we start comparing our lives with others. Romans 12:2,

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

When I am not sure about whose intuition to trust, it’s better to lean onto someone who knows my life better. And that someone can be none other than God himself. For he has promised in Jeremiah 29:11,

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for”

And most importantly, the powerful weapon that I have is prayer. Philippians 4:6,

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

God’s word is full of promises. Promises that he will fulfil for his loved ones. Next time when I start doubting God, reciting his word mentioned above can renew my mind to accept his will for me and trust him completely.

 

Who are God’s chosen ones?

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As a kid I would always wonder who created me? Who created such complex and sensitive things like my brain and heart? Who created the dogs and the cats? Who created such a huge earth that’s floating in the solar system with no one holding it? How does the earth and other planets revolve around the sun on their respective path? Most importantly without clashing with each other. Even today it still amazes me! Today it still amazes me because, I now know the creator.

I am a science student. So I know the technical terms and theories like cells, tissues, big bang, higgs boson, gravity, centrifugal force, centripetal force etc. that define the creator’s work. We human beings have discovered and will continue discovering and decoding the creator’s creation. But who is this creator and how sure can we be that we are created with so much of love? Nothing can assure us of this love better than the way psalmist has written.

“You[God] created every part of me; you[God] put me together in my mother’s womb” psalms 139:13

This is a clear evidence that each one of us born on earth are not here by mistake but purely by God’s knowledge. Everyone are chosen by God and that’s why we are created here on earth to do his purposes.  But sometimes we are too busy to think about it or we don’t realize it and even if we do so we drift away from his plan.

Who can care about us so much and watch every minute details of our lives other than our father. As the psalmist rightly said in psalms 139

“2 You know everything I do;
    from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
    you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
    you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
    you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
    it is beyond my understanding.”

God has completely designed our lives and has unique plans for each one of us. Its only when we go away from his plan for our lives, that we start messing up big time.

Psalms 139:16 ” you saw me before I was born. These days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began. “

God knows whom to create and why. So if we are here on earth, what is it for?  In John 17:9 Jesus Christ said,

“I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you.”

Our God created each one of us with utmost care and importance and that’s the reason we exist. The invitation to do God’s will is open to all but, its up to us to accept his call or reject.

The remnant of Israel are gods chosen once. We his children are servants of god were god choses to serve him.

Jesus Christ also said “My sheep recognize my voice”  

Are we part of his herd? If yes, Jesus Christ himself is ready to guide us in the path of salvation.

My favorite Joseph

I have read this story several times since childhood but never bothered to understand the details of Joseph’s life until Grace ma’am taught us one day. Later in life I could relate my life to his in many ways.No, I was not sold as a slave to a foreigner, but I was all by myself in the corporate world at the beginning of my career just as he was in Egypt.

To read the story of Joseph, click the link:  Genesis 37,39-45.

Now lets see some of the lessons we can learn from Joseph’s life.

  1. God will bless you in your unpleasant situation  Yes, you read it right. No matter you like the way your life is going or not, God will bless you if you are in the right place where he wants you to be. You might not like your job or you are waiting for some miracle to happen that will help you escape from your present situation but our God works in a different way.
    Genesis 39:2,3 says “the lord was with Joseph and made him successful in everything he did”- this was when Joseph was in Potiphar’s house. Later in Genesis 39:21, its written as ” the lord was with Joseph and blessed him” this time Joseph was in prison for the sin he refused to commit. Note that the lord did not help him escape from Egypt and go back to his father. Rather, the lord was with Joseph and made him successful in the tasks given to him by his Egyptian master and the lord was with Joseph in the prison and blessed him there. Many a times we only wanted to run away from situations which we are not ready to accept but God does not want us to give up on things so quickly.
  2. You will be a blessing for others Genesis 39:5 says “Because of Joseph, the lord blessed the household of Potiphar.” Joseph entered Potiphar’s house as a slave and turned out to be a blessing for his family which was also noticed by Potiphar himself. What joy it is to know that god will bless the people around us because of us.
  3. Gaining your masters trust Genesis 39: 4,6 tells us about the trust Joseph gained through the quality of work he did to his Egyptian master. Genesis 39: 21-23 tells about Joseph finding favour in the eyes of the jailer.

     “the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” Genesis 39: 21-23

    There is a huge difference between pleasing someone and gaining someone’s trust. If our intention is to please people, the list goes on and on! It’s never ending. Even Bible discourages such act. The only way someone can trust us is by our honesty and sincerity. Sometimes we might not even get noticed by men for our works, But remember, our omnipresent god is watching over us all the time. As Paul says,

    “Whatever you do,work at it with all your heart, as working for the lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23

    This is the best way to motivate ourself and keep going when we are at our lowest point in life.

  4. Fear of God  Joseph refused to sin with his Master’s wife in spite of her repeated persuasion (Genesis 39:v8-12), he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. Probably the best technique to keep oneself clean — is to run away from sin.
  5. Patience This is the hardest virtue. In a world that is moving quickly, waiting for something is really painful. But, our God is a patient God. So, what’s wrong if he expects the same from us? It took 17 years for Joseph to become a leader from being a slave. God has a perfect time for everything. A time, never too late nor early. The waiting time that God provides is the time for us to prepare for our calling and trust in him to work things right.

I would like to share a song by The Greenes, which is very apt for this post.

When God has another plan

Forsaken by his brothers, didn’t fit the scene
Being made a slave was not what Joseph dreamed
The coat of many colors was stained with blood and lies
But from this divine appointment, a ruler would arise

When God has another plan, walk on and just say yes
When God has another plan, be assured that He knows best
When all your dreams are shattered, rest in His sufficient grace
We don’t have to understand, when God has another plan

Alone and broken hearted, questions fill your mind
Changes can be hard that come by God’s design
But if you could see tomorrow with a view from Heaven’s Throne
Every unexpected struggle has led you closer home