Repent or Repeat

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:15-20)

In today's verse, we can all agree that everyone of us has a weakness we struggle with that repeatedly plays itself over and over in our lives. Some of the weaknesses we may bear in our lives is perhaps having a hard time trusting others, being too stubborn, maybe taking things to personally, or being close-minded, lustful, self-critical, fearful, lazy, a perfectionist, procrastinating, being too greedy, taking on too much, acting bossy, and feeling the need to always be right. The list goes on!

Have you ever asked yourself, “why can’t I overcome this, why does this mistake keep repeating itself?" It is quite a challenge in itself when we are facing our weaknesses. Quite often we know what they are--but how many of us face it right on just as David faced Goliath? We know our struggles, yet because life pulls us in so many directions, we let it slide, when in fact we should examine, acknowledge, confess and repent of it. In a culture where everything is “what about me?”, we have the tendency to blame our weaknesses or wrongs on others just so we could feel less of the weight on ourselves. 

Personally for me, I struggle with trusting and over thinking. Repeatedly having to experience dishonesty, hurt, and disappointment time and time again from a loved one is just too heart aching. A pain that leaves me nothing less than the inability to trust again. When such situations arise my thoughts race around “what did I do to deserve that?” or “am I not good enough?” Feelings of insecurity, doubts and hurt have me feeling challenged to forgive.

In the conversation Peter had with Jesus he says, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me?” Jesus replied, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Trust me, it isn’t always easy to forgive again and again. It is in these weakest moments where I cry out to God for help!

I cry out for His help to first overcome the overwhelming feelings and thoughts that stir me away from seeing the truth. I then begin to repent for not placing my trust in Him who is sovereign even in the midst of my pain, anguish, and hurt. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t come naturally for me to repent immediately after such overwhelming incidents. I cry and cry and cry and in fact at times I even doubt if God is even with me in those moments. But praise God for His patience and mercy for carrying me through these moments of brokenness by giving me the gift of faith to keep anchoring onto Him. 

Do not for a moment think: “I keep coming to God to confess with the same weakness,he is probably tired of hearing it over and over again and yet I am not changed”

Wrong!!!!

He is a God that is personal! It does not steer him away from you but gives him way to draw closer to you. Does the Word not say, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” Let His power rest in us, we are better off continuously anchoring onto Him to repent than to repeatedly make the same mistakes over and over again. Though we may be challenged to forgive “not seven times, but seventy seven times”, God, Our Mighty God is more than able to forgive us day in and day out as we cry out to Him with a sincere heart.

Katrina Nguyen
The Author of our Life

God is the author of our life. He has written out the story of our life way before you and I were even born. 

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

However, we have numerous times edited our story through our sinful nature, but God always re-edits the story back to its origin (His version, the better version). We can't deny when he does re-edit our mistakes, it isnt easy nor painless, rather stretching us beyond our comfort zone only to bring us back in alignment with Him. 

Therefore, let us pray and ask God to teach and show us these 5 things:

1. Loving God enough to ask Him what is it WE can do for Him, not only what he can do for us.

2. Loving to be in His presence by finding ourselves praying to Him many times just because we love Him, not only praying to Him when things are tough or when we need something.

3. Being able to praise Him no matter what is going on in our lives rather than get mad or disappointed in Him when He doesn't asnwer our prayers as we would like Him too

4. Being able to love HIm and revere Him for who He is not only because of what He does

5. Knowing to pray in aligment with God's will and believing that He wants to answer our prayers we pray in line with His will.

I hope that you will consider these five things into your daily lives and to trust God's plan! Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Cam-Tu Vu
What to do when you don’t know what to do!

Has there ever been a moment when you struggle to make a decision and have no idea what to decide? Fear strikes you in many ways because you do not know what is on the other side. You worry is this God’s will or yours? You wonder what if I make a mistake in my decision? What if the choice seems so good but you aren’t sure if it is God? Good and God can be so similar at times it is hard to distinguish. What do you do?

Praying is always a good reason to obtain God’s solution in any and every situation we are faced with. “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to god” Philippians 4:6. In our prayers we should keep in mind asking for wisdom and understanding to handle our situations. In the book of James 1:5-7 is remind us, “ If  anyone of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be give in to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” 

Lately I have been battling in my thoughts and struggling emotionally to make a choice whether we should pursue a second location. A major concern that is keeping me from making a solid decision is “is this God’s will or ours” Initially I had no concerns about moving forward in faith as I prayed and believed God will open and confirm as we move forward in faith. Along the way God has shown us a lot of favor from the people we dealt with through this process. But what made me second guess was when our application for a bank loan got declined. Truthfully , God was more than able to release the funds, if he willed to, from the bank to meet our needs for opening the new location. After all He is sovereign and in control over all the things on earth right? But the fact that we didn’t get approved had me asking God “does this mean no not now God” From that very simply question I became weary and concerned. I began to doubt, questioned my husbands ability of making the right decision and became quite exhausted emotionally and mentally. On top of that being pregnant my body was feeling the stress and fatigued. All of this did not help me at all cope with the situation. In fact got me wanting to give in to my flesh by giving up and sadly placed a gap between my husband and I. Truly God’s word reminded me, “ but when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord”

Because I doubted, I made way for my thoughts and emotions to “blow and toss” me back and forth unable to see, receive or discern clearly from God. 

Doubt sure has its way of paralyzingly our faith and disabling us to trust God fully. But praise be to God for his everlasting love that never changes even though we may change. Giving us chance after chance, day after day to redo, restore and renew our thoughts and trust in Him. Through all this I have learned “ give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. I Thessalonians 5:18. It is easy to focus on the negative, but a lot of courage and discipline to  praise and give Him thanks in the storm. Let us choose to praise Him in our trying times as it releases faith to overpower the fear that has imprisoned us in our emotions and doubts. 

PRAYER: 

DEAR GOD, THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS PLACING THE DESIRE TO REACH OUT FOR YOU WHEN I AM BROKEN OR LOST. THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME CONTINUE TO PURSUE EVEN WHEN I AM CONFUSED AND UNCERTAIN. THANK YOU FOR NEVER GIVING UP ON ME BUT GIVING ME THE HEART TO DRAW CLOSE TO YOU WHEN I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. EVEN IF DRAWING CLOSE TO YOU AND YOU DONT NECESSARILY MAKE IT CLEAR AS TO WHAT I AM TO DO I WOULD STILL RATHER BE IN YOUR PRESENCE AND IN YOUR ARMS THEN TO BE ELSE WHERE. THANK YOU DAD FOR NEVER LETTING ME LET GO. THANK YOU DAD THAT IT MAY BE HARD AT TIMES PURSUING MY FAITH WALK WITH YOU AS I DONT ALWAYS HAVE THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW, BUT YOU REMAIN FAITHFUL TO ME AND ENABLING ME TO REMAIN FAITHFUL AND PURSUING YOU DESPITE HOW MESSED UP I CAN BE EMOTIONALLY, MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS FOR ME THROUGH OTHERS. THANK YOU FOR ENABLING ME TO BE PERSISTENT IN PRESSING ON, PRESSING HARD AND PRESSING FOWARD! THANK YOU DAD THAT IT IS BY YOUR EVER LASTING STRENGTH THAT I AM ABLE TO DO WHAT I DO. PHILIPPIANS 4:13 MAY I REMIND YOU “I CAN DO ALL THINGS BECAUSE OF THE STRENGTH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME” THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME AS I AM, AND LOVING ME ENOUGH NOT TO LEAVE ME AS I AM BUT CHOOSING TO LEAD ME IN A LIFE OF WHOLENESS. I PRAISE AND THANK YOU ALL IN JESUS NAME, AND GODS CHILDREN SAID AMEN!

Cam-Tu Vu