I don’t know if you ever felt disappointed on something or someone? I have quite a few times in life. Mostly my disappointments have the root in my wrongly tuned expectations either on people or sometimes even on God (not been disappointed on Him though)
It’s hard when people let you down, at least for me. on one side I am not perfect myself so Its kind of awkward to put to high expectations on others. But actually I have no real problem with peoples failures, falls and shortcomings so much. But when people say one thing and then does another deliberately its really hard on me. When I feel someone declares one thing and then shows to be preparing for the opposite I have a hard time with disappointment.
I’ve noticed in my emotions the older I get the more suspicious I get. I don’t like to be suspicious, its a sign of getting old and cynical, I don’t want that, well I will get old but I don’t want to get cynical. Suspicion I guess is an effect of to many disappointments in life, it is a mechanism of protection, an emotional defense mechanism.
As I read this morning in 2 Cor 7 Paul writes about sorrow, how to have sorrow after Gods heart and in Gods way. I think my own sorrow too many times been more destructive, a worldly sorrow as Paul describes it. But by nature I am a thinker, thoughts flows my mind often trying to figure out the purpose and reason of life, sometimes with the bible in hand and sometimes without.
Today I woke up with this heavy feeling of sorrow and as I opened my daily bible reading it was 2 Cor 7 speaking about sorrow in two ways. So I was pondering my sorrow. Sorrow comes from some kind of loss, something you treasured has been lost. different kinds of loss of course. If a thing it can be irretrievably , if a dear one leaves this life its also permanent, if a broken relationship the person might still be around but your relationship have changed. Like in a divorce for example! Especially if it is a one-way divorce, one wants to split but the other not. That hurts even more, you feel abounded, disqualified, rejected and that hurts really deep.
But Jesus experienced all these things and still He loved those who did it toward Him. its hard for my emotions to grasp that, to embrace that side of redemption but still its a fact. Jesus managed to give His whole life to God there on the cross, bleeding, rejected, betrayed and abounded. I have to do the same, but its not easy.
‘Lord help me to forgive, forget and continue to live life even after deep disappointments’
Today I did it! I decided to close down all my socialmedia accounts so I don’t even know who is seeing this blog actually. Facebook have occupied to much of my time lately. I personally also feel it started to impact my perception of life and reality in a very negative way. When seeing or reading a post from someone I connect, it impacts my relation to that person some how, I feel something, think some thing but that person don’t know about. It is a kind of strange 1,5 way communication. If I haven’t been in contact with that person for say 6 months I also read in the today’s update into my 6 month old encounter with the person, but a million things have happened in his/her life since then. It’s like pouring new and old wine in the same glass, tastes not new nor old, just strange. (bad example, I don’t drink wine)
Another thing I noticed with myself was that I always lived somewhere else, not in the room I am at the moment and with the people I have fellowship with right now.
I want to live here and now, not here and there.
I will write on the blog and can be reached on email firstname.lastname@example.org or on cellphone +46732706291 if someone wants to get in contact.
(I will keep my FB account open but only to publish links to this blog on it. I’ve taken away the app from my phone and will very seldom open it on the computer as well. Instagram I’ve also removed from my phone as well as. Vkontakte and twitter are closed down)
I guess the summer of 2014 will go to history as the summer when the world went totally crazy. First the Ukraine crisis turned to full scale war, Israel attacked by Hamas and finally the ISIS army arises in Syria and Iraq.
Pictures of women and children killed and mutilated floods social media, some fake, but still the reality is brutal. Tens of thousands fly in different directions to find a safe haven. After spending many years in both Ukraine and Azerbaijan with people of different religion and culture I have learn a few things about people. Most common people just want to live a normal, peaceful life. Work, eat, love and laugh once in a while. The ambitions are not so tremendous at all. In fact most people strive daily just to fill their basic need of shelter, food and clothing. No dreams of being a billionaire, or even millionaire, just a decent happy life is desired.
War puts a dramatic end to the very basic need of a human being, safety. If live’s ended everything is ended, its final and its very brutal.
Having lived in Ukraine and traveled a lot in the areas where a full scale war is now raging having some of my closest and dearest friends there this summer has been very special for us as a family. Every single morning I open webpages and read about what has happened during the night. Same morning same reading. Bloodshed, death, destruction and millions of speculations, propaganda and anti-propaganda about who is guilty of what.
My heart has breaks for the people under shelling from either side, for those young lives ended in battle, mothers loosing their sons. Again blood is flowing in Ukraine!
As I opened my bible this morning I read in 2 Cor 4:8-18 ‘We are hard pressed on everyside, yet not crushed…’. As long as there is breath there is hope. God is able to turn a crazy summer into His glory. How? I don’t know but I have to believe He can because He promised to do so.
‘Lord, let the power of Love and reconciliation defeat the powers of darkness and bring forth your eternal light and life’
At the moment I am sitting waiting for Pastor Stefan Salmonsson to arrive to Kharkov from Lugansk. Pastor Stefan has been on a preaching tour throughout eastern Ukraine and the reports are coming to my ears about very powerful meetings with joy and great deal of God’s presence and Glory. I am sure testimonies of healing will come as well. Tonight he arrives to Kharkov, the second largest city in Ukraine and he will be ministering here tomorrow night and Sunday morning as well as in our afternoon youth service in Sunday.
I am very expectant for these days, I am sensing the presence of a new time, a new era in our church here in Kharkov. I believe we are on the verge of breakthrough and entering into a new level of Gods Glory and presence. It’s been a long time since I sensed this in my spirit during prayertimes. It’s time for divine visitation! For God to again invade Ukraine with the Presence and power of Jesus Christ. He is our only hope, the only One we can really rely on in this difficult times.
He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us in the day of trouble. He will always be there to lift us and hold us by His powerful Hands. You are welcome to visit our services with Pastor Stefan.
If you click on this link it will take you to our churchsite where you’ll find all necessary information about Pastor Stefans visit to Word of Life Kharkov.
Click Слово Жизни Харьков
This last Sunday I spoke to our youth in the youth meeting about 3 kinds of prayer that will change your life. First is the prayer of salvation, that’s the prayer we prayed when we received Jesus but it also a prayer we can and should pray when we need help, salvation, in any situation in life. Often we come into situations we didn’t plan to come into and we have no clue of how to get out of it. Then Jesus is still our savior, when we call on His name He hears, answers and saves even though we are already Christians.
Secondly we have the prayer of forgiveness. In 1 Joh 1:9 the apostle John writes ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ which tells us what to do when we sin, not if because we all sin frequently in our thoughts, words and deeds, and we are to confess our sins. Often we want to explain our mistakes but the Bible tells us to confess our sins and mistakes. Confess means that we say the same thing as, and in this situation we say the same thing as God says about us and what we’ve done. When we are convicted by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit we say the same thing as God says, we confess our sins to God and He then promises to forgive us. This is a life changing prayer, we get rid of the guilt and burden of sin, being freed from a bad conscience and our hearts open up to God again.
Thirdly is the prayer of power, it’s praying in the Holy Spirit. The gift of speaking in other tongues is a great gift from God. I remember many years ago I was asked to lead a person in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and failed to do so even though I just graduated bibleschool and had lots of knowledge. I got so discouraged but the pastor gave me a tape (long time ago!!!) series he had called ‘The scriptural reasons for Speaking in other tongues’. I listened to one time, then a second time, the third time I fell asleep while listening but I decided to listen one more time and that fourth and fifth time I suddenly got the message and it changed my life. I decided to pray in the spirit until I experienced the freedom the preacher had been speaking about. I started with one hour, after an hour I finished and heard a voice saying, ‘You’ve just wasted an hour on nothing’, I understood where the voice came from and decided to pray another hour. So I did and after one and half hour I finished praying without nothing special happening and the voice said again ‘Now you’ve wasted two and half hour’ so I went down on my knees deciding to pray until I experienced freedom in my spirit. I think I prayed maybe another hour and suddenly the atmosphere in the room changed and the Glory of the Lord filled my heart and the whole room. I understood I learned a lesson for life and I did. So many times in times of great struggle I’ve kneeled down starting praying until I experienced freedom on my heart and the Glory of the Lord filling me. This is the prayer of power and it is a gift from God.
Today I took a shorter walk and I got to think about living and dead faith. The bible has quite a lot to say on the subject. Dead faith according to James is faith with no deeds, no action. So according to James a living faith is more than mentally believe and speak it with your mouth, living faith is seen by actions, deeds. Not deeds we do to please God but actions we take because we believe in them, we believe
- God wants us to do them.
- We want to do them.
- We are able to do them with God’s help.
Of course the subject tis very wide and hard to even approach in a short blog like this but for example. If I have an average grade of 3.3 counted over all the subjects that is according to my faith not maybe according to my potential but the grades I get is in direct relation to my faith actions. So to raise my grades I have to increase my efforts in studying and that motivation comes from my heart, from what I believe I am able and willing to achieve. Paul writes in Rom 12 about the measure of faith we have. We are to live according to that measure of faith. So if my faith-actions is at 3.3 to increase I have to set a goal according to the faith actions I am willing and ready to stretch myself for.
To dream about 5.0, close my eyes and ask God for a miracle will not give me 5.0 in average grades. Why? Because faith without action is dead! A living faith is a moving faith. Faith that makes me act in accordance to what I believe for. Peter prayed and stretched out his hand and lifted up the lame man at the gate called beautiful, Moses walked all the way from Egypt and stood by the shore of the Red Sea, he stretched out his hands and it divided. There always comes a moment when my faith must come into action if I want to have a living faith.
To just mentally believe and even pray and speak about what I believe for is not enough according to James, we are to move in accordance to what we believe. This give me a balance and soundness in faith which keeps me from moving from faith to prejudice.
Monday is the day off for most pastors as well as for me. It’s the first day after an often very intensive weekend, many times I travel Friday and Saturday and come back just to our Sunday service here in Kharkov. Now a days we also have a second youth service after our first morning service.
This particular weekend we have had a family seminar with Pastor Alexander Batanov and it has been such a blessing! Saturday was for couples and Pastor Alexander taught 3 lessons on the family, simple, applicable, honest, openly without ‘forgetting’ to talk even about the hard days in his and his wife’s marriage. It gave hope to so many people to hear that even preacher and pastors that are successful have/has hard days in their marriage and families BUT Alexander also showed the way to victory, the way out of the problems, out of the conflicts. We had 80 people present and I can say all of them where touched by God that day. After the lessons we had ‘fika’ (Swedish word meaning some snacks, coffee and tea) and people were mingling , chatting, laughing and simply having a very good time as I could hear and see.
After our ‘fika’ we continued with a talk show with questions and answers. It was scheduled to be about 1 hour 20 minutes but after 2 hours it was getting late and we had to slowly end the session, but the questions were many and serious, questions that touched us all and both myself, my wife and Alexander did our very best to answer in an honest and truthful way. At the end as I looked upon the faces of the participants I saw satisfied, happy people that had gotten new hope and faith to believe and work on their marriages.
The need to family teaching, not god theories but truthfully talking about the realities of life, conflicts and hardships, frustrations and defeats as well as sharing biblical principles that has helped us out of difficulties and sometimes ‘dead-end’ situations is so very important. I think a pastor that is not openly sharing both these sides of his own marriage never will be fully successful in helping others in their struggles because people then loose hope when the compare their own marriage with this told success stories and lost hope is very difficult to restore, we call it a broken spirit in the bible.
Sunday Pastor Alexander, first in our Sunday morning service taught about the relationship between parents and children and I felt his message was prophetic in its essence, touching very important principles in a Christian person’s life. In the youth meeting Alexander spoke to the youth about getting to know God and to choose right friends. Our youth meeting under the leadership of Jevgeny and Soya Gaidash has really taken off this fall. The meeting is held Sundays 14:30 in our office and this time nearly all the places where taken!!! If this continues we will have to move to the hall next door quite soon and that is good news for us in Word Of Life Kharkov.
Next Sunday I will preach about the Secret Place and continue the series of our inner life, if you are in town please join us in worship and prayer next Sunday 11:00 at Musicalnaja Comedia Theatre in Kharkov or 14:30 at the youth meeting in the same place
Please visit www.slovazhisni.org for more information
There are times and seasons in life when it seems God is hiding, like Saturday after Good Friday or the moment the Egyptian army overtook the Israelites before Moses stretched out his hands and the red sea divided. It’s during those moments when God is at work but it’s hidden from us we are to trust in His word, in His promises. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about that Saturday between Good Friday and resurrection Sunday, how the disciples felt, what they thought, how they talked with each other, what went on in their hearts. These men had put everything on the line, left everything of value behind to follow the man from Galilee. Now He was dead and their souls must have been echoing with emptiness, anxiety and fear for the future. Hiding away because the Man they put all their trust and hope in was dead, gone, laid in a grave.
It was over!
But just because the disciples didn’t see God at work didn’t mean He wasn’t at work, He was. How could they find out what God was doing? By remembering what He said to them! God always speaks to His prophets, to His people about what He is about to do before He goes into action – ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing..‘ – So when God is working in the hidden how can we find out what He is doing?
We open the Book of all Books and allow the Holy Spirit to open our spiritual eyes and we’ll see God at work – ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him..’ – And faith fills our souls, faith spells TRUST, I can then trust and be at peace that Almighty God has everything under control even if I don’t.
What then? Let thanksgiving pass through your lips and thank God for what He is doing in the hidden.