Awakened in panic, I realized that it was just a nightmare. The dream was about my unknown future - fear of possible failure, and humiliation! Should fear of failure engulf me when God is with me? So far, the Lord God Almighty has carefully orchestrated every step of my life, and I have experienced His marvelous leading over and over again. He has granted me strength to face the future, discernment to focus on areas that require change, compassion to empathize with those that have failed, and a longing to calm those who are in desperate need.
In the past, failures have offered me victories. When God is with me, I fear no evil. Consider Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14: 36 and he said, `Abba, Father; all things are possible to Thee; make this cup pass from me; but, not what I will, but what Thou.’ It is a prayer of desperation. It teaches us three things.
1) Jesus believed that His Father is able to do all things.
2) Jesus knew that His Father is willing to help Him.
3) Jesus surrendered His will to the will of the Father.
A careful study of this prayer helps us to understand that Jesus did not pray for deliverance from crucifixion, rather that the effects of the cup will not last forever and He be resurrected.
With hope and trust in Jesus, I knelt down, desperately seeking God for an assurance that He will bless me again. I modeled my prayer after Jesus’ prayer.
I know everything is possible for You. You are able to help me succeed. If it is Your will, open doors and hold my hand. Teach me to acknowledge You and Your ways. However, if it is Your will that I should experience failure for reasons that cannot be comprehended by me now, then give me strength to face it, and let me walk with You through it. Grant my family, friends and society the kindness and love to accept me despite my failures. May Your will prevail, not mine.
As I finished my prayer, my heart was filled with peace. I trusted Him with all my heart. I have the blessed assurance that He will direct my paths according to His will and give me the power to overcome failures. KK
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. (Matthew 6:33)
Coming to America as an international student is both promising and daunting. Hollywood portrayal of the United States fades away and reality vividly sets in. A feeling of emptiness endures for family and friends are across the ocean, forcing one to focus on the sole purpose of being in America—Studies —“I gotta go, I am busy” is the cry of a lonely international university student in his/her new environment. During the transitional period, spiritual consciousness becomes dim.
A quick prayer is mumbled, “God you understand what I am going through, right.” Random verses are read from the Bible hurriedly. Or reading of the scripture is resorted to an occasional Sabbath. Eventually God becomes a second priority. But God’s promise to us is when His kingdom and righteousness are sought first, everything else will be added. What does “seeking His kingdom and righteousness” mean to a university student?
Daniel and his three friends were international students in Babylon not by choice but by circumstances. Their survival in a foreign country was wholly dependent on their educational achievement. How did they achieve scholarship? They had God as their first priority. These four Jewish slaves did not neglect worship. They refused to eat the royal food, depended on pulses and water for their health and strength. They refused to worship king. God made them ten times wiser than all others in class (Daniel 1:20).
Joseph was another international student. He was sold by his brothers, imprisoned by his master for escaping vile. All through this time of despair, God was his companion and his first priority. God blessed him with wisdom while serving Potiphar and in prison. Pharaoh himself admitted that there is none wiser than Joseph in his kingdom and made Joseph second in his kingdom (Genesis 41: 39, 40).
These young men in Bible times are a constant reminder of how God blesses who are faithful to Him. As young adults they knew, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27) and“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). Nothing is gained by our effort and greatness. Thus “Trust in the LORD” How? …with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3: 5, 6). God becomes our decision-making partner in academic life—the choice of higher learning and career path. The Apostle Paul reminds us that “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God the Father gave up His Son for us because He loves us more than His own Son. Our heavenly father knows our needs. He will freely give us all things when we first seek the kingdom of God. KK