Where There Is Pain, There Is Healing

Dear Someone,

This letter is for you, you that is on a diet of tears — tears for breakfast, and tears for supper; you that have had enough of everything that can possibly go wrong and you that is feeling like you have nothing left to give to anyone and to yourself.

I’ve been wanting to write you this letter for a while, but because of other life obligations, I’ve not been able to. I understand all you want right now is to escape life, hide your head, run away, curl up in a ball, sleep forever and never wake up simply because all everyone has been asking you nosily are, “Where is your God?”

You should understand that in your walk of life, people will laugh, talk about you and ask where is your God when you are facing trials. Many are those that would be watching you as you go through your situation wondering where is your God. Allow them to watch you because the One that is watching you from above is the One that called you by His Name.

It doesn’t matter what the enemy says. It matters what God says. It doesn’t matter who doesn’t like you and how bad things are for you right now — stay the course and on purpose knowing that God called you by His Name — not your name (Isaiah 49:1). He created you — you didn’t create yourself. Rather than looking for a dark place to hide, spend time with people who see what God is doing in you and focus on those who will celebrate you. Soon, they will see the evident hand of God in your life.

Irrespective of how empty or how used and emotionally drained you may feel right now, you’re still breathing. Take a step back, and take a deep breath knowing that every breath counts! Take a deep breath knowing that God is on your side and every need would be met according to His Word. Take a deep breath and appreciate the good things in life even if right now you’re at your breaking point with nothing left to give.

In that storm that you are in, the devil will whisper, “where is your God?” He will remind you of your past mistakes and failures, but learn to encourage yourself and to be strong in the Lord. He asked David where was his God. He asked Lazarus where was his God. The people cried out to Jesus Christ on the cross “where is your GOD now?”, “You can’t help yourself”. But we know He did.

Today, more than ever before, expect God to act whenever the devil comes to make you feel like you’re about to lose your mind. Always remind him that the day you gave your life to Christ was the day you lost your mind to gain the mind of Christ. Remind him that having a bad day is not the same as having a bad life. Pull yourself up out of that bed because God is near to you. If you don’t, no one is going to do it for you.

If you have tried all that you know to do and still can’t find your feet, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be embarrassed by your struggles, failures, mistakes and the things you go through in life. Don’t be embarrassed by who you’re becoming, your eagerness, your honest vulnerabilities, and the things you cannot do to help yourself out of your present situation. Though you will be judged no matter what you do, refuse to be defined by what people say about you. God is still your ONLY help in that situation.

If your love life has put you in a desolate, dark and desperate place, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be embarrassed by love, your feelings for anyone and the things and people you have tolerated in the past. It is better to regret the things that you have done than regret the things you haven’t done. Honour your feelings, forgive those that have hurt you, and continue to be true to yourself knowing that everything happens for a reason.

For the woman who still hasn’t forgiven herself for the abortion she had some years back, understand that we are products of our past, but we don’t have to be held hostage for it either from anyone or by your own doing. You may have made too many mistakes, and daily being haunted by your poor choices but you should never be embarrassed by your stories and past behaviours. They are yours and you should never allow people to make you feel bad or guilty for living your life the way you did or want to live it going forward.

You whose partner, husband or wife left you, you whose kids left you, you that have lost your job and about to lose your mind, you that is looking for a way to disappear from everything and everyone because of how they make you feel, this letter is for you.

When everything is confusing and you’re about to lose your mind, try to remember, it’s only the middle of the chapter. Remind yourself that things will get better for you. Remind yourself that it doesn’t matter who is laughing at you now; with God on your side, you would laugh last.

It doesn’t matter who is expecting your downfall, they will be proven wrong. Those who said you will not make it will be disappointed. Don’t fold because people are expecting your downfall, arise and shine.

You that’s feeling less of a human because you have been told repeatedly by those in your life that you will never amount to anything, you that have to deal with criticism from your partner or spouse on a daily basis, this letter is for you.

Make up your mind today, to release every person that has criticized you or tried to discourage you. Choose to forgive them; choose to turn away from that distraction. Choose to focus on Him and the blessings He has in store for you. You may not be where you want to be right now but remember, God is at work in your life. God doesn’t want you to live in the past. He wants you to keep growing and moving forward.

Refuse to be a stranger to the world and to yourself irrespective of how you feel right now. Keep calm, keep moving forward, and keep trusting that God is with you wherever you go. Remind yourself that God was there before the problem occurred. He has said in Hebrews 13:5 (TLB), “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.”

It doesn’t matter if you are wondering and asking yourself if God has changed. He hasn’t! Let go of every feeling that is overwhelming you and remember how heartbroken you were a year ago, not knowing if you were going to make it this far. You are still here and it was God that brought you this far.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel God’s loving-kindness in your life anymore, remember all the things that should have killed you but you survived them. It was God that protected you from them all. So never allow your circumstances to steal your peace and joy. Always have the attitude that says, “This may be a big problem, but my God is bigger!”

Whenever you are worried God will forsake you forever, remember you are not the first to go through what has befallen you right now. If He came through for you in the past when no one was there for you, He will take you through this too. Don’t let doubt and discouragement distract you from trusting God. Keep believing, keep hoping, keep enduring and keep asking because the one you called your God is always faithful to His word!

Whenever you are thinking your life is not worth it anymore, just remember that God didn’t bring you this far to leave you (Philippians 1:6). He said in Isaiah 46:4 (TLB) says, “I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior”.

Today more than ever before, stop focusing on your challenges, stop focusing on that pain, stop focusing on those that left you heartbroken, focus on God knowing that He is there with you. Focus on His perfect plan knowing that God is still a good God. Focus on His love for you knowing that all things will eventually work together for your good.

Don’t forget also that while you are crying your eyes to sleep because of the one that left you heartbroken, someone, somewhere, is battling for their lives. You have yours, do something with it! While you are unhappy, feeling unfilled and forgotten by God, you should be happy with the life you have because someone somewhere is fighting for theirs. Someone, somewhere, is wishing they have the life you are living.

While you are complaining, thinking that you are at your wit’s end because of this challenge, this mess, this drama and this circle of shame, and pain that has lasted for too long, remember that someone, somewhere is fighting to survive. Someone somewhere is depending on you to do what God has called you to do. Someone somewhere is wishing they are in your position. So be grateful, and keep moving by faith even when you feel like giving up.

I want you to enjoy the little things you can still see around you as you read this letter, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. Take out some time daily to reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want but remember that someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have.

Keep asking God for more but thank Him for each and everything that you already have. Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV) says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”.

May God answer you and encourage you by giving you the strength you need whenever you pray to Him (Psalms 138:3). May He change every desolate place in your life to a beautiful place for you.

May no one ever see you and ask where is your God. Wherever people have been asking where is your God, He will manifest Himself in your favour and to the shame of your foes. May He take away every reproach that causes people to ask: “Where is your God?” in Jesus Name.

May His light and love for you always shine brighter and brighter even in your darkest days. May He hear what you want, listen to your prayers, and do what you ask of Him — Psalms 10:17 (ERV).

In His Service,
Ali Papa.


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Life Is Not A Straight Line

Dear Someone,

I don’t know who this is for, but understand me well as I type these words.

Your current challenges are not there to kill you but to build you up. They are not there to stay but to pass. Your current challenges are not the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to face — acknowledge them but do not live in them. Your mistakes are your own mentorship, they are part of your story — they are not who you are.

Irrespective of the turns and detours in your relationship, stop wondering and asking if they ever really loved you. Irrespective of the detours that life has thrown at you, understand that where you are right now is where you’re supposed to be. Understand that “Sometimes, your ‘Plan B’ is really God’s ‘Plan A’. And your “detours” are all a part of His plan for your life.”- Dr Sorke.

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Stay The Course (12)

It’s very easy to look at our immediate needs and think that we are disadvantaged in every areas of our lives. Not so brothers and sisters. Don’t allow your life to be directed by situations and circumstances. Don’t quit. God is able to turn your obstacles into miracles and your barriers into breakthroughs.

Don’t look down, think of one thing you are grateful for that you have never been grateful for. Don’t think death,  poverty or problems. Think life because there is hope for you in Christ. Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

Romans 8:31 (NIV) says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

No matter what this day may bring, I encourage you to be grateful for all that you have and all that you don’t have. It’s not what you are that holds you back in your journey of faith, it’s what you think you’re not. There is a way that has been provided and paid in full. God did it! So fear not, God is your source. He stays near when you call on to Him in prayer.

Stay the course today, endure with hope and be blessed in the Lord’s Grace.

@IamAlipapa

Dear Pastor (3)

Dear Pastor,

We are living in amazing days according to Luke 21:34-36. Days of destiny, days of danger, days of deep darkness in the world and days of ever-increasing light in the Church. These are the days Jesus prophesied about, days when we must watch and pray.

In my first and second letter to you, I tried to remind you that God is not looking for perfect preachers and professionals. He is looking for those who can nurture and build His people. As usual, this is another reminder that you must make a conscious effort to nurture and build people. People are hurting and sometimes they keep their feelings to themselves  because its hard to find someone who understands.

People are coming to your Church because they are seeking refuge. Everyone is coming because they need encouragement. Don’t let them get anything short of that. Romans 10:13-15, 17 (ESV) says, “13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”.

One out of every couples that will come into your Church this week are dealing with an issue they wouldn’t want to discuss with anyone. They’re hurting, desperate, and powerless, but they can’t openly share it with you. Please reach out to them as the Spirit leads you. Comfort, encourage, and hold them securely until He touches them. Offer guidance, not for them to trust you but so that they can trust God. Your success as a Pastor is obedience, not affluence, influence or attendance.

People all over the world are facing financial problems. Many of them will show up in your Church this week. Please don’t try to make Church uncomfortable for them by demanding they drop all the $$’s in their wallet. Allow them to give willingly, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” – 2 Corinthians 9:7. Remind them that God is their sufficiency and not you.

Let the attention be on Him this week and not in your drama. Don’t be too consumed with your ego and you can’t reach out to everyone in your Church service. If people can’t pick a word from any of your messages then there’s a problem.

Allow people to come into your Church the way they are. It’s not your responsibility to clean them up, the Lord will do that. Don’t allow you members to raise the roof before they can get to you. Whatever ‘roof’ is separating you or the person you love from Jesus must be removed. You must tear it off! Don’t let anything stand in your way! Yours is to share His Word, the Word of His saving grace.

Love has an attitude. Don’t discriminate or judge people by their colour. God is not colour blind. Let your door be opened to everyone. Don’t let people down because of their skin colour. Pick everyone up, refuse to let them down because most often, people who are hurting don’t know what they need. Let them see Jesus in you.

Always remember that your whole job as a pastor is to make it as easy as possible for people to experience Jesus. When you minister to people, be aware of their need. They may look like they’ve ‘got it all together’, yet inwardly they may be lying on a stretcher. So take the gospel to where the sinners are. It will make your Church more exciting. Committing to bringing people to Jesus means picking them up, refusing to let them down, and carrying them the whole way.

Though you are a spiritual leader (Hebrews 13:17a), you are also human and can be wrong. Don’t expect all your members to follow you blindly for things that are contrary to God’s Word. Don’t turn your sermon into a political speech. That’s not your calling. You  have a responsibility to choose your words carefully, do not stoke the flames of violence and hatred.

Don’t be a poor ambassador of the Kingdom of God in your nation or city. Stop borrowing money from your members neither should you beg. Don’t enjoy what you cannot afford. There is nothing you desire to have that God cannot give you. You are not a Pastor for what you will gain. Don’t seek the comfort you get from being served, seek the grace you get from serving. Integrity matters more than the size of your ministry or church.

Always remember that the language of familiarity tends to rub you off of your responsibility. Don’t take sides with people when issues come up, even if it’s your spouse or relative, let the Holy Spirit use you to bring the truth in any dispute. Get rid of tale bearers. Proverbs 26:20 (BBE) says, “Without wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no secret talk, argument is ended”.

People have issues and because people are growing at different pace and at different levels of maturity, you should never complain that your members have too many issues. God has made you a problem solver and that’s why He made you a Pastor over your members. Don’t be a burden to your brethren. You’re there to inspire faith to them. God is concerned about your responsibility as a Pastor. Don’t be too much in a hurry to dismiss your members. Listen to them until they are done expressing themselves. If you can’t listen to what someone is going through, you can’t provide God with an opportunity for Him to do something in them through you. You are the chief servant in your Church. Just like Jesus, you are not there to be served but to serve.

1 Peter 5:2-4 (NIV) says, “2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away”.

You are a Pastor in love not in lust. Having sexual relationship with your members will not only destroy your members but the Church too. It’s a calling you are fulfilling when you take care of God’s people in the right way.

If you are reading this and you may not have a calling as a pastor, preacher, or leader in a church setting you must remember that you are called to be light, you are called to live by example, and to share the good news. Build on that which has been laid by others. Rest in His finished work and be blessed in the Lord’s Grace.

@IamAlipapa

It Came To Pass

Dear Someone,

Life is filled with challenges. You are going to experience seasons in your relationships, finances, health and in your spiritual life. There will be times when everything looks terrible. Many of these challenges or seasons will find their way to your front door uninvited. The Bible calls it evil day. The day the enemy will come to destroy and to steal your happiness. But don’t be surprised when things get tough. Times of hardness are inevitable.

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Don’t confuse your path with your destination, just because it’s stormy now, doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine – Unknown.

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Let Your Hope Endures 

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Dearly Beloved,

In life you can either be a success or a failure. In life you can give up, give in or give it all you’ve got. In life you will meet two kinds of people. Ones who build you up, and ones who tear you down. Sometimes you can do things right but at other times you might be wrong. Many times we wish things could have been different or that we could be different but things always have a way of working out in the end. Every story they say has an ending, but in life every ending is just a new beginning. It doesn’t matter in which street of life you are right now, you can begin again with God. Endure with hope, God is not only the God of second chances, He is the God of another chance, the God of multiple chances.

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