What describes success? A growing and well-funded ministry? A good-sized house? A name respected in the Christian community? A loving family? A caring church? Friends? If these are the imagery of success, then we can be considered successful!

    For twenty years, we arduously worked from morning till night to bring the organization to the next level. There were months that we leave our family to raise sponsors for children from under-privileged communities and to invite western churches to partner with the local pastors. Project proposals were presented to churches such as mini-libraries, play school programs and many more. Since we are passionate with integral mission, we facilitated training programs for the local pastors and church leaders to capture what relevant evangelism is all about. We love our work and appreciated God’s provision through those years.

    When we thought we can retire and enjoy our mountain top, God decided to bring us back to the valley.

    The valley was the most painful of all our experiences.

    But in journeying through the valley, God brought new friends to our lives, people who accepted us for who we are and encouraged us. The lessons we learned from the Biblical Financial Study (Crown Financial Ministry) were the very truths we need at that very moment. Let me share our lessons with you…

    Ø  Our loving Father loves us so much. He reminded us that He values our relationship with Him than the services and ministries we exhaust ourselves in doing for Him. We can be so “ministryholics” yet spiritually empty. The picture of Mary and Martha when Jesus came for a visit came to life. Mary valued Jesus’ presence since she knew that this is just for a moment and resolved to spend every single second listening to His voice and immersing in His teaching. Mary valued her relationship with Jesus.

    Ø  Our loving Father is the Owner of everything. He rebuked us and made us see that the ministry and its successes, the knowledge, talents and skills that we thought were given to us were His alone. Therefore, there is nothing that we can be proud of, no success that we can call our own, no talent that we can boast about. For even the success is by God’s discretion.

    Ø  Our loving Father is in Control of everything. It is so comforting to realize this truth. He controls the pressure of changes, the harassment caused by others, the rise and fall of our endeavors, the open and the closed doors we need to go through and the roads we need to travel, for the sole purpose of transforming our character to be Christ-like. Since our loving Father is in control, then we can REST solely in Him. He knows what He is doing and we can be assured that is always for our good!   

    Ø  Our loving Father is our Provider.  Losing our jobs means losing our sources of income. But for the past three years, God never fails to amaze us. He is indeed our Provider. Do you know that the real meaning of the word “provide” is that “He sees before hand?” Knowing this truth and claiming it in our lives, we have experienced God’s miracles in many forms and ways as He provides for our daily needs. We have learned to ask from God for our “daily bread” and to value and be accountable for His provisions. Indeed, God is predictable and unpredictable!

    Ø  Our loving Father desires that we be faithful stewards. We are not the owners but managers of God’s resources. He requires that we be faithful. In Pilipino, the word faithful is “matapat” which is the same word for honest. Therefore, as good stewards, we must be faithful and honest.

    Three years had passed and we are still going on in our journey praying that soon our valley will end. But that is God’s discretion! We just need to trust and rest in Him.

    I realized we get to know our Father more, His love, His plans, His promises, His intentions when we are in the valley because we have nothing in our hands to offer Him except our right to ourselves for even our very life is from Him. So let us not be afraid of the valley for this is where God meets us. Now I can honestly declare with conviction James 1: 2- 4:

    “Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    My friend, if you are now in the valley of your life, never lose heart,  God desires to fulfill His intention and promise to walk with you through the process.



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