Happy, blessed and victorious new year to all my fellow Filipinos here and abroad!
As a nation, the recent years will definitely be recorded as among the ranks of the most terrible times in the history of the Philippines. The dreadful earthquakes, typhoons and storm surges - they all tested the stability of our faith and hope in the Almighty God, as well as our fortitude as a country. And if we look at statistics on deaths and destruction left behind by these catastrophes, we cannot help but feel overwhelming grief towards our fellow Filipinos, especially those directly affected by these calamities.
With this, we ask, how can we renew our strength to face another year of our life? How can we once again recover from the rubbles? In times like these, the Holy Spirit urges us to return to His word and find assurance in the revelation of His Person.
Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
In the very first sentence of the Bible, the Almighty God is revealed as Elohim - He is the God whocreated everything out of nothing. Imagine that, at the command of His voice, the Living God made the earth and sky, all living things, and the crown of His creation - the human being. In that single sentence, we see the awesome and unequalled power of Elohim - the Creator of all!
But allow me also to remind you of this awesome truth: everything God created was a magnificent masterpiece. He is certainly not a mediocre who settles for low quality or second-rate work. He is Elohim, the most excellent craftsman who assessed His work and saw that “indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a). And this reality applies not just to the creation of the universe but also to the present situation of our beloved nation, the Philippines.
Let us declare this with passion: our Ever-living God is the creative craftsman of the destiny of our nation. He is the One who said in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is a timely promise of God for the Philippines – for us who have gone through tragic and sorrowful circumstances. And this must be our shield against any discouragement and temptation to doubt the power and love of the Awesome God.
It is not God’s will for us to lose heart, instead we must all the more put our complete trust in Him who has prepared the most wonderful plans for our nation. Remember that He is not yet done with the Philippines. We may be experiencing dreadful times right now, but step by step, He is leading us towards the completion of His magnificent masterpiece in us.
God bless you all and God bless the Philippines!