Category: Pastor Jimmy

27
Oct

Status Update

These days we love to communicate with friends on social media. Liking and commenting on posts and updating your status is getting easier each day. Now, there’s even an option to let your friends know how you’re “feeling” on facebook. There are over 75 different feelings to choose from! From happy, excited, fabulous, positive, sad, annoyed, heartbroken, silly, and hungry.

But as I scroll through my news feed these days, I can’t help but think about how we are so quick, probably too quick, to define ourselves (and our situations) by the way we are feeling. With just the click of a button we label ourselves as worried, frustrated, depressed, hopeless. The truth is, we are human beings created with emotions. We get excited when things go our way and we get discouraged when it seems like things don’t work out. But if we’re not careful, our feelings will shape our perspective, they can even shape how we view God.

As humans, our feelings are changing day to day, so it’s important to never let them influence how we see God. Let me put it this way, is your level of faith currently being defined by your situation and how you’re feeling? Or is your faith being defined by God’s word which is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow?
Are you feeling worried and putting limits on what God can do at your school or workplace? Or are you standing in faith and believing for favor and provision!
Are you feeling depressed about your marital problems and allowing emotions to control your decisions? Or are you handing your burdens over to Jesus and trusting that he can make all things work together for your good!
Are you feeling discouraged and tired and contemplating giving up? Or are you holding on to God’s promise that those who hope in the Lord will not grow weary!

In Hebrews 11:1, faith is defined as “the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.” See, faith is all about taking God’s promises as truth regardless of what things look like. And that’s impossible to do if you’re being ruled by your emotions. Right now you are either trusting God to handle your situation in faith or you’re limiting what God can do by letting your feelings define your circumstance.

Every day we decide whether we will operate on Faith or on feelings. I want to challenge you to make the conscious decision today to “walk by faith and not by sight.” Don’t be so quick to define your situation by how you are feeling. Give God your worries, your frustrations, and your sadness and watch Him turn your situation around!

-Pastor Jimmy Tsai

29
Dec

It’s The Pits

Working out is one of my favorite things to do! You are probably thinking that I am crazy and need prayer, but I love to stay active and am usually open to invitations to play sports, work out, go for a run, ride bikes, etc. So, last year when a friend of mine invited me to run an obstacle course race, I immediately said yes. Only after committing to the race did my friend give me more details: Our race was called “The Tough Mudder,” it’s 12-13 miles long, it involves getting electrocuted, jumping into ice water in November, going through mud pits, followed by more freezing water, and did I mentioned it’s over 12 miles long?

Weeks went by and when race day finally arrived, I felt ready. I had been training, doing research on YouTube, and most importantly, consuming lots of protein shakes. I remember starting the race and feeling that the first three miles were fairly easy; there was some running, crawling in mud, and a couple of small walls to climb. I was nearly halfway through the race and my ego was growing with each mile. I even began planning out my American Ninja Warrior debut.

Then came mile 6. There I encountered chest-deep mud pits so full and thick it was impossible to move, let alone climb out. After a few minutes of trying to push forward in the pit, I realized I was completely stuck and so were all of the other runners around me. Determined to get out of the ridiculous pit, a few of the racers and I began to work together and developed a system. We locked arms and alternated between pushing the runners in front of us and pulling the ones behind us. I had spent weeks preparing for this race on my own, but in that moment I realized: The Tough Mudder was never designed to be completed alone.

Life, just like The Tough Mudder, is not intended to be completed alone. In Hebrews 10, the writer is addressing wavering Jewish believers and encouraging them to stand in their faith. He specifically uses the words “us” and “we” to show the wavering believers that they are not alone, that they have a community of “we” and “us” that are standing in faith
with them and for them. When you fall into the pits of life, remember that you are also surrounded by a “we” and “us”; your church and your community are always behind you to push you through. In turn, we also have the opportunity to encourage and lift up our fellow believers and watch them come out on the other side.

IT’S THE PITS that make life tough, but it’s also in those pits that we discover the strength and power of community. It’s the pits that show us that we can’t do it on our own, and fortunately, that we don’t have to.

 

-Jimmy Tsai