Posted in God Knows Best, Lessons Learned from Sickness

God Knows Best 2

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 21: God Knows Best 2

God Knows Best
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

As promised, here are the remaining stanzas of the poem which greatly inspired me, and gave me a positive outlook as I face the challenge of my sickness:

For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of a chisel
Gives the marble grace and form.

God never hurts us needlessly,
And he never wastes our pain
For every loss he send to us
Is followed by rich gain.

And when we count our blessings
That God so freely sent
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament.

For our Father loves his children
And to him all things are plain,
So he never sends us pleasures
When the soul’s deep need is pain.

So whenever we are troubled
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirits strong!

Posted on FB: 12 March 2015 – 6:47 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: House Sparrows by Jose Telesforo Limbaga. Used with permission. The photo has been resized to fit website requirement.

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Posted in God Knows Best, Lessons Learned from Sickness

God Knows Best

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 20: God Knows Best

God Knows Best
Certainly, God knows what’s best for you!

All of us have our favorite poems, sayings or mottos that bring comfort to our beleaguered souls when times get hard.

I remembered watching a movie about Nelson Mandela and how the poem “Invictus” figured prominently in his life.

When the doctor revealed to me the devastating news about my sickness, the words of a certain poem also rang true in my heart.

It brought me peace of mind and a calm understanding of what I’m going through from the perspective of someone who has fully surrendered herself to God’s power and will.

The title of the poem is “God Knows Best” and it was written by Helen Steiner Rice.

I would like to share the first three stanzas of the poem to you, my dear readers:

Our Father knows what’s best for us
So why should we complain –
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain.

We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear.

Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us
But to help us meet tomorrow.

If you are undergoing some very terrible experiences right now, just commit yourselves to God and His ultimate power.

Certainly, God knows what’s best for you!

I will share the next lines of the poem on my next lessons. Good day everyone.

Posted on FB: 12 March 2015 – 2:15 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

Posted in Lessons Learned from Sickness, Living in Faith

Faith Challenge Accepted

Lessons Learned from My Sickness – Part 18: Faith Challenge Accepted

walk your talk

“Pastor, I challenge you. Live what you preach!”

These strong words were passionately spoken by my doctor, right after he revealed to me my sickness.

To make his statement more emphatic, he looked at me straight in the eyes with fingers pointing firmly to me.

This strongly-worded admonition was used by God to make me courageous in facing my trials and to make me fully dependent on Him.

Without this frank and brave reminder from my doctor, I could have adopted a weak and defeatist attitude in facing my situation.

You see, when the doctor told me what I have to go through to confront my sickness, what possible treatments I can explore, what tests I should undergo, what opportunities are open for me if I am just courageous enough to face them, I replied rather unconvincingly, “What if I just wait for what will happen to me Doc”?

That earned my doctor’s ire. For him, to adopt a passive or negative attitude in the light of what I’m facing is an expression of faithlessness and it’s not the kind of response he expected from a pastor like me.

That’s why he stood up, with his fingers firmly pointed to me and said, “Pastor, I challenge you. Live what you preach”.

His words hit me very strongly. It was like God was using him to directly speak to me.

I realized indeed, he’s right.

I used to preach about courage in the face of perplexities, strong faith in the midst of adversities, and being open to God’s revelation in the midst of confusion and doubt.

Why then should I adopt a lethargic and pathetic attitude?

I was greatly humbled and brought to reality by that experience.

That’s why I assured my doctor, “Yes, Doc. With God by my side, I accept the challenge”.

I thanked the Lord that he has spoken his words of encouragement through my doctor.

Posted on FB: 10 March 2015 – 7:34 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

Posted in Black Saturday, Hope, Lent

The Power of the Last Words

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

life after death
As the sunset promises a new day, Jesus Christ’s last words is our hope that there’s life after death.

Of the seven sayings of Jesus Christ on the cross, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” is considered as his last words. After saying this he then breathed his last according to Luke.

Take note that Jesus “called out with a loud voice”. Everyone around the area with eyes focused on the bodies hanging on the cross must have heard him.

The power of Jesus’ last words proves that he is the extra-ordinary person, God’s only Son whom He sent to redeem us.

In saying his last words, Jesus Christ submitted and committed his spirit to His Father, trusting and empowering Him to carry out His work beyond physical death.

The last words of Jesus make me think about the conversations I had with friends who have gone ahead.

Please allow me to share a couple of them. I got their last words from our conversation through Facebook.


Maricar was a classmate in high school. A year before her passing in July 2013, I got in touch with her and ministered through prayers. Here’s her last words:

Please pray for my total healing. I surrender everything to the Lord and I know my faith will heal me. thank you so much classmate. I really appreciate all your concern and prayers….


I met Brutus at Faith Baptist Church in Manila. His real name is Ephraim Jacildo. In March 2013, I learned of his condition so I got in touch via FB to encourage him. He rested peacefully on 12 April 2014. His last words:

God has been manifesting His sovereignty in my condition in so many different ways. Yes I still have many questions but I trust the Lord will carry me when I need Him.



Surely, we are saddened when friends and loved ones leave but their last words bring comfort and hope, isn’t it?

The greatest comfort and hope that we have is in Jesus Christ who conquered death through his resurrection.

My friends, if you were to die today, what will be your last words?

As you end your life on earth, will you bless or curse? Will you surrender humbly or struggle in pride?

In the event of sudden death, some might have ready their last will and testament already. I wonder if they have included their faith testament?

To whom are you giving your spirit? Make sure you are ready and willing to commit your spirit to God.

The power of the last words transcends this world as we trust God to raise us from the dead and to go on living eternally in our new glorified bodies.

Think about firming up your last words now.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Sunset at Fakaofa Atoll, Tokelau by Ross-Waugh