My Redeemer is Faithful and True by Pastor Stanley Soh

My Redeemer is Faithful and True by Pastor Stanley Soh

picture2015 marks my 15th year in ministry serving our Lord as a full time staff in Living Praise. Prior to coming in as a full time church worker, I was in the SAF for 7 years before moving on to the advertising and marketing industry for about 6 years.

 

I remembered handing in my resignation letter to my boss in 2000 and telling him that I was resigning to serve my God full time in my church. He looked at me with unbelief and proceeded to give me a pep talk on why he thought it was absolutely absurd. “Why are you wasting your youth away? You are now at the peak of your age and career, it’s not wise to throw everything away! Why don’t you work hard now, earn as much money as you can, and then when you are fifty, you can go serve your God all you want.”

 

Everything he said made sense and I did think long and hard. “Was I throwing my future away?” “Stan, you could still serve God later in life you know?” These thoughts went through my head but I finally left my letter on his table.

 

My boss finally accepted my resignation but yet over the next couple of years, he continued to ask my colleague to call me to see if I would like to come back to work for him.

 

Between 2000 to 2001, serving as an Asst Church Manager with Lip Teng slowly prepared me for the ministry ahead. I was able to see how the administrative part of things were looked into weekly – banking matters, bookings of facilities, preparing the weekly bulletins, etc. In the midst of all these, I continued to help out in the various church ministries that needed help.

 

In the following year, after encouragement from our Senior Pastor Rev Peter Poon, I had a ‘change of vocation’. I crossed over to be a youth intern from 2001 to 2004 and served alongside Rev Goh Yong Kuang, our youth pastor and school chaplain then. Serving as a youth intern gave me opportunities to serve and work with youths and young adults. I also had the opportunity to help out in the chaplaincy ministry in KCPSS and made many friends with the students from BBGB there.

 

Next, I was off to Trinity Theological College from 2004 to 2007 for theologial training. I have never been academically inclined and going back to books was really tough going. Many nights of readings, preparing papers, made me wonder if I was going to get through theological college. At the end of the daunting three years, God saw me through and I returned to LPPC with mixed feelings. Will I be able to cope with expectations? Will I be able to survive ministry?

 

Over the next eight years after completion of my studies, I had the privilege of serving our Lord in Living Praise in various ministries. There were days when serving the Lord brought joy. There were days when my words and actions weren’t encouraging. There were days when ministry brought dissapointments, pain and heartache. There were days when sin and doubt filled my heart and I felt like a hypocrite. There were days when I felt so tired and alone in ministry and wondered how I was supposed to carry on. Many times, I wanted to give up and throw in the towel but then who do I throw it to?

 

I remembered staring at my PC one evening. I was preparing to share devotion with the students the next day and I was tired and I wasn’t able to pen down my devotional thoughts at all. I just wept and cried and told God that I felt so stressed up and useless. As I surrended and yielded myself to Him, I began to experience His assurance and the Spirit’s guiding thoughts. I finished preparing the devotion at 3am that day and went on to share what I’ve prepared to the students and teachers a few hours later that morning.

 

In the midst of ministry, a fellow pastor encouraged me with the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:24 which says, “He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it.” We ask, “Do it? Do what?”

 

Verse 23 tells us more, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Verse 23 and 24 encourages us that God is still doing his sanctifying work in our lives. This process isn’t going to happen overnight but we are assured that He IS working in our lives and He WILL SURELY do it!

 

God not only calls us to Himself but He promises us that He will be with us to shape us and sanctify us till His coming. This promise of God working in our lives gives us hope that He is working through and in us to shape and mold us.

 

How he works in and through us may come in many forms – good times, bad times, joys, sorrows, pain etc. And all this entire process is to make us holy.

 

This encourages us wherever he may take us in life’s journeys, He is doing his good work in all our lives and will bring it to completion (Phil 1:6).

 

Ravi Zacharias shared the following in one of his sermons:

“When God wants to drill a man and thrill a man and skill a man…

When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;

When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man that all the world shall praise…

Watch His methods;

Watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects…

How He hammers him and hurts him,

And with mighty blows converts him

Into frail shapes of clay that only God understands.

How his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands…

How he bends but never breaks when His good he undertakes.

How He uses whom He chooses…with every purpose fuses him;

By every art induces him to try His splendor out…

God knows what He’s about!”

 

An old adage says: “He who shapes the back for the burden, also shapes the burden for the back.” The Scriptures are filled with narratives of God’s shaping process. He raised Joseph in a desert in order to use him in a palace. He raised Moses in a palace in order to use him in a desert.” – Ravi Zecharias

 

As I looked back on the 15 years of ministry, I look back with thanksgiving and marveled at God’s faithfulness – how He has sustained me as I served Him. It’s truly only by God’s sustaining grace that has kept me in this journey. And now I better understand his transforming work in my own life.

 

I am thankful to have served alongside our church leaders both past and present who have been a constant source of encouragement. They have been gracious to allow me to learn and grow through the various ministries I have served in. Having a bunch of co-workers in office who loves food helps in many ways. Even though we may think and work differently, our love for Jesus and his people helps us to come together to serve as a team.

 

I am also thankful that with the blessings of our LPPC leaders, they have granted me a time of rest till the end of the year. I am currently finishing up my last module in bible college. Finishing this would mean I would have completed all the subjects required by our Presbyterian Synod in the Ordination process for preachers. What comes after this (if I pass), will be a process of mentoring and finishing up a few more papers and I would be ready for ordination. Do pray along with me on this next step. Do also pray that during my sabbatical, God will grant me a time of rest and renewal – of heart, mind and soul. I pray to return after my break strengthened and encouraged for the next lap of ministry.

 

In closing, I would like to share this song by Steven Curtis Chapman. I hope it encourages all of us as we journey in this journey of being called and being sanctified by our faithful God.

 

My Redeemer is Faithful and True

As I look back on this road I’ve travelled

I see so many times He carried me through

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life

My redeemer is faithful and true

 My redeemer is faithful and true

Everything He has said He will do

And every morning His mercies are new

My redeemer is faithful and true

My heart rejoices when I read the promise

picture“There is a place I am preparing for you”

I know someday I’ll see my Lord face to face

‘Cause my redeemer is faithful and true

My redeemer is faithful and true

Everything He has said He will do

And every morning His mercies are new

My redeemer is faithful and true

 And in every situation

He has proved his love for me

When I lack the understanding

He gives more grace to me

 My redeemer is faithful and true

Everything He has said He will do

And every morning His mercies are new

My redeemer is faithful and true

My redeemer is faithful and true

 

πιστὸς ὁ καλῶν ὑμᾶς, ὃς καὶ ποιήσει (Greek)

“He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

 

 

 

September 13, 2015 / Praiselines / Tags:

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