Life is a mystery! Unexpected things (both good and bad) can happen. Like Job, all of us long for God to tell us more about the things that we care and are concerned about. Sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn’t, but what is important is for us to continue to trust Him and stay close to Him regardless of the good or bad times. But this is never easy. Why?
We can worry living in a world with ‘unknowns’
Shirley and I are expecting our first child and we thank God for blessing us with a daughter. Right from the onset of pregnancy, we can worry about whether the baby will grow up to be healthy and safe. Finally into the third trimester, we can worry about when and how the delivery will take place and the care arrangements after the baby is born.
At work, I can worry about my students’ learning and development and hope they will achieve results that will help them to progress onwards in their pursuit of education. I can worry about their character development or the lack of as it is my hope that they will be able to live fulfilling lives and make a difference and contribute to our society.
In church, I thank God for our young adults cell group (CGAYA). It has been a joy to watch them grow and commit their lives in knowing the Lord over the last few years. Shirley and I can constantly worry that the impending labour will affect the teaching of the cell group and cause disruption to their learning. As our young adults enter the workforce and begin the next phase of their lives, we can also worry and pray that they will stay close to God and continue to be the light and salt at their workplace.
As the church’s treasurer, I can worry about the church’s finances constantly as we seek to be wise stewards in the management of resources that God has entrusted to us. This year, we are collecting less than the projected needs and lower when compared to the same period last year. As of July, we have only collected $521,000 from tithes and offering and this is $55,000 less than our projected collection required to support the running of the ministries in our church. On average, a weekly collection of about $20,000 is required to meet the needs of running the ministries.
I could go on and on but this is sufficient to show that we live in a world where we can have plenty of worries. Sometimes, we can allow our worries to manifest in the form of fear (怕)(kia). Kia-su (怕输), kia-see (怕死)? Sounds familiar?
A Living Hope
My dear brothers and sisters, as deeply beloved children of God, we should only have one fear. And this is the fear of the Lord (敬畏神) in our lives! Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that the ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge’. We are encouraged to fill our lives and minds with a reverence of God. When we set our minds and hearts to worship and please God, we will grow to have a deep love for God and His word.
Peter, through his letter in 1 Peters 1:1-12, reminds us that we have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. We have a living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Because of this, we believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy even in the midst of facing unknowns, in sufferings or in grief. Yes, while we can worry we should choose instead to trust and rejoice in the Lord because we have received our salvation through Jesus Christ and this is not disrupted by death but continues to eternity!
Living a Life of Hope
In less than two weeks time, Shirley and I will enter a new phase in our lives as parents. We pray that God will continue to lead and guide us to bring up our child in the way of the Lord. We pray that God will teach us to continue to trust Him as we seek to glorify Him in all that we do. We know the journey ahead is not easy but we are assured for we will not walk alone for we have God and His people (all of you) supporting and praying for us.
Having the opportunity to serve God and the church as the treasurer these two years have also taught me to learn to cast my cares on Him. God is sovereign and has been our faithful provider, our Jehovah Jireh. We thank God for His continuous blessings and providence on LPPC. Indeed, I am sure when we look back at the end of this year, we will thank God for His faithfulness and the love and generosity of His people.
The story and life of Job brings about more questions than answers. While life might bring along with it unknowns and worries because of our limited capacity to comprehend God, we can be assured that we have the promise of the Holy Spirit to help us to live righteous lives that reveres and pleases God. Let us continue to stay close to God because trusting and obeying God is far more important than finding answers to every question or worry that we may have. Let us remember God’s love through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we reflect on the song ‘There is a Hope’, may our hope stand the test of time and unspeakable joy flood our lives as we await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
There is a hope that burns within my heart,
That gives me strength for every passing day;
A glimpse of glory now revealed in meagre part,
Yet drives all doubt away:
I stand in Christ, with sins forgiven;
And Christ in me, the hope of heaven!
My highest calling and my deepest joy,
To make His will my home.
There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
A consolation strong against despair,
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit,
I find the Saviour there!
Through present sufferings, future’s fear,
He whispers ‘courage’ in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
And they will lead me home.
There is a hope that stands the test of time,
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave,
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine
When I behold His face!
When sufferings cease and sorrows die,
And every longing satisfied.
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul,
For I am truly home