Finally, I’m back from my work trip to Melbourne. It was tiring but definitely interesting. First time travelling alone, walking in the streets by myself, but I revelled in the independence (but too much isn’t a good thing).
Looking back, God used the time of trial to draw me to Him. Thank God for that. And thank God for the people who prayed for me, who gave words of encouragement as well.
Below is something that I sent to some individuals, relating the lessons God taught me before the trip and request for prayers. Still going through sanctification, and I thank God that He is working in my life… 🙂
Just thought of sharing with you some things that the Lord had shown to me through His word. I’m still learning to work out His truth in my life, and I hope that you are also applying what He has revealed to you in your life as well.
For the past month, the sermon in 2 Pet has been resonating in me, especially that of chapter 1.
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
To tell the truth, I felt a stagnancy in my spiritual walk some time ago, and I was struggling in my Quiet Time. I kept to the routine but experiencing and
encountering God through the meditation of His word was a rarity. I was
distracted by the trivialities of life and languished in the pampering of my body. I thank God that He placed a fear in me as I heard the exposition of His word. It was clear that if I am not growing ( i.e. having these qualities in increasing measures), I am ineffective, unproductive, blind and have forgotten that I’ve been cleansed from my past sin. I did not want to be an ingrate who forgets the saving grace of God. With my background in Biology, I also well-understand that a plant that stops growing is a plant that starts dying. I did not want
to start dying in my spiritual life. And so I was provoked to seek out the remedy for my ailment in His word.
Verses 3 to 4 provided much encouragement and assurance to me as I sought to reignite a desire for growth. There are but two things that we need for life and godliness: 1, His divine power; 2, knowledge of Him. If you note the tense, ‘His divine power has given us everything…’. It’s past participle, which means that we already have His power working in us. Then there’s the second thing: Knowledge of Him. This is inseparable from His very great and precious promises (v4). I realised that I hadn’t really seen the promises of God as very great and precious. The lack of intensity in relishing His promises showed that perhaps I had not taken some very seriously. So I decided that I should look for the promises of God with regard to the qualities spelt out in verses 5 to 7, and cling onto them.
One of the qualities that I identified to work on during the sermon was
perseverance. I was one who gave up easily in the face of disappointments and discouragements, e.g. losing steam when the people that I reach out to don’t respond as I would like. And the passage on perseverance that came to mind was in James 1. Verses 2 to 4 say, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking anything.’ Usually I would just see things that don’t go my way or difficult times as events that are not as per my will. I mean, to me things as such just happen and I didn’t see that God was in the picture, working through the trial. But verse 3 says that trials are to test my faith, that I would have persevere. And the end of perseverance is maturity, completeness, and no lack. God uses trials to mature us. And I wanted to be mature. So I told God that I desired to grow in perseverance (and of course, that means trials
will precede it…). And the trial that I had to endure last week was indeed trying…
Due to a certain project at work, I had to work OT late into the night for the past week. The physical strain was bearable but the mental anguish of trying to keep up with changes and the emotional distress that followed was overwhelming. Do you know what it is like to have tense facial muscles and dilated blood vessels when you are in a fluster? I had that sensation the whole day for four working days last week. Even on Saturday, that feeling followed me to Foundation and Care Group. It was hard shaking it off. I wanted to do just give up and do the disappearing act, but I knew that I must persevere. But the part about considering it as pure joy was beyond me. I found it so hard to smile
when I worked. And now I know that I had forgotten that this pure joy is knowing that the end is that I will be mature, complete, and not lacking anything. Pure joy is not having no troubles, but knowing that God is at work, to make me grow. And that is what I want! God is indeed faithful in His work in my life…
The second part of the trial will begin today as I stay in Melbourne for a week (15-21 Oct). I’m not looking to the work that I’ll have to do, but I do pray that God will change my perspective. In fact, I’m very grateful for the encouragements I’ve received, from my care group and even my sheep in foundation class 🙂 I desire to testify of His work that I will see through this trip. Do pray for me that I will remember His revealed word and that I’ll let His word mould my attitude and behaviour.