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17 & 18 APRIL 2021 (Pastoral Page) SOURCE OF JOY AND PEACE

By Dn Law Le Li

The past 12 months must be the most unusual year in many of our lives and a year on and we are still talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the year, I was wondering what we can look forward to in 2021, protection by inoculation and possible traveling…………. maybe! Meeting more people………yes……. but it will never quite be the same as before, way more considerations with the restrictions still in place.

Whatever is the situation, COVID-19 has impacted many people economically. I would like to share my learning from Psalms 4 which spoke to me and pray that this will be of encouragement to you as well.

The psalm started with David being in a tight spot, in distress and crying out to God to hear his prayer. Context on the possible cause of his distress could arise from some form of material lacking that drove the Israelites into seeking other false gods and chase after delusional ideas. He has to put up with their scorn and took them to task for shaming God by looking into the wrong places for help. We sometimes may find ourselves sitting with scoffers as David did. Verses 4 & 5 tell us not to be swayed, be in awe of God, search our hearts and be still before God.

In verse 6, David knew in his heart that God sets the faithful apart for himself and hears their prayers. He reminded the people to offer righteous sacrifice to the Lord and seek His light to shine upon them. Ask God to bless your efforts because He hears when we call and when we approach Him with clean hands and a pure heart.

And Psalm 4:7 gives us David’s heart about the matter. Just because David was godly does not necessarily mean that God exempted David from suffering. And yet, here is where David nuances what well-being truly means. Is physical, material prosperity the only kind that a person ought to be interested in? Not in David’s mind. David derived more joy from the Lord Himself.

So, where do we find true blessings? Not in temporal things in and of themselves. But from the Lord.

Psalm 4:8 tells the Lord is the true source of joy and peace. There is greater joy in the presence of God than there is in material things. Prosperity, despite the apparent security it brings, does not necessarily lead to peaceful sleep. Only in God’s will can we dwell in safety.

Last Sunday, from the pulpit, Rev Thomas Koh in the Chinese service touched on the wisdom from Proverbs 30:7-9 where the sage Argur asked God for only 2 things for the rest of his life. He asked for falsehood and lies be far away from him and that he will not be overcome by wealth nor poverty. There is much wisdom in that prayer and a wonderful reminder of our God’s sovereignty and providence.

I shared last year through my pastoral page about waiting upon the Lord and I want to testify to the fact that God provides with much wisdom – my needs are taken care of and in just the right proportion.

It is a great comfort to know that our loving heavenly Father is ultimately in control of everything that happens. God meets us in our most comfortable place and sometimes at our most uncomfortable. Whatever the situation we are in, ‘The Lord reigns’ as affirmed in Psalm 9:7-10.

Trust in the sovereignty of God and keep on believing that He will never forsake you. If we trust God to give good things and believe in His sovereignty, relax and let God do His thing is not at all that difficult a posture to take. I am reminded to trust in the sovereignty of God and relax! Let God be God and do what He needs to do.

Meanwhile, keep praising, proclaiming and praying as we prepare ourselves for the Day of the Lord!

To echo Dn Yvonne’s message from last week’s pastoral page, let us rejoice in God always because He is in charge!

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