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17 & 18 July 2021 (Pastoral Page) JUST AS YOU BELIEVED

By Asst Ps Lai Keet Keong

“Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that moment.” Matthew 8:13 (NIV)

Have you ever experienced hearing about a truth for so many times and then one day, you finally know that it is indeed true?

One of these truths is the instruction to simply believe in God. When someone, in their exasperation, challenged you to just put your faith in God and believe, perhaps what they really meant was that they have given up trying to convince your mind! Instead, they appeal for you to put aside your doubts, yield your struggles to God and simply believe. And when you do, you will not be disappointed.

Well, we can understand that. But to apply personally is sometimes a different story.

There are different reasons why a person, even a believer, finds it hard to simply believe. One of the reasons is perhaps for some matters the stake is just too high. We felt we need more than to simply believe. We must do something about it. You may have heard this before: “God helps those who help themselves.

In the context of Mark Chapter 8, a man’s life was at stake and the Centurion did something about it. But here is the difference. What the Centurion did was an act of faith. He went to Jesus and requested Him to simply ‘say the word’ and his servant will be healed. Jesus was simply amazed!

There were only two times in the Bible when Jesus was amazed. The other time was recorded in Mark 6:1-7, when Jesus was amazed by the people – but this time for their lack of faith. What an irony! It is interesting to observe that people’s faith can either enable or hinder God’s miracles. When it comes to believe, would what we do be acts of faith based on the conviction that God is able, or are they acts of expediency, just in case God did not do what we wished for?

That brings us to another tension. What if God’s will is different from our own? Will my simply believing change anything? A dear friend recently asked me, “Why did God allow Covid-19?”

It is true that God is Lord over everything on this earth (Psalms 24:1), and nothing happens without God’s permission. But this does not mean that everything that happened was God’s good and perfect will. God did not intend for Adam and Eve to sin. Nor did He will for Israelites to reject His love and Lordship and so brought judgement upon them. The world we live in is a fallen world where pestilences, war and depression are every day’s news. God did not want it. And God promised that one day He will make all things new! (Rev. 21:1-5)

Therefore, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “If what we desire is not God’s will, will I still submit to Him?”

My dear brothers and sisters, the foundation of believe is surrender. To willingly ask for God’s sovereign intent to be superimposed on to my own. To replace my heart with His loving heart so that I may become more like Jesus! Only then can our prayers change the world. Only then can our faith transform our community and our beloved nation. Then shall all powers of heaven conspire to release the miraculous in the lives of those who choose to believe.

I like to share with you a poem to remind us to trust in the Lord and renew our first love for Him. May the Holy Spirit bring divine healing to you and your loved ones, and His joy be the abiding strength in all you do. God bless you!

Renew my love for You my Lord,

Renew Your love in me.

Let me learn Your passion all over again,

Renew my love for Thee.

I long to feel the leap of heart,

When someone speaks Your name.

Cause Lord I know as our Love's renewed,

Nothing is the same.

To climb a nearby mountain,

Or soar to worlds unknown.

I know I want You by my side,

Our love will as one.

Renew my love for You my Lord,

Renew Your love in me.

Together forever, we will walk as one,

Throughout eternity.

~ Written by Bunnea Lee Sams ~

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