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7 & 8 October 2023 (Pastoral Page) OUR HEARTS IN HARD TIMES

By Dn Law Le Li

The Bible is very realistic. We live in a fallen world. With imperfect situations and imperfect people, the future can seem very daunting, even depressing. Life in Singapore may seem comfortable, I believe everyone goes through hard times in one way or other. And some amongst us may find ourselves in circumstances that make life hard all the time; it could be ill health, family situations, work pressures and many other circumstances that will press us in on all sides.

Our circumstances in life are God’s training grounds and God can use it for good. Romans 8:28 qualifies it by telling us that it is for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. We will be able to clearly see God’s goodness in all circumstances.

As the one who holds the past, present and future in His hands, only God truly knows the future. Though much of it is hidden from us, there are certain things about your future that God tells you. How do we respond?

Two things God promises to those who hear His words, put their faith in Him and put His words into practice:

1. He promises satisfaction. Our spiritual appetite can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

2. He promises complete forgiveness of our sins and removal of guilt through Jesus on the cross. However careful a search is made, no one will be able to find sin and guilt in you because of Christ Jesus.

Psalm 119:32 tells us to run in the path of God’s command and He will broaden your understanding or give your heart insight or set your heart free (various translations).

Christ is coming back. Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels, and He will execute a perfectly just judgement (2 Thess 1:7). Meanwhile, let our life on earth be worthy of God’s calling. And pray that by His power, our every desire for good and every deed by faith will bear fruit.

In our future, we are assured of freedom, security and hope.

Quoting Winston Churchill: ’To understand the future we need to understand the past.’

I think in my life’s journey, looking back helps me to remember God’s goodness and see His hand in moving my life forward, hopefully (I am) keeping on the path of faithfulness.

I recently got engaged for a project (I am a freelance consultant) from a lead on the other side of the globe, from someone whom I have not been in touch with for 7 years. Even though I was not looking for additional work, this project excites me not just because of the scope, but also the opportunities that I am looking for to touch lives in a mentor role. The work environment is no walk in the park and there will be hard choices to make on the job. However, I am certain that God will provide the resources I need to complete the task on hand.

I can trace back how God prepared me, led me and pushed me out of another project (not in a bad way) to take this one up. This is just the beginning, perhaps I would have a chance to share in a year’s time how things turned out.

“How many times must we try before we know if it is the will of God?”

This question came up in one of our CG discussions and it stayed with me for a while. And the promises of God to the Israelite exiles in Jeremiah 29 came to mind:

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” and

13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

The key is in seeking God with all our hearts, seeking a relationship with God and only in Him will our spiritual appetite be satisfied.

Let us let this relationship with God seep into every relationship and every situation in our lives.

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