Planet Earth is in trouble. Conflicts among the nations, natural disasters, climate change, man-made environment crises and now the COVID-19 pandemic are common issues these days. Temperatures are rising and so is the sea level. Since early June this year, floods were unlike before and severely impacted much of South China. For Singapore being a small island state, our government is planning and spending S$100 billion (US$73 billion) in future to build coastal protection against the rising sea levels due to climate change. Newspapers reported on 30 August 2020 that dozens of dead whales and dolphins washed up on the shore in Mauritius near the site of an oil spill from a Japanese ship. As of today, COVID-19 has killed more than 900,000 people throughout the world. When I look back at the past, these issues were seldom heard of in the old days. Now, we hear more and more of them, and we can easily stray from our faith and God because things like this lead us to ask, “God, why?” We do not understand why all these disasters are happening. We need to turn to God in prayer. Only God will give us hope and peace of mind as we continue in the faith.
Much like our planet, our individual lives have numerous ups and downs. Some are painful and intolerable, and we do not understand the pressures or heats we face each day. Our many personal problems may be small compared with the world’s but they are with us and hurting us directly. The Bible tells us not to worry. As we read in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” God has a plan for all of us who have faith in the Christ. God has taken care of me my whole life — when I was young, away from my parents while studying in United Kingdom, working, being married and raising my own family, going through retrenchment during a recession in the 80s, surviving cancer and stroke, and still now. My life is surely better than many people’s, I remind myself, and I cannot ask for more. I praise God for not forsaking me despite the many times I fall short of God’s expectations.
We must not lose heart and the hope we have in God and God’s plan for the world, but rather we must encourage one another. During the online church service on 30 August 2020, our pastor preached about the Christians in the Thessalonian church. They might have begun to feel false hope or even to give up their faith due to the prosecution of Christians and the crisis during the time of apostle Paul. Paul prayed and wrote letters of encouragement to them in the books of Thessalonians. In 1 Thessalonians 2:12 Paul wrote that he had spent time with the Thessalonians, “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God.” We can do the same, encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ, keeping our faith. Our God will be pleased with us when we declare, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). We cannot solve the world’s problems, but we can really decide our ways to honor the Lord and look forward to receiving the prize when we face him eventually.
Keep the faith, God bless.
Throughout my Walk I experienced the presence of the Risen One in the devotional spaces as well as in times of teaching, meditation, and prayer. The communion with brothers, experienced in the daily sharing at the table and in the Word, generated deep bonds of brotherhood.”