Recently, Stanley Leong (one of our overseas church members) changed his Facebook profile picture. It is a picture of him with make-up, playing the title character of YCKC’s February 2010 musical, “A Walk of Faith”, based on the life of George Mueller. While this made me reminisce about the days of the musical, it also led me to examine and consider what faith looks like in our lives and ministry.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1 ESV). God’s Word could not have a more direct definition of faith, but for many of us, we still struggle.
We wrestle with God and ask, “God, can’t we stay here where things are safe?” “I already have so many things on hand, and you’re asking more from me?” “But God, I think it’s not possible to do it your way, it’s just too much. Let me do it the way I know how instead.”
He gives me space to live with that tension and shows me gently that the great I AM is best; He knows me and my family far better than I do. A close friend shared this quote with me recently – “if we are to appreciate the wisdom of God’s guidance, it is important for us to understand not only the nature of His guidance, but the character of the Guide Himself.” (Sinclair B. Ferguson).
This need to exercise faith often calls us to put our hands to the plough and to work hard, to move beyond what we can bear into a territory that only God can lead us. Yet, at other times, exercising our faith also calls us to still ourselves and wait before the Lord (ref: Ee Foo, pastoral article 29/30 Oct 2016). In both instances, our emotions might swing high and low and we are filled with doubt, guilt and fear.
In those instances, God calls us even more to Himself. To trust in Him. As George Mueller wrote when his beloved wife Mary was deathly ill:
Therefore, if it is really good for me, my darling wife will be raised up again; sick as she is. God will restore her again. But if she is not restored again, then it would not be a good thing for me. And so my heart was at rest. I was satisfied with God. And all this springs, as I have often said before, from taking God at His word, believing what He says.
So, what is Faith and how does Faith look like in our lives? May the lyrics of the song, ‘What is Faith’ from our musical encourage us and spur us on:
Faith begins where our sight fails us
Faith sails us over the oceans of fear.
Faith is knowing God; believing what He says.
Knowing He’s good
Learning He’s love
Trusting He’s there
Faith is that I must surrender…
By Adrian Ow, Assistant Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 5&6 November 2016)