Sunday, 18 August 2013

Enduring Hope

Hello All,
There are many who voluntarily and actively participate in any sponsored walkathons or marathons.
I could never comprehend the thrill of these enthusiastic participants for I am contented with my sedentary lifestyle and indoor hobbies.
The thought of deliberately getting myself sweaty, stinky and tired makes me avoid such activities.
But there is a race that no one is excluded from.
This race is what I call the marathon of life.
In every marathon, there is always an end goal to achieve.
Different people have varying goals while they are on this earth and in their preoccupation of obtaining those goals, they might have neglected and even lost sight of the ultimate goal at the finishing line.
As Christians, while we are living here on earth, we are to live for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ with the comforting assurance of eternal life after death at the end of the race.
During this race, many hurdles and hardship will come our way but we can be assured of God’s comfort and strength to overcome those obstacles.

Enduring Hope
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (5th July 2013)

Our hearts rejoice for the Lord is bringing us through
The turbulent times when we knew not what to do
He has seen our tears of despair and wiped them dry
In his grace he's heard and answered our desperate cries

God in his wisdom has wrought good out of evil
He has kept us safe from the traps of the devil
Throughout the painful trials of God's refining fire
We're being changed into vessels of his desire

Let's persevere to run the race set before us
Let's not grow weary but fix our eyes on Jesus
Who is the living Word and our firm foundation
In him we've been redeemed as his new creation

Points for Reflection:
Brothers, I [Apostle Paul] do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
·         Have you been distracted by the pursuits of this life and lost sight of the most important goal at the end of the race?
·         What are the worldly achievements that you deem more important than the priceless inheritance of eternal life as God’s people who have been redeemed though the precious blood of Jesus?
·         Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? The truth is after death comes judgment for all sinful human beings and Jesus is the only one who is able to save you from the fires of hell. For he has lovingly and sacrificially borne the penalty of our sins and nailed them to the tree. Would you accept or reject this precious gift of life?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27)
In flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:3-4)
·         The process of enduring the countless hurdles in this life is often painful and unpleasant.
·         We pray for God to deliver us from our problems but in his wisdom, he uses trials to shape our character in the likeness of Christ.
·         What are the trials that you have gone through in this life? Are you currently wandering in the valleys of despondency and hopelessness? Do not give up on God but continue entrusting your problems to him in earnest prayer.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

·         After we have emerged triumphant from adversities, we would look back with no regrets for those adversities have yielded in us patience, perseverance and steadfastness to continue running the race set before us.
·         We are far from perfect as inhabitants of this world but the Holy Spirit enables us to grow in holiness each day. However we will be perfected on the Last Day when Jesus Christ returns in splendour and majesty.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)