Know God, Praise God! – Sister Ruth Chen
“Who am I? Where am I from? Where am I going? What is the meaning of life? Regardless of rich or poor, happiness or suffering, people will face death when they are born. There is no escaping it. Where will they go after death? As the saying goes, nine out of ten times, life is unsatisfactory; life on earth has troubles and sorrows, unpredictable matters, a heart with no peace, and feelings of happiness and satisfaction are fleeting.” I had been searching and thinking about these questions relentlessly but there were no answers. At that time, my elder sister called me frequently to say, “Jesus can give people peace. Christians live each day for Jesus, and not for the world; they have true joy.” She also says, “Believe in Jesus, receive eternal life and be not afraid of death.” She always urges me to believe in Jesus. Gradually, I longed to find and understand the answers to these things in Jesus Christ. Therefore, becoming a true Christian since then has been my heart’s desire.
The road to believing in Christ was not smooth. God’s love is unconditional and vast. He has given us salvation freely and only asks us to accept it that we can be justified by faith. This seems simple. Yet, being indoctrinated with atheism education for many years since young, I believed that man could conquer the heavens and did not believe in a saviour; I used scientific and rational thinking in everything. To break free of decades of such intrinsic mindset is not easy.
Thank God. 2020’s sudden pandemic changed my life. Because of this pandemic, I stayed in Singapore for 7.5 months through which I had an intimate experience with Jesus. Every day, I would discuss and debate with my sister. At the start, I could not understand nor accept her views, but I longed to be persuaded. Through Pastor Tan’s wife’s and many sisters-in-Christ’s care, I felt the atmosphere of love in the church. During Sunday School, I am filled with spiritual food. Along with my sister patiently explaining God’s Word every day and witnessing her family’s lives change; gradually, my longing for God grew and I hoped to accept Jesus as my Saviour soon. After reading the two books Reverend Chee’s wife recommended me, I started to listen to sermons every day. From Feng Bing Cheng, I learnt about God’s omnipotence; from Yuan Zhi Ming, God’s selflessness; from Pastor Tan and David Pawson, a deeper understanding of the Bible. Every sermon and testimony pointed to God’s Word––the Bible. At the same time, I had started to read the bible. In the area of educating children, I always felt defeated. In the past I believed in the model of educating through encouragement. Never deny children and always encourage. Then children will become creative. Yet, it was counterproductive. There is a world of books on educating children, but it only confused me more with no way out. One day, a sentence in the Bible, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Pro 13:24) made me recall my child’s change after 2 years in Singapore. I am now deeply convinced that the Bible not only reveals the origin and the end of the universe and mankind, it also teaches us how to live and raise our children. God’s Word carries authority, is indisputable, need not be revised, and cannot be refuted. 81% of the prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled. I firmly believe that it is God’s Word. Jesus transcends the realm of secular wisdom and all religious pursuits. Jesus must be the Son of God: “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise” (Psa 56:10)
I now firmly believe that Jesus is Saviour. Because He is love. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”(Matt 5:45). After I have Jesus, I suddenly saw that money is not all-powerful. What we need cannot be bought with money. This world is so beautiful: the air, rain, flowers and trees are all gifts given by God to humans and are all free. I often can’t help but praise God. When I walk, I stop to observe the flowers around me, listen to the birds’ singing and be in awe of God’s almightiness. I think of God’s love when I eat fresh produce. Humans are living beings with a spirit. Aside from material needs, we require more of spiritual consolation. After believing in Christ, the fear and sorrow in my heart slowly disappeared because Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matt 6:34). After believing in Christ, I would confess my wrongdoings because knowing that no one is righteous and myself am a sinner, I have to find the fault with myself first; and would start to forgive those whom I love and whom I hate. After believing in Christ, my fear of death is gone and in its place is the yearning for eternal life. If one is not afraid of death, then what else can they fear?
I thank God for electing me to salvation, “that [I] may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing [I] may have life in his name” (John 20:31). I want to praise God!