Before I knew God, I didn’t think much about my purpose for living. And, I certainly didn’t feel capable of doing anything great.
Even though, I had done well academically, the happiness didn’t last. I also tried doing good deeds but realised my intentions wasn’t truly good, as I was just trying to please people in order to validate myself.
This lifestyle continued in National Service and University, where I was eager to please my peers and gain acceptance. Sometimes, this meant that I would change the way I behave or even pick up bad-habits, just to be accepted. Still, my peers didn’t response the way I wanted them to.
Being discouraged and tired, I started to look out for my own interests and less for the interest of others.
At that time, my sister shared with me the book “Counterfeit gods” by Timothy Keller.
This book changed my worldview!
I realised that while chasing after the opinion of men and good grades, I was in fact worshipping them as idols in my life.
Since these things cannot bring me true joy and peace, I was destined to encounter disappointment.
This revelation simply amazes me because these understandings came from a book written 2000 years ago, yet they accurately depicted my struggles in the modern world!
I knew God was speaking to me. Deep down in my heart, I knew I was made to worship Him alone, not the things of this world.
As I came to know that Jesus Christ was truly alive and that He died for my sins, I started to understand that God really loves and takes care of all my needs.
I can fully trust Him with my life and not be bound by the worries of this world. I don’t have to struggling through life just to survive!
I decided to accept Jesus into my life and saw that there is indeed a purpose for me! And that is to share His word and love with those around us.
However, despite knowing this truth, I still struggled to place my trust in God fully. This was because I didn't understand that God would take care of my needs.
This false belief did not disappear immediately when I received Christ. God had to teach me how to trust in Him through a process.
After graduating from pharmacy in University, God gave me a training job in a hospital despite my average grades. It was a tough nine months of trying to obtain a professional pharmacist license, while staying committed to my community and ministry.
There was this constant pressure to do well. I thought that I just wanted to be excellent for God, but deep within me, I still had the need to gain validation from my bosses and peers.
Nearing the end of the training period, the hospital miraculously offered full employment to ten out of 18 of us last year. But … I was not one of them.
I was devastated. I questioned God why He led me to this place yet shut the doors on me. I started to belittle myself once again.
Thankfully, I have a community that was there to support me and speak truth into my life, even when I was feeling so worthless.
My Life Group Leader, Jiehau took time to meet me and helped to confront my issues.
Through Jiehau, God revealed to me that I have relied on my own strength to do things. I had returned to my old ways of operating out of the fear of man’s opinions.
That day, I was reassured that how I performed in life and what others thought of me wouldn’t change a thing about how God viewed me. I am loved by Him no matter what.
I broke down and decided to surrender all my worries and place my trust in Him. I decided that even when the road ahead seems uncertain.
My faith was renewed and I had peace once again, knowing that God’s ways are much higher than mine. As I let go of my fears and worries, I was able to work with joy and purpose, once more. I was still sad that I did not get retained, but I decided to trust God and continue to give my best at work despite the circumstances.
One week later, my superior called me after work and told me that there was a mistake in the assessment. They are offering me a position to stay in the hospital!
It was an unprecedented reversal of decision, and I knew that it could only be from God.
Like what Pastor Daniel Cheo preached in the truth detox series, between the peaks of provision is a valley of decision where we choose to trust Him and position ourselves for His provision. Otherwise we will destroy ourselves with worry like I did initially.
God has refined my faith through this process. If I had gotten the offer right from the start, I would not have learnt this valuable lesson and probably would have thought that it was my own efforts and ability which got me the job. But now I can see how He truly is my provider!
My journey as a Christian is not without struggle, even after being in church for many years. Through these years I have learnt that while our Father does not withhold good things from us, He is more interested in refining our character to become more Christ-like.
God even challenged me to step up to change the culture at work together with some colleagues, and we have started a prayer meeting at our workplace just last month!
The old me would have thought twice about this, as I would fear how other non-Christian colleagues see me. But now, I'm certain to be able to shine His light whenever I go.
As 1 Timothy 6:12 says,
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”