Trust, Testify and Volunteer in the New Normal
7 June 2021
In his address to the nation on the 31st of May 2020, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated what needs to be done in the new normal. We need to Test more with faster, cheaper test kits and we need to do so routinely. We need to Trace faster with TraceTogether & SafeEntry, and we need to Vaccinate more of the population. These are practical measures to track down all cases, ring-fence them and to give Singaporeans a sense of safety and assurance in their daily lives.
What about our spiritual health? What are the things we need to do to remind ourselves of God’s Sovereignty and His promises? To ring-fence ourselves against the demons of fear and spiritual complacency? What do Christians need to do in this new normal?
I would like to encourage all of us to remember these three points. To Trust quickly, Testify often and Volunteer more.
We need to trust God quickly. In this new normal, many things in life will become uncertain. The things we took for certainty are no longer so. Our jobs, Singapore’s economy, investments, health and the safety of our loved ones are now all at risk. And in this flux, we thrive on news that gives us hope, security and certainty in the future. It could be a new job offer. It could be a bitcoin investment. A new type of mask. Or even groceries.
But while the viability of these things fluctuates over time, the Gospel (“Good News”) doesn’t. Our God doesn’t. He doesn’t fluctuate over time, He’s unchanging as He’s perfect. Perfect even as He made this promise to us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God and His promises are everlasting, a certainty in this time of uncertainty. Let’s not wait till all our options are exhausted but let’s trust God quickly in this new normal.
We need to testify often. This is the season where Christians can loudly and boldly proclaim to the world that “God is in control even in the midst of the chaos of my life!” Crisis is a time where our fortitude is developed through our attitude towards it. And just as how storms cause a tree to grow stronger with deeper roots, our faith has grown stronger and deeper. We can testify of God’s providence, of His faithfulness even when we are anxious.
We see this in Psalm 84:5-7, when the Psalmist described pilgrims travelling through the Valley of Baca (“weeping”), strengthened by God Himself, growing spiritually stronger as they met adversity with unshaken faith. And at the end of their journey, they found grace as their Valley of Baca turned into springs of blessing and pools of refreshment. In similar fashion, let us testify often of the sustaining grace of our Lord, and be God’s light in these dark times!
We need to volunteer more. 2 Cor 8:2 speaks of the Macedonian church that gave to the famine-stricken church in Jerusalem while they themselves were facing hardship. “for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” The believers in Macedonia volunteered and provided for the needs of people they had never met, and they did not wait till they had excess to do so.
How have we given to God’s people and our neighbors in this new normal? Have we given our time? Have we given our wealth? Or are we still giving only out of our excesses? I personally know of two couples who take turns to visit a disabled elderly on Sunday mornings, so as to watch online church service together. There are others who volunteer and give both their time and money in buying groceries and delivering them to the needy in their neighbourhood. Our church is also looking to start a new outreach program to teach English online to foreign workers who are stuck in their dormitories, and we need volunteers to teach.
May we give generously, continuously and keep finding new ways to give! May we learn to be God’s salt in this world, sharing the flavour of God’s love to those in need.
Beloved brothers and sisters, we all have a unique opportunity to stand as the light and the salt of the world (Matt 5:13-16) in this new normal. I beg of you… don’t waste this Kairos moment, but let’s Trust God quickly, Testify of His grace often and Volunteer our time and money for His Kingdom’s sake.
Assistant Pastor Daniel Gan