Sunday, 23rd May 2021
Pastor Kathy Poon
- Series of “Step Into The Blessed Life” II
John 3:16 tells us the ultimate truth: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life“.
As a Christian, we know that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) – which means anything not according to the will of God is a sin, and “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). To have this eternal life, we need to believe in Jesus Christ in order to receive His salvation. However, we may know about this truth but still have problem with “believing”. So what went wrong? Pastor Kathy shared the story of Job to help us understand how our belief system may affect our ability to tell the truth from lies and how to rebuild a belief system that strengthens our faith in God.
Story of Job:
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil…When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom”. (Job 1:1,5) Job was a “blameless” person, but he had “fears” in his heart that God would punish him and his family because of the wrong things that his children might have done in their parties. However, he was attacked by Satan and lost all his children and belongings, and he had terrible skin disease, even his wife despised him, just like what he said, “the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25) He then started to accuse God for torturing him (Job 16:7-9, 11-14). He was in such agony that his face was “red from crying” (Job 16:16-17).
Anyone who has been through tragedy or trauma would understand how Job felt. Often when we are in misery, we pray for long time and have not seen any changes, we may start to complain against God. Job was too overwhelmed by his negative emotions that he even complained for God giving light to him to surround him with difficulties (Job 3:23)! He did not see the light of God as a protection because his knowledge of God – someone who was cruel – was wrong! However, after all his complaints, God woke him up by answering him “out of the whirlwind, and said: Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?” (Job 38:1-2). From God’s words Job started to know who God truly is, and finally declared, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You”. (Job 42:5)
What affected Job’s initial knowledge of God was his “belief system”. As depicted above, the establishment of our belief can start from the things happening in our environment, through some filters such as “I am ugly, I will be abandoned” or “I have to please others in order to be accepted”, we may begin to label ourselves and give inner vows such as “I will never trust people again, never let people see me for who I really am”. Then there will be tapes that keep playing the overlapping sounds inside us saying things like “I’m going to be abandoned” or “It’s all my fault”, which will then be internalized into deep-rooted beliefs. These beliefs can eventually affect our physical body such as our brain.
Rebuilding the Belief System:
To prevent us from acting upon our emotions in response to the environment stimulus, we must invite Jesus to our life and view the past events from His point of view. For example, someone may feel furious and scared when seeing a guy wearing a red shirt in a supermarket because she once got beaten up by her dad who was wearing a red shirt at that time. This person can then invite Jesus to her memory of this scene, let her see the truth that she is loved by God no matter what, and heal her completely from the hurt she experienced. With the belief system being rebuilt, she will then no longer need to react to the environment based on what is happening around her but on the truth that is taught in the Bible:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Cor. 5:17