Happy (belated) Easter!
For the past four days, I was on a trip to Hong Kong. I didn't really do much this trip around, as I was really, really tired -- I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually very drained. On the bright side, I came back with a hurt wrist and a healing heart.
Unfortunately, I had to work the flight back from Hong Kong on Easter morning, so I didn't get to stay for Easter service, and I arrived late in the afternoon yesterday (and pretty much promptly knocked out). Hallelujah for online sermons from my church back in California~
My first night in Hong Kong left me feeling pretty jaded. I felt like whatever efforts I put forth were ignored, and I couldn't decide what to convince myself -- "Stop it; you're worth more than this", or "It's probably nothing and you're being neurotic." The answer came the next morning as I was reflecting upon relationships:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
The Gospel itself is hard to believe. As a believer, this is what we tell others we believe: "So this dude named Jesus came to Earth and He was perfect and said He was God, and then people were like 'Whoaa, no way', and some crazy people believed Him and started following Him around. Then some others who were desperate believed because they had nothing left to doubt, and Jesus healed them of whatever affliction they had, hence miracles! Then the crazy God-loving people who didn't trust Jesus as far as they could throw Him were like 'BLASPHEMYY! KILL JESUS' and this judge totally had no control over this crowd and in the end Jesus was crucified though found innocent in court, because back then people had more authority than big shot politicians. Oh, and then the cool part is that Jesus comes back to life after 3 days and says that if we believe He is God (and the Son of God) then we'll have God (the Holy Spirit) in us, and we will have eternal life after we die because we can get to go back to Heaven and spend time chilling with Him and God the Father. Oh, and yes, this is monotheistic." (Yes, I totally imagined the sea turtle from Finding Nemo saying all that)
As crazy as we sound, we believe because we've seen, experienced, and know that God exists. We know that He's been here by our side through the hard times and the good times. That He's tucked us in at night to make sure we are safe, and He's kept us from harm. We know He's stepped aside sometimes to let us grow despite hardships, yet encouraged us to keep fighting against the evils within ourselves and beyond this world. He's the God who breathed life into us and created us from nothingness. In hard times, it's hard to believe that God is here. We cannot see him, and circumstances blind us to His presence. "Where were You when I had nothing?" "Where were You when I broke down?" "Where were You when I lost it all?" And like in the story of Job, He is right there, knowing exactly what we can handle. Job's faith challenges others: can you trust in God if you are stripped of everything? Will you trust He is an all-knowing, all-loving, just God? In his faith, Job still pronounces and declares God as sovereign King, even though He lost everything. In return, He was blessed.
After reflecting on that, I had a bit of a perspective change. It can be hard sometimes to believe things like "WiFi problems" when Facebook now gives us "Active X minutes ago", but hey, what do I know about what is considered "Active"? Believing could be stupid, but it could also be the smartest thing if it's the truth. Doubting will only give me anxieties and it cannot change what the other person said. Plus, it's not as though there has ever been a reason to doubt. Why do I focus on the negative, rather than the positive? It's not like there is anything I can change at this point in time, so why waste time in letting myself doubt? Who am I to doubt just because I cannot see? There has been plenty other times reasons TO believe. If I declare Jesus as my Saviour and Lord --if I declare God as my only Sovereign, Loving, All-Knowing, Almighty God, then I must first put my faith in the Lord that whatever happens hereafter is in His Will for my good, and have faith in those around me.