Pastoral Perspectives

A Thankful, Singing Heart!

I love to sing hymns and Christian songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord my God. I also love to give thanks to Him. In Psalm 92:1-3 KJV, the Word of God taught me: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.” Two virtues which cling on tightly to me: “God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness.” Wherever I am, I will reflect God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness in and through my precious life.

     I have learnt concerning this word “thanksgiving” which refers to “telling God how grateful you are for everything He has given to you, even for the unpleasant things of life.” When I give thanks to God, my thankfulness helps me to see God’s purposes and also my life situations in the right and appropriate perspective. Purpose and perspective are very valuable to me. Without purpose and perspective, I will be completely lost like in the jungle, being lost and not able to get out. I have learnt what happened in the opposite, that is, if I had a grouchy and grumbling spirit! In the book of Philippians, I am still learning to “do all things without grumbling or disputing.” I also reckon that “it is God who works in you (me), both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (See Philippians 2:13-14). Grumbling and complaining have an adverse effect on our spiritual life! Instead of grumbling and complaining, why not learn to offer praises and thanksgivings to our great and almighty God who knows us through and through and both in and out. We all need to regularly cultivate such a heart. “Give thanks with a grateful heart” and “Serve with a glad and grateful heart” are precious phrases which I have acquired along the way. With a thankful heart will lead me to have a singing heart.

     Today, I have sung this wonderful song: “You are the Rock of my Salvation.” I have not sung it for a long time. Suddenly, I felt like singing. So, I turned my DG song book and saw this song. The lyrics are beautiful and they express the inner desires of my heart. Sharing the lyrics of this song here with you  all:

You Are the Rock of My Salvation

“You are the Rock of my Salvation.

You are the Strength of my Life.

You are my Hope and my Inspiration.

LORD, unto You will I cry!

I believe in You, believe in You.

For Your faithful Love to me.

You have been my Help in time of need;

LORD, unto You will I cleave.

     There are many things to give thanks to God for this year 2018 which is passing by so quickly. As for me, our gracious God had seen me through many hurdles this year. He had given me the courage to visit my cousin who had nose cancer, shared the gospel with him and led him to receive the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour. He had also given me the courage to visit Mdm Khoo (Shuiyuan’s mother) who was hospitalised on 14 November, and I encouraged her not to delay receiving Jesus if she is ready to do so. She told me that she needs to settle her things first before accepting. I told her that time is not on her side. I told her not to wait until too late. I even told her how to receive Christ Jesus if she wants to. Her niece, Ms May Chong, was present when I spoke to her about receiving Jesus. Even though, she did not receive Jesus but I thanked God for giving me this opportunity to speak with her. I prayed for God’s healing upon her and I thanked God that a few days later, she was much better and was discharged. He had enabled my family and me to go for a three-day two-night vacation trip. I thanked God for granting us a fruitful time together and helping us through the kindness of a Grab driver who drove us around to different places and also for protecting us throughout the trip. We are very blessed to have the Lord Jesus in our lives. Praise the Lord! Amen.

     I reckon that this Christmas, we can all set aside time to offer our praises and thanksgivings to God. Let us make melodies in our hearts to God. If you can, sing a new song to the Lord our God: a song which you have not sung for a long time. In Psalm 149:1, I have learnt concerning this: “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!” In Psalm 146:2, it says, “I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

So, I hope that we will cultivate a thankful, singing heart. I wish every member and worshipper:

“A blessed Christmas and a bountiful New Year 2019!”

Preacher George Ang

December 23, 2018