Pastoral Perspectives

My Redeemer is Faithful and True

A burglar broke into a house and found a locked safe in the study. He took out his tools to try to open the safe when he saw a sign above the safe.

It read: “The safe is unlocked. Just open it.”

He turned the handle, and sure enough the door opened.

Suddenly, the lights came on, the alarm went off and the door of the study slammed shut.

The police quickly arrived and arrested the burglar. As he was taken away, the owner of the house said to him, “I hope you learned your lesson.”

“I sure did,’ said the burglar. After what happened tonight, how can I ever trust another human being?”

Trusting and believing in something or someone is part of our journey here on earth. The first people we trusted were our parents who took care of us when we were young. We took our first steps because they encouraged us. When we are about to fall, they extend their hands to catch us before we fall. When we do fall, they picked us up and encouraged us to walk again. Trusting and obeying our parents was simple to do then because we were young, and they were the closest people to us.

As we grow older, we begin to see that trusting something or someone is not so simple after all. Look at the world we live in today where there is so much wrong. Every day, we read of people being cheated of their hard-earned money. We read of internet scams where people were promised things at a cheaper price and then when they put down a deposit, the person selling the item disappears with their money.

We read of people who were not only cheated of their money but also their feelings of love. Two persons fall in love over the internet. As time goes by, one party says he needs money. The other party sends the money over and the person disappears with the money.

We put our trust in certain consumer brands – phones, cars, etc. Only to be let down when they fail or break down within a short period of time.

We put our trust in relationships and friendships. Yet sadly, because of the sin of selfishness, sometimes these relationships don’t work out and we see many broken friendships, relationships and families.

Putting our trust in something or someone has become a hard thing to do. We often end up feeling afraid of getting hurt or cheated.

In the broken world we live in, is there someone whom we can trust in? Is there someone who will never fail us? When the storms of life hit us, is there someone whom we can trust who will bring us through?

The Bible tells us of many testimonies of how God delivered those who put their trust in Him. Many of them who have experienced God’s help when they put their trust in him wrote them down so that others can come to hear of his faithfulness.

The writer of Psalm 9 penned these words in verses 9 and 10,

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Besides hearing the many stories of God’s faithfulness in the Bible, we also see many others who have experienced God’s help when they put their trust in Him.

Many have written books or songs to sing of God’s faithfulness and to encourage others to put their trust in Him. Some of us are familiar with the hymn, Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, but we may not know the sad story behind the lyrics.

In a sudden tragic twist of life events, both Louisa Stead and her daughter Lily lost their husband and father and suddenly they had nothing with them – no food no money. And yet they trusted God to provide and God in his faithfulness provided for them by sending strangers to come and gave them food. As she thought about what God has done, her faith and trust in God grew stronger. And she wrote down these words which became a well-known Christian song through the years.

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Her song became an encouragement to many when they go through difficult moments in their lives.

Louisa has learned from what many have learned from God’s word – That those who know who God is, will trust in Him. And those who come to seek Him will never be forsaken.

As God’s children, we must continue to put our trust in Jesus in the world we live in. Despite all that we may have seen or experienced, we can find our refuge in Him.

In our moments of despair and hopelessness, we can turn to God and seek him. When we seek and call out to God with all our hearts, He is always there for us. This is his promise that those who put our hope and trust in Him will never be forsaken.

I too, have my own stories of God’s faithfulness.

Coming from a broken family had made me very independent. But it had also made me less trusting of people. I chose to trust and rely on my own survival instincts.

Because of my family situation, my siblings and I – three of us, have no choice but to move out and stay on our own. Me, being the eldest had to help take care of my younger siblings.

I had just finished my contract in the army and had started to look for a full-time job. My siblings had also started to work, and they didn’t earn much. We had to look for a place to stay and the only way was to rent a small flat.

In the mid 90s, to rent an entire 3-room flat would cost about $1200. I went to see a few places including less popular areas, but most were only willing to rent the flat out at $1200.

My siblings worked out our monthly budget for our household and rental needs. We realised all we could afford for rental was $850 dollars which was too low comparing to the market rate then. We began praying for God to watch over us and provide for us.

I finally saw a flat which suited the three of us. It was located beside an MRT station and there was a coffeeshop and amenities just below the block. It was perfect.

I asked the housing agent how much the rental was. And he replied to say that the owner was hoping to rent it out for $1200. My heart sank. I remembered feeling sad and hopeless. I had looked at a few flats and this was the best and yet I knew I might probably have to look elsewhere for a cheaper rent.

I told the agent that I could not afford the rental and thanked him for the offer. He paused for a while and asked me how much I could afford, and I told him $850. He said that’s way below the market rate. He paused and then he asked me to wait while he went to discuss with the flat owner.

In my heart, I was thinking the owner wouldn’t lower the rental very much. After all, his place was near the MRT and amenities were all nearby. As the agent went upstairs, I whispered a prayer to God and said, “Dear God, my siblings and I have no one else to turn to and no other place to go. $850 is all we can afford. Please help us. Please provide for us.”

About 15 minutes had passed when the housing agent came down and I will never forget what he said.

He said, “Mr Soh, as you know the current market rate is $1200. After discussing with the owner, I am not sure why, but the owner has agreed to renting you his flat at a price way below the market rate. He has agreed to rent you his flat at $850.”

Indeed, as the Psalmist writesin Psalm 9:10: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”, my Heavenly Father has never forsaken me.

I like to end by sharing the lyrics of a song but wait … Many of you might have wondered why I frequently end my sermons with a song or it’s lyrics.

Well, one of my dreams as I was growing up was to be a Radio DJ. I imagined myself hosting the late-night show and taking calls and encouraging people over the air. And I will then end the conversation by dedicating a song to the caller and the other listeners.

In closing, I would like to share a song which has often encouraged me in facing the many storms and difficulties in life. It’s a song I listen to frequently, to remind myself of God’s faithfulness and grace. May the song encourage all of you that Jesus, our Redeemer, Saviour and Friend has always been there for me and that ‘in every situation, He has proved His love to me’.

The same Jesus will always be there for you too!

My Redeemer is Faithful and True by Steven Curtis Chapman

As I look back on the road I’ve travelled,
I see so many times He’s carried me through;
And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
‘There is a place I am preparing for you.’
I know someday I’ll see my Lord face to face,
‘Cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

And in every situation, He has proved His love to me;
When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
Jesus is faithful and true.