GOD AT WORK

Our testimonies glorify God and demonstrate the life of the Spirit in the body of Christ.  Because of that, testimonies have the power to inspire and encourage us.

The “God at Work” series features testimonies of those who have witnessed

God’s work or experienced spiritual breakthroughs in their lives.

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In this “God at Work” series, Angela Pan shares about how

God reached out to her at the lowest point in her family life.

Since coming to PSPC, she came to faith in Jesus Christ,

completed Discipleship Class and brought her son Isaac to Sunday School.

She was baptised on Easter Sunday and received into communicant membership.

 

I’m a new believer.  In November 2015, I started to attend PSPC regularly.  Being new, I had so many questions about the teachings in the Bible, how to pray, how to say grace etc.  In other words, I was lost and desperate for answers.  The first time I attended service, I had no idea what was going on.  I only remembered tears came to my eyes as the congregation started to sing worship songs, and I was embarrassed by what was happening to me.

 

As a single mum, I do not have the luxury of time to join a cell group, much as I would like to.  My friend (Jamie Lim who was also baptized on Easter Sunday), who brought me to PSPC, introduced me to her cell group friend, who formed a whatsapp chat group for us to ask whatever questions we had after we read the Bible.  Even so, I was still pretty much lost.  Fortunately, she told me that we should sign up for the Discipleship Class.  I thought, “Why not?”  And this began my journey of course.

 

The old has gone, the new is here!  “Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny yourselves, take up your cross daily and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).  I learnt that being obedient to God is a “strange” thing.  The first chapter in “Discipleship Essentials” was to get us to surrender ourselves and submit to God.  I had always thought that I was lord over myself.  I used to think I was always right and I did not even listen to my parents sometimes.  Why would I submit to someone whom I read about, someone whom I had not seen with my own eyes?  But I learned that it is all about denying myself, to put God in first place.

 

Learning about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, I realized that I do have them, but I need to exercise it.  My parents and close friends would agree that I am not the most patient person around.  I had quite a temper and ‘black face’ that earned me the reputation of looking fierce when I am not smiling.  I got annoyed at the slightest thing, especially if things did not go my way.  Behold if anyone tried to argue with me.  I would make sure I got the last laugh.  But at the end, even though I ‘won’, I felt empty inside.  “In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26) – this phrase struck a chord in my heart.  Now, when I am provoked, I do not feel my blood pressure rising or the urge to ‘fight’ back.  Instead, I try to reason calmly with the other party or simply hold my tongue, and pray to God to help me to see from the other person’s point of view.  It works, all the time!

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer, petition and thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6).  Meditating on this verse, I learned to ‘let go’.  The old ‘me’ would scramble to make all sorts of contingency plans if things did not turn out as I wanted, stressing myself out and worrying.  Jesus wants me to “cast all my anxieties on him because he cares for me” (1 Peter 5:7), and that by worrying, it would not add a single hour to my life.  God cares even for the birds in the sky, how much more will He care for me, when I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image!  His words indeed transform me slowly but surely.  I am at peace with myself and even though I am in a rough patch with family issues, I trust that “in all things, God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

 

Reading the Parable of the Lost Son made me realize the kind of compassion, sacrifice and love God has for me.  I am a sinner in my own rights and this taught me to forgive just as in Christ God forgave me.  It does not matter if my sins are ‘minor ones’ compared to heinous crimes.  In God’s eyes, all are equal before Him.  So if God has forgiven me, why should I bear a grudge against those who hurt me?  I should be merciful, just as my Father is merciful.  Once again, I found peace within myself.

 

These changes within me manifested outwardly as well.  As I mentioned earlier, I am going through a rough patch in my family life since 2014.  I lost a significant amount of weight.  Friends and colleagues commented I looked very haggard and thin.  Ever since I started the Discipleship Class, attending service regularly and meditating on God’s Word, friends that I have not met for a while commented I ‘looked different’, in a good way, and that I am glowing, even though I am still skinny.  Nobody would have guessed what was going on in my family life if I did not tell them.  I think people can sense God’s presence and peace within me.  At the beginning, when I was asked if I had a religion, I answered Christianity softly, and I did not sound sure of myself.  Nowadays, when strangers come up to me and ask if I am a Christian, I smile and answer yes.  Praise the good Lord!  Amen.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

Angela Pan