About 8 years ago, I accepted Christ and was baptized together with my wife without having much knowledge of God’s words. Since then, I started attending Sunday service and served in church according to my personal schedules or sometimes by my emotions. I have never been a mature Christian and enjoyed life as a baby Christian during those years. My past life was quite simple as it was all about studies, work, martial arts training and sleeping. Although I always said that I am a “Christian” and showed kindness to people around me, knowing God and serving in His Church had never been something important in my life. After I graduated and worked for a couple of years in Australia, I went back to China, joined a large cooperation, and was a group leader of the Accounting department; whilst my wife was completing her PhD in Canberra and attending Hope Canberra church.
Two years later, my wife finished her studies in Canberra and found a job in Brisbane. For my family’s sake, I decided to resign from my job in China and came back to Brisbane last year. At that time, I thought that finding a job in Brisbane should be fairly easy given my extensive knowledge and experiences in the area of Accountancy back in China. However, I got beaten down by reality. Due to the language barrier, and the differing rules and regulations between the two countries, my previous experiences did not grant me any advantage in job hunting. Many times, I saw the opportunities and had great confidence of getting the job. However, I always missed out for various unbelievable reasons. I started to blame God and I got easily angered by everything. During those times, my brothers and sisters in ES5 encouraged me and consistently prayed for me. My wife also kept encouraging me to join lifegroup and even opened up our house for weekly lifegroup so that I will not have any excuse to skip it; hence I started to serve in lifegroup. She also encouraged me to attend prayer meetings and told me about the power of the prayer and the importance of attending church.
Slowly, I began to spend some personal time with God; such as offering my best time (early morning) to pray and trying to be consistent in reading the bible. I had been doing that for a while but God still remained quiet, leaving me to feel abandoned and unloved. I could not understand why God placed all these struggles in my life even though I had made so many changes in my Christian walk. I started to doubt whether God exists, until one day my wife suggested for us to fast and pray together until we see a break though and God’s blessing comes to pass. Our dinner time was replaced with a time of family bible study and prayer. I started to study the bible carefully instead of merely browsing it like before. Through bible studies, I started to realize the true purpose of fasting. Fasting was no longer only for my job situation but also learning to fully focus on God alone and trusting in God’s plan, not my personal strength. In addition, I found peace during the period of fasting. By God’s grace and His blessings, I was offered a short term contract of work without an interview.
Finally, I would like to share a verse to encourage all of you –
Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Elevate S5, St Lucia Centre