This is My Father’s World

University student Hannah Yeo reflects on how she came to believe in Jesus, and celebrates the difference this has made to her thinking and outlook on life. 

Hi, Hannah! Could you tell us a bit more about yourself, and how you came to know the Lord?

I’m a fourth-year student, finishing up my History degree at Yale-NUS College. I came to know Jesus as my Lord after my gap year in 2013-14. Growing up I was a happy kid, enjoying sports, learning, and playing with friends. However, as I progressed in school, my own ‘success’ began getting to my head. I thought, wow, I get prizes, I'm good at stuff and I go to church, serve in Youth and even went on a missionary ship! That made me a super-Christian, right?

Wrong, so wrong, but God had to help me see I was not a Christian at all – just a proud sinner drowning in the quicksand of my own rebellion. This revelation coincided with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 20 which crushed my confidence. For once I felt I was drowning, overwhelmed by a sense of there being no solution, no end to my racing thoughts and fears for the future. Desperate for release and answers, I started seeking the Truth in a way I’d never done before. God put Christian people in my life to encourage me, and led me to a good Bible study where I learned for myself who the God of the Bible is; I turned from my obsessing over myself and cast myself on Him. 

What does it mean to you to believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour?

It means believing that my sins have been nailed to the cross: God is not going to punish me for them, but amazingly he makes me His child, part of His family. So instead of condemning myself for my sin, I run to Jesus and trust that God is continually changing me to be more like His Son. Best of all it means HOPE that King Jesus will one day come to bring us into God’s perfect kingdom where there will be peace at last.

What is your favourite name of God and what does it mean to you?

Father of Glory! I love Ephesians 1:17 in the ESV translation because it explains what kind of Father God is – a ‘This is my Father’s world’ kind of Father – so powerful, and so concerned with His work, His holiness, and His glory. It also reminds me of the book Big God by Orlando Saer, because it contains the idea that God is not small and simple but out-of-this-world glorious. Yet because he is our Father we can keep understanding new layers to His glory!

How has knowing God shaped your faith over all these years of following and walking with Him?

Over the years I have come to know God in new ways. The book of Job taught me that God is bigger than every problem or human argument. The book of Ruth showed me God’s lovingkindness, so I was assured of putting my faith in a God who loves to provide for His people. This year, the book of Mark taught me what it means for Jesus to be a King who dies so His people can live, and got me super excited about living for His kingdom! Reading J I Packer’s Knowing God also reminded me that God is my Father, giving me confidence in His goodness and love towards me. More recently I have been thankful to God for sanctifying us (Phil 1:6). This keeps my faith going when I loathe myself for my sin, because remembering that it is God who changes me keeps me from falling into the pit of legalism.

What would you tell someone who is still doubtful about Jesus and the truth?

Keep searching, and be careful where you get your information from (especially if your answers only come from your own brain). Read the Bible for yourself and read a lot of it! Don’t be afraid to pray and ask questions – you have nothing to lose.

What would you like the church to pray specifically, for those who have yet to receive Jesus?

For non-Christians to have soft hearts, hearing ears and spiritual sight to receive the gospel. For Christians to love the gospel so much that talking to a non-believer about Jesus would be the thing that makes us most excited!

Hannah-yeo-this-is-my-fathers-worldHannah (back row, 4th from left) with her Gender in Southeast Asia class. (Photo by Bozy Lu)