Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

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Christian Unity 

The topic of Christian unity is an important matter that deserves the serious attention of every member of the Lord’s church. Our Lord Jesus Himself emphasized the importance of having His disciples being united in the faith through His prayer.

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me”(John 17:20-21).

In view of the above passage, we need to understand that the mission of Christ is divine in that He has come to this world to preach the gospel message of salvation so that those who obey Him would have the hope of eternal life in heaven.Hence, the world would be convicted by the good news of Christ and believe that Christianity is divine when they are able to witness for themselves the strong unity amongst Christ’s disciples.

As we flip through the pages of the Holy Scriptures, we will also read of several other passages that emphasise the importance of unity amongst the believers of Christ. Consider what the apostle Paul has written.

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Here, in this passage, the apostle Paul was addressing the church at Corinth pertaining to matters on unity as it was observed that there were contentions amongst the Corinthian brethren. In particular, the congregation at Corinth was not divided on matters of sound doctrine.

In this regard, we can observe that the teaching of Paul, Apollos, Cephas and Christ was one and the same thing.However, the rebuke of Paul was concerned with the opinions of individual brethren because they have caused divisions amongst themselves by choosing to follow various teachers (1 Corinthians 1:11-13).

So, what important lesson can we learn from the example of the church at Corinth? As members of the Lord’s church at Jurong, let us always take heed that having uncontrolled pride concerning one’s opinion about spiritual matters could result in divisions within the body of Christ.

When there are contentions within the church, it will be difficult for brethren to speak the same thing and be joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. The outcome will be disunity within the members of the Lord’s church and this is what Satan ultimately desires to see happening to the church.

Moreover, let us also take heed to the warning mentioned by the apostle Paul in Romans 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.”

As God’s people, we will not deny that the church should be united. However, it is a very different thing to propose that anything unscriptural should be tolerated in order to promote unity amongst brethren. In the light of this argument, we need to recognise that any form of unity taken at the expense of accepting doctrines or practices not authorised in the New Testament is clearly not the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17.

Hence, it shouldn’t surprise that the introduction of unscriptural teachings and practices over time since the establishment of the Lord’s church is responsible for the birth of denominationalism.

There are currently so many thousands of denominations and the denominational world is making an effort to arrive at some type of union among themselves, which has resulted in the ‘unity in diversity movement’, known as the Ecumenical Movement.

In essence, the main thrust of this movement recognises that there are indeed many differences in the teachings of various denominations, but this would not be a major issue as they still can extend fellowship amongst one anotherand be united as the family of God.

Brethren, as we examine the Word of God, let us remember that Jesus must be honoured as our King and His New Testament as the only rule of faith and practice.

In Ephesians 1:22-23, the Scripture reads: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

This passage of Scriptures tells us that Christ is the head of His church and all of His disciples are expected to be in submission to His will.

Furthermore, the apostle Paul also tells us in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Thus, we can understand that the only scriptural basis for unity will be for members of the Lord’s church to have the mind of Christ, which can only happen when we accept what He says and do as He requires. To this end, the Word of God is the basis for scriptural unity.

Danny Leong


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Rejoice Evermore

Paul instructs us to “Rejoice in the Lord always (Php 4:4)” and “Rejoice evermore (1The 5:16).” How can we do that? Allow me to suggest four ways we can do that.

The first is to be constantly aware that we are loved. We know that the Father loves us so much that He gave us Jesus so that in Him we can have eternal life (cf. John 3:16). Paul states in Gal 2:20, “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

How can we measure the love of God? We cannot. The love of God is so great it transcends our mind. It takes the special revelation of God through His Son and Word for us to even realise its magnitude.

Think about the greatness of this gift. Think about the cost of this gift. Let the beautiful truth fill us with awe, gratitude and humility. It is wonderful to love and be loved. We bask in the love of family and friends. There is One who loves us beyond the love of family and friends. It is the Lord, our Father who is in heaven.

The second way we can rejoice evermore in the Lord is to realise that God is using our circumstances and situations to train us in godliness.Paul says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

What is that ‘good’ that is working out for those who love God? Paul tells us in the next verse: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to beconformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren(Rom 8:29).”

Our Father is working through our situations to make us more and more like Jesus. So no matter how tough things get, we can rejoice and let God do His work as we put His precepts into practice.

Peter comforts us with these words:

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (1Pe 2:21-23).”

The third way is to value above all things the relationship we have with the Lord. Paul, in comparing everything he had achieved before he was a Christian, declared:

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Php 3:8-9).”

Paul lost a lot but he gained much more. What he gained is supremely worth having—a relationship with Christ, which would last for eternity. The more of it he had, the more he wanted.

This is what every Christian has; this is what you and I have in Christ. What is it worth to you? What are you willing to let go for it?

The fourth way to rejoice in the Lord always is to freely give what we have freely received (Mat 10:8).The Lord wants us to preach the gospel and to share the knowledge of Christ with others. When we do that, we know we are giving the world what it desperately needs. David says:

“I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation (Psa 40:10).”

It is a joy to be given the privilege to share Christ with others, to give to them what we have also received.The gospel is worth proclaiming, even when people are sometimes hostile toward the messengers. Christians can experience joy and sadness at the same time.

There is joy in sharing the gospel, even when there is sadness when the gospel is rejected. But the joy that comes when someone obeys the gospel! Some of you know what that feels like: leading someone to Christ by the gospel.

“The Lord says that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:10).”

The Lord sent our seventy missionaries in pairs to preach the Good News. Upon their return and report of success, Luke says of the Lord, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit (Lu 10:21).”

What was the cause of our Lord’s joy? It was the conversion of souls; the receptive hearts of the humble toward the message of the kingdom, even though the proud and conceited reject the message.

Looking around the world today, what do we see? Many are walking in the broad way that leads to destruction, facing an eternity without God. What could be more important and worth doing than sharing the Good News about Jesus and the salvation He brings?

Dear saints of God, let us rejoice evermore in the Lord. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13).”

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Joy in Being Right with God

Not long after Jesus sent the Twelve on a limited commission to preach, He sent seventy disciples out in pairs to preach as well.

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest (Luke 10:1-2).”

The first instruction He gave them was to pray. This is important; it is the Lord’s work, His harvest. Before the workers begin to work, they must pray.The harvesting of souls is the work the Lord has left his church here to do. If we neglect reaching out to the lost, then we are not on the same page as our Lord.

As we work to become more effective soul-winners, we must remember to rely on our God and seek His favour in prayer.

In verse 17, we learned that “the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”They were excited at the success of their mission. They experienced the joy that comes from serving the Lord.

Any service rendered to the Lord ought to be an expression of our gratitude and devotion to Him for the grace and mercy He has bestowed unto us. Just serving in gratitude is itself a joyous experience.

God has no need of any unwilling labourer in His vineyard. He doesn’t require any fearful soldier among the ranks of His holy army. The Lord ordered Gideon to dismiss from the army of the children of Israel “Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead (Judges 7:3).”

Our God never compels anyone to serve unwillingly. But let it be known that the loss is ours to bear, whosoever among us refuse to serve with gratitude. For a start, we will miss out on the blessing of the joy that comes from faithful and grateful service.

And at the end of the ages, when the Lord shall reward His servants, can one who was unwilling to serve expect to be welcomed with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant;enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Mat 24:23)?

When we are successful in our ministry, it further adds to the sense of joy. It becomes a further motivation to improve our service. But regardless of seeming success or not, we are called upon to serve. Let us rejoice in the privilege and opportunity to express our humble gratitude.

Some skeptics tried to paint a picture of Christianity as a gloomy religion.They allege that Christians are killjoy and do not want anybody to have fun.But Christianity, instead of being gloomy, actually drives away gloom and moodiness.

We read that these disciples came back from their work rejoicing.Joy comes when the saints are united and live and work together in the will of God. Joy is the Christians’ heritage as a member of God’s family.

But doubts and unbelief, whether as a result of listening to the lies of the devil or not immersing ourselves in the knowledge of Christ, can make Christians afraid of God as a slave driver who doesn’t want us to be happy and who forces us to do things against our will.

This is simply not true. The Scriptures tell us the opposite.

“I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High (Psa 9:2).”

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence isfulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psa 16:11).”

“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures (Psa 36:8).”

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17).”

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13).”

Like theseventy disciples, we all enjoy a job well done. We love the sense of having achieved the objective of what we set out to do, especially when it is the Lord’s work.

The Lord, however, gave them—and us—a greater reason for rejoicing than success in ministry. He said to them:

“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).”

Knowing that we are saved by Christ and that we are in a relationship with God is a cause for great joy to the Christian’s heart, and this joy is something only Christians can truly understand.

“Rejoice in the Lord” means rejoice in belonging to Christ, in having His Father as our Father, in being cleansed and righteous before Him and made ‘heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:7)’ and in having salvation and eternal life as God’s gift.

We have the great spiritual blessing of joy because the Lord has redeemed and adopted us. Why should our hearts be troubled?

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Hindrances to Joy

Christians are meant for joy. We discover true joy only in a right relationship with God, which transforms how we view other people, our relationships with them and also how we view the material blessings given to us freely by our heavenly Father.

Joy is something which is badly misunderstood, sometimes even by Christians. To better appreciate the joy God has created us to enjoy, let us be more aware of counterfeit joy.

Joy is not the same thing as fun and games. Many people are fun-seekers without finding joy. A person can have ‘fun’ but remain joyless.Irresponsible pursuit of pleasure is common in our times and actually points to a lack of joy.

True joy is of God and therefore by its very nature, holy. Christians certainly can have fun but let’s not mistake fun for joy.We can have joy without fun just as we can have fun without joy. The two are not necessarily connected.

Think of Paul and Silas. They were in prison and certainly not having fun. But they had joy. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25).”

Joy is also not being a ‘jolly good fellow’ who is always smiling and cheerful and is generally the life of the party.Some Christians are like that while others are not and never will be. This is a matter of temperament and has nothing to do with joy.

I think that is good news because if joy is dependent on having a sunshine personality or jolly temperament, some of us would be disqualified from ever having joy.

Joy is not the same thing as being carefree. Again advertisers would have us think that taking a vacation and getting away from it all is the key for joy.But if that were so, as soon as the holiday is over and you return to the responsibilities and burdens of life, joy ends because you are no longer carefree.

On the night He was betrayed, less than 24 hours before His crucifixion, the Lord said to His disciples:

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:10-11).”

Even at that moment Jesus has joy, although He was not carefree.

Similarly, Paul in prison facing possible execution was not carefree, yet he had an abundance of joy and wrote to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice (Php 4:4).”

Joy was the reality for both the Lord and the apostle despite the pressure of getting killed. It should be reality for us today too.

Since joy should be reality for Christians today, why then are some not experiencing joy more abundantly?People, even Christians, who are hurting, find it hard to believe that it is possible for them to have this joy in the Lord.

They may even get bitter and angry when they know others are experiencing joy and want to share it with them.

There are eight hindrances to joy common to humans. Christians are not spared from experiencing them in life. We can label them the four black Ds and the four black Fs.The four black Ds are: disappointment, desolation, depression and desperation. The four black Fs are: frustration, failure, fear and fury.

Christians are not victims or prisoners of either the past or the present. The power of forgiveness is at work in our lives.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1:9).”

We have before us the promise of deliverance. “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment(2Pe 2:9).”

Joy will someday be ours in the fullest measure. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev 21:4).”

We should not give way to the negative feeling that life will never be better for us than it is now.Christians ought to have incredible heart capacity. Grief, desolation and pain are triggered by present situations but faith produces joy, hope and peace.

It doesn’t mean we will never experience grief, desolation and pain, it means we experience something else alongside the hurt.It is possible for Christians today, like Paul, to be ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2Co 6:10).’

True joy is not a result of our circumstances or situations; it is a result of being rightly related to the God who designed us for joy.

Nehemiah and Ezra encouraged the people, saying, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10).”And David said, “The king shall have joy in your strength, O LORD; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice (Psa 21:1)!”

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Meant for Joy

Search deep into our hearts and we will find a desire for joy. Advertisers know it and expertly exploit it. Whatever we do, we ultimately seek satisfaction, pleasure, and happiness.

God has created us for joy; He doesn’t create anyone for misery. If God has made us for joy, then we need to understand what true joy really is. How we can fully enjoy and appreciate something which we do not understand?

Joy is part of God’s original design for us from the start. The earthly home He gave to Adam and Eve was a garden.

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Gen 2:15).”

God Himself walked there in the garden in the cool of day (cf. Gen 3:8). Creator and creatures communed together in the garden He has made. This must have been such a joyful fellowship!

Even though Eden was lost to us, God still has lovingly provided for our enjoyment the good things He has made.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy (1Ti 6:17).”

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (Jas 1:17).”

God has designed ours to be a life of joy. He has provided what we need to live in joy. There is another important fact about true joy that we must realise if we are to be joyful Christians.

When Asaph was almost driven to despair by how the wicked seemingly prospered, he readjusted his focus and declared:

“Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever…it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works (Psa 73:23-27).”

Another psalmist reminded himself in downtimes:

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God (Psa 43:5).”

We see then that according to God’s original design, true joy is inseparable from Himself. God is the Source of joy in its purest sense. Sin separates us from the joy of God and exposes us to eternal damnation (cf. John 3:16-21; Rom 1:18-2:16; Rev 22:11-15).

Man has lost the joy God has bestowed him by foolishly turning away from God. When we look around us at this world—with its misery and meaninglessness—we are looking at the result of man’s rejection of true joy.

Man has since been trying to be his own provider, seeking desperately to satisfy the longing for joy but finding himself only drifting further away from the joy which seems so elusive.

When Christ redeemed us and gave us life in Him, He reversed damnation and sin (cf. Rom 5:12-19). The goodness of God is further evidence that God intends joy for us and through His goodness He calls us to respond to His Gospel.

“Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness (Acts 14:17).”

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (Rom 2:4)?”

The Gospel of Christ proclaiming deliverance from sin is the invitation to enter the joy God has prepared for mankind.

Through the plan of salvation God has restored and fulfilled His original intention of joy for us. True joy for the human soul is to be rightly related to God in Jesus Christ.

Joy is not measured by the material possessions we have or the level of success we attain in this world. Joy is the inevitable result of throwing ourselves upon the love of God, trusting in Him whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

The Gospel is for all. Every man and woman must make the choice between Christ and self, between true joy and eternal misery. If by choosing to sin we miss the joy God has meant for us, the fault will all be ours.

The apostle says, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17).”

A faith without joy is a contradiction to what the New Testament reveals. The joyful Christianity we read about in the NT turned the world upside down.

May the Lord revive true joy in His church today that we may once more turn this world upside down for His glory.

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What Hardships Can Teach Us (II)

Hardships can teach us valuable lessons to help us in our quest for maturity. Previously we discussed two hardships and what we can learn from them: physical illnesses and material needs.

Let’s look at two more hardships we can draw lessons from.

Bereavement Tells us Life is Uncertain

If you haven’t lost a loved one, it’s only a matter of time before you do. The closer the departed is to you, the more it will hurt.King David wrote this psalm a long time ago:

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children (Psa 103:13-17).”

James understood the truth of David’s words. He wrote in his epistle:

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that (Jas 4:13-15).”

Losing a loved one to death is painful, but even in such pain we are reminded of how short and uncertain life really is.It is wise to keep in mind:“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27).”

Chastisement is Good for Our Souls

We all have our fair share of discipline and punishments from our parents and caregivers when we were growing up.Looking back, we can be thankful for these life lessons because they prepared us for lives as adults.

Our heavenly Father takes a keen interest in our spiritual development. Whenever we stray, He will pull us back by chastising us.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Heb 12:7-11).”

The wise man said: “A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool (Pro 17:10).” Shall we be wise or foolish? That depends on how we respond to God’s chastisement.

Persecution Teaches Us Endurance

Suffering for the sake of Christ should not take any of us by surprise. Paul had said: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2Ti 3:12).” John added to that with this statement: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you (1Jn 3:13).”

Suffering for the sake of Christ is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, it is a matter for rejoicing. The Lord said:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Mat 5:11-12).”

The apostles, instead of becoming demoralised, rejoiced because they suffered for the Lord’s sake. “…when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name (Acts 5:40-41).”

Peter wrote his first epistle to encourage the church to endure in suffering for the Lord.

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:6-7).”

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy…Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator (1Pe 4:12-13, 19).”

In this world, it is inevitable that we will suffer some hardships. Paul expressed in these powerful words:

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2Co 4:16-18).”

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).”

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What Hardships Can Teach Us (I)

It is not far-fetched to say that Christians are truly a different breed. Much of our beliefs seem paradoxical in the eyes of the world. Take for example this statement from James.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (Jas 1:2-4).”

Who enjoys trials and difficulties? Rightly, no one does. But Christians are encouraged not only to be positive but to rejoice. This is not a defense mechanism; the Christian is not retreating into denial.

Trials and hardships, when handled correctly, produce the fruit of patience and maturity. We will undergo some hardships in life. It is inevitable. Let us, then, learn what these experiences can teach us.

Spiritual Health More Important than Physical Health

Poor health is a burden none of us appreciate, yet even in poor physical health we can be reminded of something even more important—our spiritual health. In Matthew 9 we read of a man suffering from palsy.

“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee (Mat 9:2).”

Of all the things the Lord could have said to him, the Lord, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” The man’s sins were worse than palsy and the Lord was more concerned about the man’s spiritual wellbeing.

By all means, please take good care of your physical health. Our bodies are given to us by our Creator. It is through the physical body that we serve Him in this world. While we take care of our physical and mental wellbeing, let’s keep in mind our spiritual wellbeing.

Our relationship with our Lord is the most important relationship we have, above that even of the closest familial ties. Our Lord does His part in maintaining this relationship. Let us do ours in cultivating this relationship.

This physical body we have now is only temporary. The Lord has promised us immortality.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life (2Co 5:1-4).”

Material Needs Teach Us to Rely on God

We have everything we need. But there are people so poor they do not know when their next meal may be. Whenever we learn of people in need, let us be ready and willing to lend a helping hand like the Macedonian churches.

“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God which hath been given in the churches of Macedonia; how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For according to their power, I bear witness, yea and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord, beseeching us with much entreaty in regard of this grace and the fellowship in the ministering to the saints: and this, not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God (2Co 8:1-5).”

What if we should suffer material needs? Remember the lesson the Lord was teaching Israel in the wilderness.

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live (Deu 8:2-3).”

Paul learned contentment and dependence on God through his own sufferings.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Php 4:11-13).”

There is no reason for Christians to be envious of what others have. We have all that we need and more. We have God who provides all our needs.

Trials and hardships can range from irritations to full-fledged struggles. In these situations when our faith is put to the test, let’s dig in, trust in the Lord and press on with resolve. The Lord will carry us through to greater maturity.