Sunday, 12th August 2018
Pastor Joseph Huang
We all have burdens on our shoulders, but as children of God, we have been given a destiny and plans for our lives. We just need to pray more and to seek God more. In I Peter 4:12,Peter said, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
Being tested is like a precious ceramic work burning in a fiery furnace, and what’s more? And when the test comes, we should “not be surprised” and treat it as a “guest”! Pastor Joseph shared that we should treat the trial as a “guest” and welcome it to our lives, to participate in the sufferings and “join the club”, because God allows difficult situations happen to us to test us and make us better! We just need to remember one truth, God is good, Satan is bad, and we are VICTORS!
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
No matter how hard the situation is, God is always here to help, and in difficult situations we become stronger. Just like the bean sprouts, when the farmer plant the bean sprouts, he would put a piece of cover on top of the seeds, so the bean sprouts will try harder to push up, and result in strong and thick bean sprouts, whereas the seeds without a cover will be thin and curly, which are not preferred in the shop.
“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” (Jeremiah 18:4)
This is how a potter shapes his pot. First the potter would take a piece of clay and repeatedly smash it against the working bench, until all the air voids in the clay have come out, because if there is any small air bubbles in the clay, by the time when it’s in the furnace, it will crack straight away. Next the potter will start to shape the pot and then leave it to dry, after a while the potter will look at it closely under the light, and if there is any impurity in it, the potter will smash the pot again and go back to step one. The process will repeat again and again until the pot is perfect to put in the fiery furnace.
Our weakness is always where God wants to work the most, and often He would repeatedly train us until we become strong. We shouldn’t push God’s work to be done quickly, because the process is what matters the most. The same with building up muscles in our bodies, Spiritual muscles are also exercised in very uncomfortable situations.
We are all in the process to become better, as long as we follow God’s lead, and throughout the way, we should always find a reason to thank God. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 92:1-2, “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.”
Thank God for what we have, don’t complain about our work, at least we have one, don’t complain about our children, some people tried everything but still have no children; we should thank God everyday just because we are alive! “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Believe the better days are ahead and we should always go for it!
In conclusion, Pastor Joseph encouraged us, “not that we will change when the environment changes, but when we change, the environment around us will change!”