Archive | October, 2013


31 Oct


Hebrew 12:11 

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Extreme weather conditions such as storms can bring destruction to harvest, plants and even homes. It can even become a threat to mankind. A tornado can easily destroy the infrastructure of the city and the lives of people who reside there. However, behind the unexpected situations we face, God has a purpose for each one of us. If we look at this from another angle, we see that bad weather brings forth wood of high quality. So also, we must understand that all things work for good for those who trust in Him.

Not all kinds of discipline bring joy, but it brings pain or discomfort. However the process will result in righteousness and peace to those who go through it. God has His own plan. He has His own reasons as to why He decides to put us through process. His ultimate goal is to build godly character in us, so that we can be used as tools in His Kingdom.

Bristlecone pine is one of the oldest pines in the world. It can live to 3,000 to 4,000 years. In 1957, a scientist named Edmund Schulman discovered another type of pine and named it Metusaleh. He predicted that this pine has existed since the Egyptians built the Pyramids. The pine grows in the American mountains at altitudes of 3,050 to 4,500 meters. This tree can grow and survive in odd surroundings of terrible weather, and extreme environments such as cold weather, thin air, storms and low precipitation. In fact in that kind of extreme weather conditions make this pine tree grow and survive for thousands of years.

We have heard the message from our Senior Pastor that we will experience lots of shaking as we draw closer to the Third Pentecost. As God’s children we have to be aware of why the shaking has to happen. God has wonderful plan for each one of us. We will learn a few reasons on why God allows “storms” in the lives of His children:

1. To lead us into intimacy with Jesus

God allows problems to come to our lives. The problems will bring us closer to Him and it will help us to know God and to understand His plan is our lives. Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”

This verse explains that man tends to deny the desire to know God, but God has His own way to turn us back to Him and understand His kindness. When we go through ‘storms’ in our lives, we are changed and become intimate with God. If only hospital walls are able to speak and testify, the walls will tell how many sick people have turned to God and decided to know Jesus Christ in a deeper way through their condition and situation.

If only the rooms in our homes can testify, they will also share how families who have experienced problems have decided to turn back and build intimate relationships with God. The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 tells us that when the youngest son left his father, he experienced suffering, disappointment and pain. All these trials made him decided to return to his father. God can use trials in our lives to bring us to an intimate relationship with Him and to know His ways.

2. To serve others

God uses trials, struggles and pressures in our lives as an opportunity for us to strengthen, support, motivate and lead others to be strong and patient to endure trials. God is able to reach out and help us.

2 Timothy 3: 11: “Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.” This verse explains different events that Timothy experienced in his ministry in Ephesus. Timothy went through persecution and afflictions that Paul had experienced earlier on. Paul is giving an encouragement to Timothy that the same Lord who has delivered him, will deliver him as well.

This shows that different trials that we experience have been experienced by others as well because God has delivered them from that particular trial. It means that what we experience is not something new; others have gone through it before. Trials are something common that Christians have to go through. God allows problems in our lives with a purpose. He allows us to lead and serve others to know His true character and to be patient in waiting for His deliverance. This process will make our spirit stronger, rooted in Him and shine in His presence. God will use every victory over the ‘storms’ in our lives to strengthen others. The same God who has delivered us will deliver others also.

3. To make His children mature

Spiritual maturity is God’s target in our spiritual walk with Him. God’s goodness is behind every storm, i.e. God has the best plan in every storm. Do not get tired when faced with challenges, trials and difficulties in our lives as these will help us grow spiritually.

Hebrews 5:13-14: “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”. The important word in this verse is solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who use their senses to discern something that tastes bitter or tasteless. All these are part of God’s programme to make us spiritually mature.

In order for a mango tree to bear much fruit, the tree has to go through a process called grafting. The tree trunk has to be cut with a knife. Though the process may be painful, the owner of the tree has a greater plan to make the tree fruitful.

God is able to use trials and change them for a better future and plan for those who trust Him. God always has a purpose and wants to show His glory through the storm. Through ‘storm and trials’, we can withstand challenges to make us a better person who is spiritually mature. Don’t give up when we are in the midst of trials and persecutions. God will deliver us from them all. Every trial that we have been presented in the beginning brings suffering and not joy, but in the end it will bring forth the fruit of peace and righteousness. (AEN).