FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART
As the saying goes “blessed to bless”, do you want to be blessed? Are you willing to bless others? Certainly, we can share our blessings with others. What about “suffer to bless”? Would you want to suffer? Are you willing to bless others at the expense of your own suffering? Seriously, this is a very difficult choice which warrants careful consideration!
Jesus sacrificed His own life to save us, and He desires for us to do likewise. Jesus made the same request to His disciples when He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus desires that as we suffer for His name’s sake, God will be glorified and man will believe in Him. Though we understand this principle, it is very hard to accept. It is only when we are willing to surrender ourselves, then we are able to obey His command.
We stand at the start of a new year, naturally it is our desire that this year will be better than last year. However, frankly speaking no one can predict or guarantee whether the days ahead will be smooth sailing or tumultuous, filled with blessings or sufferings. Our only assurance is God’s promises:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” (John 15:5)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
In fact, suffering has its positive value. Suffering can:
- Help us get to know another facet of life;
- Help us get to know our weaknesses and vulnerabilities;
- Strengthen our willpower;
- Cause us to reflect our motives in serving God;
- Press us to be more deliberate in depending on God and submitting to Him.
In this new year, regardless of our circumstances, we will find that God’s grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Rev Herman Kan