Pastoral Perspectives

Be Strong in the LORD

Attacks! Battles! Crises! Disasters! Exploitations! How do we feel when we are faced with these? We are discouraged! We are disillusioned! We are distressed! We are despaired! We are at a loss as to know what to do. We are oftentimes perplexed! We are puzzled! We are powerless! How do we stir up ourselves again? How do we handle many uncertainties which come our way? We begin to wonder where and when things would turn around? Darkness seems to fill the space around us. Do we not desire to see the light shining through? Breakthrough! Break free! Baffled by all these unpleasant things happening around us, we feel helpless and intrigued.

Who can help us in times of trouble and need? We know that we can only turn to the Almighty God to deliver and rescue us. He has graciously provided us with the invincible Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God to lead and direct us. We cannot rely upon ourselves but upon God. We should “seek the LORD and His strength.” (Psalm 105:4a). We are weak but He is strong. God will provide us with His strength. We should “seek His presence continually.” (Psalm 105:4b). God’s presence means God’s power and God’s providence. When we seek His presence, we would be blessed and encouraged. So, we cannot afford to be shy in approaching the LORD of our life! We also cannot afford to be shy in serving the Shepherd of our soul! Shyness hinders ministry but boldness enhances ministry. We must allow the Word of God to minister to us and to assimilate into every facet of our life, but we must be willing to be humble, obedient and teachable. To handle the uncertainties of life, we must turn to the invincible Word of God. In Joshua 1:9, we were instructed with these words: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Be strong is not enough. Be courageous is not enough. We need both. We need to be strong as well as to be courageous. Let us, therefore, be strong and courageous when we are faced with adversities and atrocities. The most wonderful thing is that we are assured of the presence of God with us wherever we go.

The apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10). We gather up our courage because of the faithfulness and goodness of our God and Lord. In the LORD, we can be strengthened and sustained. In the strength of His might, we similarly will be firmed and not be shaken by anything around us. We are confident that God will provide us with the necessary power needed to overcome the issues of life. He has not left us as orphans (John 14:18a) but has given us His Spirit to dwell within us. The Holy Spirit is the Helper. (John 14:16, 26; John 16:7). He is also the Spirit of Truth. (John 14:17; 16:13).

The LORD encourages and strengthens us with this Bible verse: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). We are strengthened by the peace of Christ. Only in Him, we shall have His wonderful peace. The moment we turn away from Christ and look to the world and follow the ways of the world, we will face with troubles and woes. When we turn to Christ and look to Him for His deliverance and rescue, we will encounter His perfect peace. He encourages us through and with this truth that He has overcome the world. Likewise, with and through Christ, we shall overcome the issues of life which we may face. Let us, indeed, take heart, for Christ has overcome the world. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). How wonderful it is to know that when we are in God’s favour, we need not be fearful of anything or any harm or hurt! We are also assured and comforted that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37).

God has called each one of us into His ministry and service. He has provided us with His spiritual gifts. Let us discover and know our spiritual gifts so that we may serve according to the spiritual gifts which He has graciously given to us. Let us know that He has a wonderful purpose for each one of His beloved children. He wants us to anchor our hope in Him alone and not in the people around us nor in the things of this world. As we anchor our hope in God, we are being strengthened in our faith in God and in our walk with Him. As we serve God and His people, let us serve with the strength which He supplies. (1 Peter 4:11b). In all that we do, let us “do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The more we focus on God, the more our faith in God is being strengthened. The more our faith is being strengthened, the more we grow towards spiritual maturity. In our spiritual maturity, we shall discern the will of God for our lives pursuing and doing those things which please Him and glorify Him. Henceforth, we shall bear the fruit of the Spirit too. Let us, therefore, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Through this, we shall live a victorious Christian life to the glory of God. Amen.

Preacher George Ang

June 19, 2022