CHC’s spiritual mentor, Phil Pringle from Christian City Church, Sydney, encourages church members to strengthen their faith in the midst of trying times.
|CN PHOTO: Kristine Lam
City Harvest Church’s weekend services at Jurong West on June 12 and 13 were abuzz with excitement. Phil Pringle was in Singapore to speak at two of its services.
“There’s never a dull moment when Pastor Phil is in town to speak at our services,” remarked a churchgoer. “He delivers the Word of God with deep conviction and a touch of class.”
The CHC worship team led the congregation in a rousing time of praise and worship. It seemed that the crowd worshiped more fervently amidst recent upheaval. The joyous atmosphere was evident with hands lifted up and voices ringing out loud as the people sang with all their hearts.
After a time of heartfelt worship, CHC district pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, gave the service announcements, highlighting the upcoming Father’s Day weekend on June 19 and 20 and special weekend services on July 3 to 4 with A.R. Bernard of Christian Cultural Center, New York City.
As Pringle took to the stage, loud applause and cheers greeted him. Pringle has been one of CHC’s long-standing friends in the ministry and has played an integral role in the growth of the church over the years. The warm welcome he received was evident of the support of the members, many of whom consider him a father in the faith. Before he preached, he talked about the CHC leaders whom he met in an earlier meeting held in the week and spoke of how faithful the leaders are—a key that is essential for a growing church.
Then Pringle began sharing his message, entitled “The Trials Of Faith.”
No one enjoys going through a trial in life, said the preacher. Specifically, no one wants a difficult and challenging time in life, with problems that are seemingly unable to solve. Yet, Pringle brought it across very succinctly to the congregation that it is through the worst of times that the very best is brought forth. He illustrated this point with the boll weevil in Alabama.
The boll weevil destroyed almost all the cotton crops of the farmers in 1918, leaving them with close to nothing. But the farmers saw it as an opportunity to diversify their crops, and having done so, they propelled the economical growth of of Enterprise, Alabama. Subsequently, a monument of the boll weevil was erected as a memorial of how a disaster became a catalyst for change and brought prosperity to the people. Pringle explained that it is not what happens that determines the outcome, but one’s outlook.
Trials are inevitable in life while faith and attitude will determine the rewards that one receives at the end of the trial.
Pringle went on to talk about those who may be feeling abandoned by God and explained how a believer’s perspective of life is vastly different from God’s. While God understands what every single person is going through in life and the difficulties in overcoming challenges, He still allows trials to take place in a person’s life because of four things they produce.
Firstly, trials produce patience. Patience is defined as the capacity and ability to cope with pressure. Different people have different capacity, likened to the length of a fuse. The way to grow patience is through trials. Secondly, trials produce perseverance, character and hope as said in Romans 5:3. Pringle cited the late Smith Wigglesworth who said, “Great faith comes from great trials.” With a great capacity, Christians can expect abundant blessings from God.
Thirdly, trials produce an exceeding weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17). Trials are like flight simulators that prepare a person for his or her flight, i.e. a believer’s destiny in life. The person who sees the vision is not the same person who fulfills it, simply because the latter would have had his character strengthened by trials. He referred to Abram in Genesis, who merely saw the vision but only when God changed his name to Abraham, was he able to fulfill his destiny to become the father of many nations.
Lastly, trials produce the authority to reign in life (2 Tim. 2:12). With every trial that a person overcomes, he or she earns the right to reign and move in that area of his or her life with power.
With the understanding of trials laid on the table, Pringle began teaching on how one can travel through a trial and summarized it with one word—faith. Pringle emphasized the importance of reviving a spirit of faith while going through trials (Ps. 27:13) because there are five qualities of faith: faith speaks (2 Cor. 4:13), faith overcomes discouragement (2 Cor. 4:16-17), faith fixes vision on the vision (2 Cor. 4:18), faith doesn’t fixate on the problem (Matt. 14:29-30) and faith sees problems as opportunities.
Throughout his sermon, Pringle brought the message to life with his own personal stories and anecdotes, sharing funny but meaningful experiences with the congregation. By the end of the service, Pringle gave an altar call for people who wanted to have more faith in their lives and for those who wanted to receive Jesus into their hearts. Young and old alike responded to the altar call.
Pringle’s timely message served as a reminder for all to hold fast to their faith and to keep believing for God’s best in their lives.