Derek Dunn preaches about the purpose of trials.
Contributed By Jonathan Teo
|CN PHOTO: Teo Chin Aik
Two weeks have passed since news about the church surfaced in local media, but services went on as usual. The weekend services started off with praise and worship, announcements and offering message, followed by a video greeting from A.R. Bernard—CEO of Christian Cultural Center, New York.
Bernard encouraged the congregation to stand strong during this season of life in the ministry. He shared that it is through crisis that a church moves up to the next level, and called the church to trust in the God who loves them.
After the video, Dunn led the church in corporate prayer for the upcoming Father’s Day weekend services, to be held on June 19 to 20. Members prayed for open hearts and for their parents to be touched by the love of God.
Dunn shared from Matthew 14:21-33, in which Jesus asked His disciples to take the boat and cross to the other side. However, in the middle of their journey, a storm arose and sent the disciples into despair. Jesus appeared to them walking on water, and called Peter to come to Him in the midst of the raging waters. Although Peter fared well in the beginning, his faith faltered before he reached Jesus. Such was a trial Peter faced in his life.
Dunn shared three reasons why believers go through trials in life. He added that life is not about the destination but the journey.
Firstly, trials build up the faith of believers. In 1 Peter 1:7, Peter wrote to encourage the church in Asia Minor. He told the church that God allows trials to build up the believer’s faith. Likewise in the Bible, Job did not curse God in spite of all the trials he faced, instead he trusted in Him.
Secondly, trials purify the believer’s life. In 1 Peter 4:1-2, Peter spoke of Christ who suffered and ceased from sin; similarly the believer can apply the same example of the Lord Jesus.
Thirdly, trials bring glory to God. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter described how a trial can become a testimonial of God’s goodness and power in a believer’s life.
Dunn shared three things that the Apostle Peter learned through his trials.
For a start, Peter learned that trials caused him to focus. In Philippians 3:13, Peter left all that was behind, and focused on God. Likewise for CHC, Dunn encouraged the congregation to focus on the positive and not to dwell on the negative.
Next, Peter learned through trials that he is never alone. Isaiah 43:2 describes how Jesus is with the believer through the storms of life. The believer’s walk with God is all about walking by faith, and not by sight.
Lastly, trials help the believer to see the need for God’s presence. In Matthew 14:27, Jesus told His disciples to be of good cheer in the midst of darkness. Dunn shared that sometimes it is in the midst of trials that Christians will pray and fellowship more with other Christians.
Dunn gave an altar call for salvation. Before the service concluded, it was apparent that many people were blessed.
After the service was over, members commented how happy they were to see senior pastor, Kong Hee, who was spotted at the service. Twitterers sent supportive Tweets to the senior pastor whom they had caught a glimpse of that day. Many others expressed their love and support for him.