A.R. Bernard exhorts believers to realize that like the oyster, we can turn the negatives in life into a beautiful pearl.
Contributed By Terence Lee Jun Rong
Chaos, darkness, turmoil, confusion. These are the difficulties that the church and the individual believer must weather as they grow. Chairman of City Harvest Church’s Advisory Committee, A.R. Bernard, preached up a storm at Suntec Singapore on the weekend of June 25 and 26. His return after eight months was met with a rousing reception.
Over two services—5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday—Bernard unpacked Jesus’ teaching regarding the pearl of great price from Matthew 13:45-46. He expounded on how the merchant realized the value of the pearl and gave up everything he had to acquire it. Likewise, Jesus was willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of that which was truly valuable to Him: His Church. “What is true for the Church as a corporate entity is true also for the individual believer,” said Bernard. “You are that special treasure. Each one of you!”
On Saturday, he described how pearls were formed from adversity. “A parasite invades the oyster, boring through the shell, right into the muscle. In response, the oyster coats the parasite with nacre, suffocating it and creating a beautiful pearl. It is through these obstacles that the Church grows.”
On Sunday, he described how pearl-bearing oysters weather the storms of the ocean, living through “chaos, darkness, turmoil and confusion,” but despite the circumstances, “the pearl inside keeps growing!”
Bernard reminded the congregation that Jesus knows the storms that each of them will go through in life, and how God is determined to do what He has purposed to do. Storms, he explained, come for myriad reasons. “Sometimes, all you can do is ride it out and thank God when it’s over.”
Bernard concluded his message with these powerful words, “God is the author and the finisher of our faith. He has great plans for you and for me. And I know He is faithful to those plans.”