Last weekend, Sun Ho preached a powerful message on dealing with pain and urged the church to seek the Holy Spirit.
“So much to talk about, but where do we begin?” said City Harvest Church’s co-founder Sun Ho, as she addressed the Church on the weekend of Jun 10 and 11. It has been almost two months since her husband, Kong Hee started serving his sentence and members have been asking Ho how she was. Ho shared about her journey with the Holy Spirit since the Court announced the verdict of their appeal.
“Pain shifts us,” said Ho while describing how she felt those first few days after the verdict. “We all have a default mode of dealing with pain—fight, flight or freeze—and when our circumstances become different, God becomes different to us, too.”
Drawing from the stories of John the Baptist and Elijah the Prophet, Ho describes the changes brought on by pain during trials and tribulations.
Remember God’s Revelation In Times Of Pain
Ho listed two ways that pain affects people.
Pain shrinks a person. Herod Antipas and Herodias imprisoned John the Baptist because he had publicly rebuked their sins. The once obedient and faithful John shrunk to the size of his prison cell because of his pain and disappointment. It came to a point when John finally doubted Jesus and sent his disciples to questioned Him.
Jesus’s reply to John was this: “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.” (Matt 11:6) Ho reminded the church that sometimes God allows His children to struggle with their faith, but their personal circumstances do not reflect how God feels about them.
“Often, we draw conclusions from our circumstances and feel that God doesn’t love us,” she said, “but proof of God’s love for us is what happened on the Cross.”
Pain causes a person to depart from his revelations. In 1 Kings 19:2, Elijah the Prophet was threatened by Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab. His pain and disappointment caused Elijah to flee to Horeb, abandoning the revelations God gave him.
Ho shared with honesty her personal feelings: “In the last 50 days, there have been moments I felt like John the Baptist, doubting God. Like Elijah, I questioned whether I should stop believing in the power, the glory, and the supernatural revelations.”
The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide
The Holy Spirit intervened when Ho reached that point and led her to worship God. The lyrics of worship songs helped Ho articulate what her natural mind could not express.
The Holy Spirit also prompted her to revisited the revelations God has given CHC throughout its history. In 1986, God called Kong to start serving Him full-time. God also gave Kong the mandate to raise up a generation of young people that would take Asia by storm. In 1994 and 1996, God gave Kong the mandate to do missions and to build a strong local church. Since then, the Kongs have been doing missions and winning Asia for Christ, and building a strong local church.
1997 was the year God spoke to Kong about soul-winning. CHC was to be a “church without walls”, a church that loves God wholeheartedly and people fervently. The purpose of the church was to find a hurt and heal it, look for a need and meet it.
Ho dug back to old sermons her husband and pastor had preached. In 2001, Kong told the story of a boy throwing starfishes back into the sea. He preached that one person can make a difference and challenged the church to stand between the living and the dead, winning one soul at a time.
This reminder of the revelations God had given throughout the years served to exhort the congregation to unite and rebuild the church.
An Injection of Faith
The Holy Spirit also brought Ho her “raven” — akin to the raven that fed the prophet Elijah in the desert — when she met with Satish Kumar, senior pastor of Calvary Temple in Hyderabad, India. Kumar shared with Ho that he built a church building in 52 days, because God told him to. The church now ministers to a congregation of 160,000 with a growth of 60,000 over the last two years.
His testimony of God’s miracles injected faith back into Ho. Kumar commanded Ho to believe in God’s supernatural workings. “His parting words to me were: ‘Align your heart to God and God will back you up,’” said Ho.
The Anointing Cannot Be Shared
Reading the Parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-10, Ho encouraged the congregation to seek the Holy Spirit for themselves. There were 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom. Five of the virgins did not bring oil and found their lamps going out as they waited. They were forced to go out to buy more oil, and they missed the arrival of the bridegroom and were locked out of the wedding.
Ho explained that the oil in the vessel represented the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit. Even though all believers have the Holy Spirit, each of them needs to seek Him continually to live in His fullness.
“The fullness of the Holy Spirit cannot be transferred,” Ho pointed out. “There is no way to share other people’s oil; nobody gets the anointing without first having an encounter with God.”
There is a price tag on heaven’s treasures and revelations. In Revelations 3:18, Jesus says, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire.” Peter talks about this buying of refined gold in 1 Peter 1:7, it is a faith that had gone through trial and has been proven undefeated.
Ho ended her message with an altar call for church members to build their own altars before God. She urged them to have the desire to stay rooted in hearing and obeying the voice of the Lord.
“We must go to the Holy Spirit in proximity for fellowship; seeking to be filled with the fullness and thirsting, yearning for yet another touch,” she declared.