What do we do when the lines between the trials of life and what we believe in God gets blurred? We continue to be strong in our faith, not giving up on God, says Pastor Sun Ho.
Matthew 4:24 says that “Everyone who was brought to Jesus was healed.” When Sun Ho, City Harvest Church’s executive pastor read this, she began to have a conversation with Jesus.
“Jesus, You healed everyone? Can you teach me how?” She expressed that it was not what she was seeing in the world today, and yet, she knew that Jesus was not flippant with His Words. He said that His disciples, which includes Christians today, will do greater works than He. What must we do to see this kind of work among us? she asked.
Pastor Sun was sharing this with the congregation at City Harvest Church on the weekend of Nov 10 and 11.
In her past sermons, Pastor Sun had shared that the four core values that made up the DNA of CHC were encountering God, cultivating purpose, experiencing family and making a difference.
That weekend, she emphasized that it was essential to live out heaven’s culture of seeking God’s face. The pastor urged the church to have the revelation of God’s love—to understand that He loves every inch of His Creation.
Referring to the church’s mission statement, Pastor Sun reminded the church that not only does CHC want to build a strong spiritual atmosphere of purity, it must also build an atmosphere of faith.
“Our level of faith has everything to do with our encounters with God,” she said. That is why it is important to live out heaven’s culture of God-pleasing faith.
SO HOW DOES ONE REMAIN STRONG IN FAITH?
“I believe our faith is directly related to our revelation of the goodness of God.”
Psalms 27:13 and Psalms 103:1-3, give Christians a glimpse of David’s thoughts. David went through many tribulations—he was sent far away to tend the sheep as a youth, the first baby he had with Bathsheba died and his own son conspired to overthrow him.
David was distraught but he never took his eyes off the Lord. He wrote Psalms 27:13 to share that if he had not believed God was good, he would have been so broken then. Despite the pain, David continued to contend for God because he believed in God’s goodness and trusted him, honoring God with his faith.
“Church, we always say that God is good all the time. But is this just a mindless chant, or do we really have that revelation of the goodness of God like David had?”
A person can only have faith to keep exploring solutions and contending for God’s presence if he truly believes that God is good. If he struggles with doubts of whether God really cares for him, he would not have the determination to push through when he cannot see immediate results.
In Psalms 103:1-3, David exhorted his soul to not forget God’s benefit and reminded himself that God forgave all his iniquities and healed all his diseases. He was commanding his mind to align itself to who God is.
When faced with dilemmas, it is easy for some Christians to start denying the goodness of God. But Pastor Sun reminded the church that Jesus took all diseases, sicknesses, and iniquity to the cross (Matt 8:17). Hence, as God’s people, the church needs to be strong in their faith because they are given authority to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and raise the dead.
HOW DO WE NAVIGATE THE TENSION OF FAITH VS REALITY?
“The conflict is, sometimes we pray for someone, instead of getting healed, they die. As a pastor, no matter how fervent I pray, I have yet to see all diseases healed.”
There will always be times when the reality blurred our vision of God, but the pastor reminded the church that there is so much more of God that they do not know. And there is so much more God wants to reveal. Hence, it is essential to have an intimate relationship with God.
“If we only love what we understand, we will not progress,” Pastor Sun said.
She encouraged the church with a story in the book of Mark, in which the father of a tormented child was so desperate to get rid of the demon that he wanted to drown his son. However, Jesus came and healed the boy.
The disciples came to Jesus and asked why were they not able to cast out the demon. Jesus replied, “This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting.”
Pastor Sun explained that prayer and fasting draw a person closer to God. It is in those times of consecration that greater intimacy with the Father is built and greater revelations are revealed.
Intimacy with the Father caused Jesus to access realms of heaven that the disciples could not. Hence, healing took place because Jesus took the time to seek God every day. The degree of faith demonstrated by a person is dependent on revelations through encounters.
WHAT SHOULD OUR POSTURE BE WHILE WE LIVE IN THE IN-BETWEEN?
“Don’t let your heart become numb and susceptible to attacks during dark times. Most importantly, don’t give up on your faith.”
Pastor Sun encouraged the church with a verse in Habakkuk 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
She shared a testimony of a couple who received news that their baby in the womb was likely to have brain developmental and heart issues. They were devastated but the friends around them stood with them and had faith to believe that God is good and miracles will happen. When baby Bethel was born, he was taken to the special care nursery because of many complications. But God is good and the baby was discharged after a few days. Within a week, all the negative medical reports became positive. Baby Bethel has no health issue and is growing well.
She encouraged the church to find the strength to praise God in times of adversity. “Church, I believe that the measure of faith we operate in is strongly related to the depths of our worship and intimacy we have with the Father. We cannot go into depths of war if we have not gone into depths of intimacy and worship.”
In ending, Pastor Sun encouraged the congregation that the reason Jesus and the disciples go around healing the sick and working miracles is to demonstrate the love of God.
“As we come to the end of the age, the world is longing to see the power of God, and the goodness of God, that is why we need to contend for more of God.”