In his Christmas message, Pastor Kong Hee reminded the church that Jesus brings light into every darkness. While God may not bring His people out of their dark situation immediately, He will dwell with them through every second of it.
“Christmas falls on the winter solstice, which is the longest and darkest night of the year,” Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, preached as he began his Christmas message on Dec 25 and 26. He elaborated that during the first Christmas 2000 years ago, Israel was going through a very dark season. They were oppressed by the Romans, and they had not heard any prophetic word from God for 400 years.
“It was against this backdrop of bleak spiritual darkness that Jesus Christ the Saviour was born,” he added.
LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
“Why did God choose to send His Son during the darkest hour?” the pastor asked. “Though God is light, He comes into our darkness to be with us and save us. In our dark moments when we suffer, God is nearer to us than we could possibly imagine (1 Ki 8:12).”
God may be pure light, but when His children are worried, anxious, and struggling with pain, He is right there with them in the thick of darkness (Exo 20:21).
This is the good news of Christmas—God wants His people to invite Him into their difficulties. “When He comes in, everything changes. He will give us supernatural strength that cannot be explained, a power that will outlast your problem,” Pastor Kong preached.
God does that first by changing what is inside of a person before working on what is outside him or her. “The fact that God dwells with you in the darkness means that He will not bring you out of the darkness immediately,” Pastor Kong elaborated. “If you only focus on trying to get out of the darkness immediately, you will become very discouraged and disappointed.”
The pastor added that God does not work according to a person’s timetable and encouraged the church to learn to trust God. God promised in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; … When you walk through the fire, you will not be harmed”. God may not deliver His people from every fire and flood, but His grace is always sufficient for them.
“When you invite Him to come into your dark circumstances, you are really saying this, ‘God doesn’t just change the circumstances; change me,” Pastor Kong taught. “Help me to grow through it, help me to increase my faith and strengthen my trust in You.”
Jesus Himself, did not have an easy childhood. He was born in a smelly stable with no doctors or midwives tending to Mary. His family soon had to run for their lives because King Herod wanted to kill all the babies under 2. In the midst of these dark times, God sent three wise men to bring gifts that they needed—the gold was to provide for their needs in the next few years of life in Egypt, frankincense was an herb to keep the family healthy, and myrrh is an anointing oil to help them continue to serve God.
“God knows how to take you through the fire and the flood,” the pastor encouraged. “He doesn’t stop every negative situation, but He promises He will dwell with you through every last minute of it.”
GOOD NEWS OF CHRISTMAS
Isaiah 9:2 and 6 reads, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned… For to us, a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
When one invites Jesus Christ into his dark times, he will first discover that He is wonderful. This means that He will always amaze the believer with good things when least expected—His blessings, protection, and provision even when he is in a dark place.
Secondly, believers will realise that He is their Counsellor, One who would lead and guide them, giving them wisdom. “I’ve learnt a long time ago that when people close all the doors, God will open a new and better one. When God is with you, you cannot be defeated,” Pastor Kong encouraged the church.
“You and God are always the majority. Nothing can happen to you without His permission,” he continued. “Whatever God allows is so that He can bring you into His greater purpose; not to make you miserable or afraid. His plan is always to show you His glory by first, forming Christ in you. Then through you, He will show His love to others.”
When Christians invite God into their situations, His presence will empower and enable them, and give them favour when they least expect it. Many times, Christians put too many conditions on God, expecting Him to do things their way. “Have you ever considered that God may be using this situation or this person to develop your character, to teach you to love those who are difficult to love?” the pastor asked. He urged the church to have the right attitude and be positive even in tough situations.
Thirdly, believers will experience that God is a Mighty God. Pastor Kong went on to share the testimony of He Wei Ling, a Taiwanese believer who discovered that she had a brain tumour at the age of 13. The tumour was an extra undeveloped eyeball from a twin sibling when they were foetuses in the womb. Two out of three such cases in the world had died from this condition; Wei Ling was the sole survivor.
The tumour was the size of a golf ball, pressing against her brain, causing her excruciating headaches to the point of fainting. The doctors said it was inoperable and will grow until it killed her. The tumour was also close to her eyes, and by the age of 18, she was also losing her sight.
Despite her condition, she continued to put her faith and trust in God’s Word that says, “when you lay hands on the sick, they will recover (Mk 16:18)”.
One day, while extracting a sample of the tumour fluid, the needle missed the tumour and instead, pierced through her left eye, leaving her completely blind in one eye. For more than a month, she and her cell group continued to pray, and one night as she was praying, God healed her left eye and she could see again.
The same week, she went to the hospital to do an MRI scan, and the tumour was completely gone. She went on to enrol in Bible School and today, Wei Ling is now serving God.
“In the darkness, you will truly discover God is a Mighty God,” the pastor said.
Finally, believers will discover that Jesus is the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Pastor Kong acknowledged that during tough seasons, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. “Friends, the obstacle may be too much for you but it’s never too much for God,” he reassured.
“I know it is not easy but keep reminding yourself that God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and He is right there with you. He sees what you are up against, He sees all the injustice, hurts, and disappoints. If you lean on the Holy Spirit and keep doing the right thing, you’ll have the supernatural power to do what you cannot do on your own.”
He shared that God would finish what He has started in each of His believers’ lives, but it would not happen according to their timetable. He encouraged the church that instead of praying for God to get them out of the situation, they should start inviting God into their situations.
When the Prince of Peace comes and dwells with His people, a peace that surpasses all understanding will be with them and they will start to remember that God is with them. In a place of faith, trust and surrender to God, healing, blessings, and unexpected favours will start to pour upon their lives. “You will come into your purpose and destiny,” Pastor Kong concluded.
At the end of the service, the church began the candlelight segment, lighting up candles one by one, signifying the hope that Jesus brought to mankind at the first Christmas. The church was once again reminded that Jesus, the Light of the world, can save them in their darkest hour.