Last weekend at City Harvest Church, guest preacher Peter Pauuwe taught the church three things a believer must do to possess unshakeable faith.
On the weekend of 22 and 23 Apr, CHC welcomed Peter Pauuwe, co-founder and senior pastor of DoorBrekers Church in the Netherlands, who preached an emboldening message on faith.
“Maybe you have huge challenges financially, in your business, mentally or in friendships,” he began. “But I want you to know that everything you’re going through is always only for a season—it will always pass. I believe that the message of the Holy Spirit today is this: this is the beginning of a change, the beginning of a turnaround.”
He told the story of a church member who came to him with the news that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia. The doctors told him that he would die within a year. As that church member walked out of the hospital that day, he heard God speaking to him.
“We need to know that God is a Father. What would a father do when he knows that his child is in deep trouble and facing challenges? He would draw him close and speak to his heart to encourage him,” Pastor Peter assured the church.
This is the first thing a believer needs to gain faith.
1. We need to hear the voice of the Father
God spoke to the church member through Proverbs 4:10, which reads, “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.” Pastor Peter noted the use of the word “son” which signifies the relationship God wants to have with His believers.
The pastor also noted that God did not just want that church member to hear what He had to say, but to accept and receive His word.
A few weeks later, the doctors found tumours in the church member’s brain and pronounced that he only had three months to live. But as he was a man of faith, he continued to pray.
“I don’t know about you, but I believe that the Father wants to personally speak to you about your challenges,” Pastor Peter preached, noting that many people find it hard to hear God because they divide their lives into a “God box” and a “life box”. They remember God when they are in church but forget about Him the moment they step foot in the world.
Apostle Paul taught that God is always close to His believers—this means that they are always in God’s box and God is always in their box. Like a shepherd to his sheep, God keeps His believers close to Him when they are facing troubles and He gives them an identity and security.
2. Hear the voice of the Shepherd
In John 10:27 (TPT), Jesus calls His believers “His own sheep”. “You may think you’re in a big crowd, but God says, ‘I know you. I own you. I paid for you with My own life. You are precious to me. Don’t think I’ve lost My eye on you. I have My eye on you because I paid for you.’” Pastor Peter encouraged the church.
The Shepherd is aware of each of His sheep and the things they are struggling with. He will never forsake them, the pastor emphasised.
There is a caveat to accepting that one is a sheep, however: “You also need to accept that you’re not that smart,” the pastor observed, drawing laughter from the congregation. A sheep gets lost without the shepherd. Also, it cannot walk alone, it needs a flock.
Staying close to Jesus the Shepherd is simple—one needs to stay in His Word. However, when one is part of the flock, one also smells the weaknesses of others and vice versa. The other sheep may even step on their feet and hurt them.
Pastor Peter acknowledged that there are those who do not like to attend church or serve because they do not like the smell. Yet, it is very important for Christians to be part of the flock, working together and being aware of the weaknesses of the people around them. This helps them to grow.
He went on to share his own revelation following his experience with vertigo. He was going about his usual work day in 2018 when suddenly he felt like everything was spinning and he was pinned to the floor, vomiting and unable to move. Finally when he was brought to the hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with vertigo, for which there is no immediate cure. He was told to rest and wait for it to pass.
While Pastor Peter believed in healing, he also wanted Scriptures to hold on to in his suffering. As he prayed, God gave him a verse from 1 Peter 5:10-11 (TPT): “And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up. And he has all the power needed to do this—forever! Amen.”
Dissecting the verse, Pastor Peter encouraged the church that their sufferings are brief, and they would be nothing compared to the eternal glory that God has called them into. God promised that He would personally restore them, and He has all the power needed to do it.
Having received that revelation, Pastor Peter held on to that Word every time he had an episode of vertigo.
“If you’re attacked like that all the time, your mind starts racing and puts all sorts of questions in your mind,” the pastor said. But he has come to the realisation that he does not need to run around to touch Jesus. “He touched me when I got saved, He is in me and I’m one with Him,” he said.
The pastor also noted that in times of trouble, doubts may come and believers might find themselves questioning “When will this stop?” “Do I have secret sin?” “Should go to every healing meeting?”
“There is confusion,” he noted. “So you need the truth from the Holy Spirit.
3. Hear the truth from the Spirit
When one is confused by one’s situation, one tries to seek out the facts. The Holy Spirit has been given to believers so that they can understand the facts about what God has given them (2 Cor 2:12).
Pastor Peter taught the church to resist the devil with the truth. However, he observed that there’s a difference between facts and faith—even though it is nuanced, the distinction gives the believer clarity. More than believing that God would provide, the believer needs to know that God has already provided.
When the devil is confronted with the facts of what God has done for the believer, the only thing he can do is run, and he does.
Moreover, when one knows the facts, one can act on them in faith. For example, if Pastor Peter were become a Singapore citizen and hold a Singaporean passport, it would not matter what he looks like or if he feels Dutch. He would present his passport and he would be able to do everything a Singaporean can do here, such as buying a house and securing a loan for the house.
In the same way, no matter how a believer feels, he is a precious sheep of Jesus and He will never forsake him.
Reading 2 Corinthians 1:20, Pastor Peter encouraged the church to find the promise in the Word when they encounter challenges. “The only thing we need to do is hold on to the promise as a fact, and oppose the liar,” he said. “Amen, it is done in Jesus Christ.”
Returning to the testimony of his member with leukaemia, Pastor Peter recounted that two weeks later, the man went for a check-up and the tumours had disappeared and his white blood cell count was now back to normal. A few weeks after that, a brain scan showed only three tumours when there were seven before. In their most recent conversation, the church member told Pastor Peter that the doctors found no sign of cancer in his body. It was a miracle because he had not received any treatment at all.
One thing that the church member did even when he was sick was to remain part of the flock. “Even science today proves that when you’re in a social environment among people, it is good for your health. Can you imagine how good it is being among believers and praising Jesus together?” the pastor said, adding that the member is still attacked by the devil with doubts and fears of cancer returning. “So he must resist every day.”
Pastor Peter ended by praying for the church, and executive pastor Bobby Chaw followed on to lead the church in a faith declaration.