At the final Young Adult meeting on 24 Nov, Pastor Kong Hee preached a word in season to uplift young adults who are going through stress and instability.
“Survey after survey shows that the top worries for millennials are always money, work and mental well-being,” Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church, declared as he opened his sermon. He was preaching at the final Young Adult service of the year, attended by churchgoers in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
To encourage young adults who are anxious about the cares of life, Pastor Kong shared the story of King Jehoshaphat, who faced a formidable enemy alliance made up of three nations. His challenges seemed difficult—not so different from what young adults face every day.
In 2 Chronicles 20:12, the king admitted to God that “we do not know what to do.” The young adults in the congregation could well be struggling the same way as Jehoshaphat did. Pastor Kong encouraged them to do what the king did so that God could give them the same victory that the king experienced. With this, he shared five steps Jehoshaphat did in times of crisis.
1. Set your heart to seek the Lord
In 2 Chronicles 20:3-4, Jehoshaphat fasted and gathered the whole kingdom of Judah to seek God together. “So often, we want our pastors, or we want our cell group leaders to do all the seeking, all the praying, and all the fasting for us,” Pastor Kong said, “but tonight, God is calling you to seek Him for yourself.”
The pastor then quoted Jeremiah 29:13, which reads, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” He shared a personal testimony of a time when his mother suffered a heart attack. He rushed to the hospital and the doctor told him she might not make it through the night. In faith, he gathered the whole church to pray for a miracle healing, which resulted in not only her physical healing but also his father’s salvation and the healing of his parents’ marriage.
This testimony reflects what Jehoshaphat experienced: there is tremendous power as friends come together to pray in unity. “Tonight, that’s your story,” Pastor Kong preached. “I pray that you will hear a voice stirring you up to seek God for your miracle.”
2. Focus on the promise, not the problem
Going back to 2 Chronicles 20:12, Pastor Kong noted that Jehoshaphat’s eyes are fixed upon God in a time of crisis.
In Matthew 14, the disciples also met with a crisis when Jesus told them to travel to another destination by sea. “To go from where you are to where God has destined you to be, there is always a storm in between,” Pastor Kong shared. “In the middle of a storm, you will be tempted like Simon Peter. Peter was tempted to look at the waves. When he looked at the waves, he began to sink, but when he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water.”
The pastor then told young adults to focus on Jesus and on the Word. “Learn to be a prayer warrior, not a prayer worrier,” he said. “Pray and trust in the promises of God.”
Pastor Kong then shared his testimony of how God raised $60,000 for the renovation of the church office back in its early days. A few rich business people had promised to support the church financially, but they also had plans to take over the church. After rejecting their offer, Pastor Kong realised that he had no money to pay the contractors. He prayed and confessed the word of God and in five days, God sent individuals who gave him enough to fulfil the payment.
3. Stand before God in trust
Referring to 2 Chronicles 20:15, Pastor Kong advised, “Young adults, after all your seeking, all your praying, after all the reading of the Bible and confessing the promises of the Scripture— having done everything you can, put your trust in the Lord.” He then quoted Psalm 125:1, which read, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”
To illustrate his point, Pastor Kong shared the findings from a science experiment in the late 1980s. For the experiment, scientists built a biosphere with perfect conditions for trees to grow in. While the trees grew rapidly, they quickly fell over before reaching full maturation—this was because there was an absence of wind.
Similarly, stress can help people grow stronger in character and Christlikeness. God is not the cause of the problems in life, but He has promised that He would walk with His believers as they go through stressful periods.
“No matter what you’re going through tonight, trust in the Lord,” Pastor Kong said. “He promises He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is using every pain and hardship to help you come to your fullest potential.”
4. Wait for the Holy Spirit
In Jehoshaphat’s story, as the people of Judah waited on the Lord, His Spirit fell upon a few of them in the midst of the assembly (2 Chron 20:14). To believers, the Holy Spirit is a helper who delivers them from bondage and comforts them in hard times.
The Holy Spirit is the Presence that moves believers to tears and the Power that will deliver them from sickness and oppression. “He is the presence that fills your heart and overflows it with love and life, giving you joy unspeakable and fullness of glory,” Pastor Kong said. “I pray you will experience the Person and power and presence of the Holy Spirit.”
5. Offer the sacrifice of praise
Pastor Kong then moved on to 2 Chronicles 20:18 and 21, where Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah gave thanks, praised and worshipped God. “We need all three things. We thank God for His goodness and praise God for His greatness,” he explained.
In Hebrew, praise is the word “hallelujah”, which means to shout loudly and to make a joyful sound exuberantly and extravagantly. This means that praise is never silent. “We worship God for His holiness,” the pastor added.
When the people of Judah began to sing and praise the Lord, the Lord helped them to defeat their enemies (2 Chron 20:22).“Praise is the language of faith,” Pastor Kong explained. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith opens the door for miracles of God to come in.”
However, the Bible also states that praise is also a sacrifice—it is never convenient. Pastor Kong shared the testimony of his wife, Sun. Some years ago, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition which causes severe pain all over her body with every movement and touch. One day, the Holy Spirit inspired her to go to God’s house to worship Him. In spite of the pain, she gathered a few musicians, praised Him, and felt inspired to pray for the musicians who were present.
Initially, it was painful to move around to pray, but as she obeyed God and prayed for them one by one. As soon as she finished praying for everyone, she realised that she was completely healed of her condition.
To end the sermon, Pastor Kong pointed the congregation to 2 Chronicles 20:25-26, where Jehoshaphat and his people found abundant blessings and blessed the Lord again.
“This is your story,” he declared before giving an altar call to pray for young adults who had worries or struggles or needed a miracle.