Overcoming Difficult Times with God’s Word

By United Bible Societies China Partnership, October 09, 2018 15:10 PM

Book cover of the Chinese translation of Selwyn Hughes Your Personal Encourager.(UBS China Partnership )

NANJING, China - With at least 40 million believers to date, the Church in China continues to grow and Christians, both young and old, need the Word of God to fuel their spiritual growth and inspire their discipleship.

UBS China Partnership is committed to supporting the Church in China as she shepherds a vast and diverse group of believers.

Besides printing and distributing Bibles, UBS supports the publication of spiritual materials such as commentaries and devotionals.

These Bible-based materials enhance the Chinese Christians' understanding of Scripture and help them anchor their daily life in the Word.

One such publication is the Chinese translation of Selwyn Hughes' Your Personal Encourager, with the Chinese title《当人生穿越窄门》, published by China Christian Council/Three Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/ TSPM).

This helpful little book is packed with Scriptural references that believers can turn to when facing life's common problems, gleaned from the late Rev Hughes' years of pastoring and counselling experience.

The Chinese subtitle, thoughtfully composed by CCC/TSPM, parallels the struggles of life with walking through a narrow door and crossing over a threshold (所谓门槛,走不过去是槛,穿越了就是门). This is an apt and encouraging metaphor for using the Scripture to help believers face their struggles and continue on in their life's journey.

The simple concept in this book delivers a profound impact. For each of the 40 common problems listed, Selwyn Hughes offers a short exhortation followed by a page of relevant Bible references.

These give readers the principles and attitudes needed when a particular challenge overwhelms them. At the end of each section, a prayer addressing the problem is provided.

We bring you here some responses from readers in China:

Jin Yong: After reading this book, I am convinced that Christians must return to the Bible for answers to their problems in life and allow God's Word to guide them. When betrayed by a friend, we learn to forgive like Jesus. When stricken by illness, we learn to wait quietly for God's help. When faced with failure, we pray and look to Christ. Rev. Selwyn Hughes' book truly helps us walk out of our troubles and see them with a godly perspective by meditating on God's Word.

Chen Ling: The title and subtitle of the book remind me that in life there would always be troubles. When we are troubled, we often feel stuck in the situation, like facing a roadblock or barrier. For me the section on forgiveness is most impactful. When I find it hard to forgive a person, it really is my own inability to humbly depend on God for strength. Actually, in Him nothing is impossible.

The lesson from the book is that when I decide to forgive as an act of the will, whether I feel like it or not, God will provide the necessary resources to accomplish it. If we do not go to God for wisdom and strength, victory over our struggles will not be possible. God Himself will help us sort out our problems and we do not have to take things into our own hands.

THROUGHOUT THE BOOK, THE AUTHOR EXHORTS READERS TO TURN TO GOD FOR HELP WHEN FACED WITH PROBLEMS. IT MAY NOT RESOLVE THE MATTER IMMEDIATELY BUT THE CRUX IS THAT GOD IS WITH US.

Lawrence*: Throughout the book, the author exhorts readers to turn to God for help when faced with problems. It may not resolve the matter immediately but the crux is that God is with us. There may be a multitude of problems but our hearts will have peace. The crisis does not go away but He gives us strength to overcome.

We often sink into despair in the face of difficulties to the extent that we forget God's presence. This in turn leads to our avoiding God or running away from Him when the correct response is to draw close and hold fast to His promises.

This book reminds me of the best course of action to take when I am in trouble. The only challenge left is then whether I can practise it or not.

Samuel*: What spoke to me was the section on loneliness. 'The best way to make friends is to be a friend.' This statement jumped out at me and gave much food for thought. We often feel sad because we can't find genuine and devoted friends who would stand by us when we need them.

But upon deeper reflection, I ask myself, have I given time to others as a loving and giving friend? Could my loneliness have resulted from an expectation that others should be giving more, while on my part I hold back?

Colossians 3:14 says, 'And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.' It is with love that we relate genuinely with others and always think in their best interest. When I remember someone in my heart, I trust they too will remember me.

"WHEN I READ VERSES THAT TELL OF GOD'S LOVE AND THE PERFECT SALVATION PLAN HE HAS FOR ME, THE HOPE IT GIVES HELP CONTROL SINFUL REACTIONS."


Daniel*:  The section on wrestling with anger resonates deeply with me. I have always struggled with my temper and as the years go by, it has not improved. So the verses in this section remind me that as a Christian, our anger can be subdued by meditating on God's Word.

In dealing with a negative situation, God's Word exhorts us to rejoice always, giving thanks for all things and to be kind to others and ourselves. When I read verses that tell of God's love and the perfect salvation plan He has for me, the hope it gives help control sinful reactions.

 *pseudonyms have been used

Originally from: UBS China Partnership

CCD reprinted with permission.   

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