On June 10, Pastor Bai Yu'e shared online from Psalm 8, on the topic of church revival. She talked about overcoming circumstances, which involved suffering and trials, and which is the way and principle for church revival.
1. Test Your Faith in Suffering
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20-21)
Job lost his wealth, then ten children, who left the world in an instant. No one would be able to be calm in these kinds of disasters, but Job could. He regarded everything as given by God, so it was normal for Him to take them back. There was no need to complain. However, how many people nowadays would be able to truly understand this? Does God have the right to reward us or to take it back? When suffering comes to us, does faith fail?. The reflection and choices one makes best reflects one's faith. This is the reason why, since ancient times, the church has grown during times of persecution. Each bout of persecution is a touchstone to test whether our faith is true or not.
Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe. “For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. “(John 6:62-64)
When Jesus was doing miracles, there were many people who followed Him. However,when Jesus spoke the truth, many people retreated, since they thought that there was no benefit in listening to the truth. Jesus asked his disciples if they would also retreat. But Peter responded by saying, "Who could we follow if only You have eternal life?" Through it all, Peter's true faith was evident. He had built his foundation on the rock that was Jesus Christ.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. (John 6:25-26)
The church grew in persecution, the same as every Christian. That is the reason we should be thankful for circumstances and for persecution.
2. Know the True God From Our Circumstances
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16)
Although Jacob was from a family who had a tradition of fearing God, he himself had no personal relationship with God. Only through experience can many of us truly understand that God is with us all the time. So, be willing to accept all kinds of circumstances. When there are some setbacks, believe that God has the power to guide us out of them and make us have a deeper understanding of Him.
Do not complain or hate the circumstances and relationships. Instead, believe that these are under His permission and arrangement. Learn to live for the Lord and to understand the truth of God through these circumstances.
3. Distinguish the Devil's Strategy from the Circumstances
No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. (Genesis 39:9-10)
For some people, the test is not in adversity, but in prosperity. People are most likely to become proud and forget when they succeed. Joseph's promotion from slavery to stewardship was the easiest time to become proud and be attacked by Satan. Luckily, he saw it well. He said that he should not cause shame to his master nor to God.
Many Christians ask for safety and certainty in their life, and not to go through trials. This is not wrong but should not be called for, because it would make us greedy for an easy life and we would refuse to bear His cross. Without experiencing trials, we would not see the true God with our own eyes and only hear of Him. Without experiencing trials, we would not be able to see through Satan's deception and unconsciously fall into his trap. Therefore, circumstances are a fertile ground for God to give life to His children, and a way for us to know God.
- Translated By Elaina Wu