Encounter God in times of difficulties
By Pastor Andrew Wong
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. “ Psalm 46:1 (ASV)
According to the revelation of end times in the Bible and finding of geologists, more but not less disasters will occur. Disasters will be more frequently fall upon those areas used to be claimed as blessed and safe ground. The response of Chinese churches towards disaster relief was generally slow and arose my deep concern. After the two major disasters in May, some pastors and Christian leaders asked me over the phone. “Why are the Chinese churches reluctant to respond? What can the Chinese churches actually do besides giving donations? What are Christians busy doing while followers of other religions render their immediate help at the scene? ”
In my opinion, we must be prepared for the worst, set our priorities right, and be ready to respond whenever a disaster strikes. We must be mindful of our obligations as Christians and mission God entrusted us in times of crises. However, unless we are equipped, we are not likely to make ourselves available. We will once again regret our inaction as before. Serving in the ministry of disaster relief, I would like to share the following realizations;
1. Be ready
The Church should invest time, money and human resources to equip the believers to respond to disasters. Otherwise we will not be able to respond effectively in a crisis. Investment of disaster relief requires our generosity, prompt response, professionalism and sustainable continuity these four important elements.
2. Be united
In responding to disaster relief, unity among the churches is crucial. When churches from different denominations work together hand in hand in a time of crisis, not only can we serve the victims more effectively, we also can avoid wastage of resources and unnecessary duplication. Then we will not receive any criticism of our disunity from the world, and the name of God will be lifted up and glorified.
3. Be there
Chinese churches need to be more relevant in our theological trainings, pulpit exhortations and mission strategies. We must walk our talk! In any disaster, God looks for a compassionate and obedient heart, not our sacrificial donations alone. Let the bereaved and suffering see and taste His love, and catch a glimpse of His face in times of difficulties.
Lord Jesus is coming soon, if we want to fulfill His will as His followers, God’s people must be submissive and united, regardless of our different backgrounds, and witness for the Lord in the times of difficulties. We wish that every Christians in the last days will respond to disasters with actions.