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Difficulties Become Blessings by Rev. Andy Yong (Banner 4/19)
The people I have met in ministry in the last few years were not those who are seeking more biblical churches, but most are not saved or have been away from the church for many years. Although my goal is church planting, my daily ministry has always been mostly evangelism.
It is very meaningful for me to preach the gospel in the USA, a country of missionaries who preached the gospel to Korea more than 100 years ago. Missions work, in any area in any season, is followed by many spiritual battles. One thing I know for sure is that when God delivers His children from darkness to light, Satan goes to war against them. I have seen Satan’s opposition in my family and among the people to whom I reach out to with the gospel.
My greatest burden is always spiritual battles for people I evangelize. There have been many times that difficulties came into the lives of those who walked into our church or with whom I started to study the Bible. Clearly, it is a spiritual battle.
During my recent study in Exodus, I was reminded that when God saved Israel from Egypt, there were ten plagues in Egypt. Also, God led Israel from Egypt to the wilderness, not directly to the Promised Land.
There were no such great disasters in Egypt until God had started the plan of salvation of Israel. Until then, Israel had no apparent reason for going out into the wilderness. So, when the Israelites saw the first crisis in the wilderness before the Red Sea, they complained to Moses: “Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Ex 14:12)
However, God wanted Israel to serve Him, not the Egyptians. That is why He did not “leave them alone” to serve the Egyptians. In the end, the difficulties of the Israelites were the beginnings of blessings.
“For this reason, I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day. (2 Tim 1:12)”
I realize that whatever difficulties may arise to me, my family, or the people whom I evangelize, I should not be disappointed with it because temporal sufferings are nothing compared with eternal blessings.
From this Lord’s day, Covenant BP mission will worship at Heritage Christian School for a few months because of Tacoma BPC’s remodeling project. It is the fourth change of place since we started worshiping every Sunday.
I am truly grateful that we have a place to gather and for the freedom to worship God. But, changing the meeting place is not easy. I look for God’s presence in our worship at HCS just as God was with Israel in the wilderness. I trust God who is able to keep this ministry of the gospel entrusted to me for the sake of His glory. Our labor is not in vain in the Lord.