TOWARDS A BETTER TOMORROW
LIN YUNG-CHI (TAIPEI,
TRANSLATED FROM CHINESE)
With rapid advancement in technology,
society changes rapidly as well. A moment’s delay in upgrading one’s skills can
render one obsolete. Accompanying these rapid changes in society are stress and
insecurity about the future. A sense of loss looms in the background as the
fortune-telling and palmistry trades mushroom in a bid to soothe the hearts of
As children of God, we must fulfil
our duties to study and learn so as to meet the challenges of societal changes.
Nonetheless, we do not place our hope in this world. Rather, we look to a more
beautiful heavenly home; this life is but a stepping stone to that. Hence our
values should be different from the people of the world. To them, happiness is
defined by marital bliss, multiple offspring, health and prosperity. Without
these, life has no meaning for them. But we children of God do not measure our
lives in such terms. In the famous parable, the rich man is the successful one
in the eyes of many. However, in the eyes of God, he is a complete failure
because he does not act according to the truth. On the contrary, Lazarus the
beggar withstands trials, holds to the truth and gets to enjoy heavenly blessings.
The past forty odd years of my
life convince me that only by going in the direction according to God’s will
can one have a better tomorrow. During my childhood, my whole family was
brought into the grace of the Lord. Our financial situation improved and my
father even opened a little shop. When business became too hectic, we neglected
God. Then God’s chastisement came. We were forced to close down the shop. On
top of that, I fell critically ill. My father did not bow to adversity. He
remembered God’s words, that “the blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds
no sorrow with it” (Prov 10:22). God did not want us to lose our lives for the
profit of the world. He wanted us to return to His loving bosom.
My family then learned to rely on
God. My father prayed most zealously. He did not forget to draw near to God
even as he toiled to make ends meet. He often fasted and prayed for my illness.
At one stage, my illness was so serious that the doctors could not do anything.
That was when my mother made a vow in her prayer. Thanks to the grace of God, I
was miraculously healed.
My father constantly reminded me
not to forget the vow. Even as a young child, I told myself that I was to live
for the Lord and to study for Him. In my pre-university days, I chose to study
humanities as I believed I could thus serve God better. But on the eve of the
university entrance exams, I thought to myself: how would I be able to serve
God in the future since He has not granted me His Holy Spirit? In that moment
of weakness, I put down Commerce as my choice of study, hoping to help shoulder
the financial burden of the family. After I completed my tertiary studies, I
secured a well-paid job. Little did I expect the chastisement of God to come
once again upon my family. Then in my prayer, I
received the Holy Spirit. From that time on, I knew I wanted to serve in the
full-time ministry. Looking back, I can only conclude that man’s path is not
Because of my decision to take up
full-time ministry, my first principle in choosing a spouse was that she must
be able to walk with one mind with me in my ministry. Academic qualifications
and other Factors were peripheral to me. Unless I was match-made, if this first
criterion could not be met, I refused to compromise. Thank the Lord! He gave me
someone with whom I could walk together. When we put God’s affairs first, He
will certainly bless us. During these more than ten years of service, my
marriage has been a great support indeed. This experience gives me greater
confidence to march towards a better tomorrow.
In the ministry, I have faced
difficult challenges. Each time I thought that I could no longer go on, the
words of the Bible became the light to my path: “If the Lord wishes, we will
live and do this or that.” When we hold fast to the promise of the Bible, with
prayer, God will grant us sufficient strength to succeed. Such spiritual
success is much more valuable and significant than that of the world. Riches,
status, fame and power do not show us the path to peace. How can anyone who
live in sin ever be truly happy? Paul writes “as unknown, and yet are well
known; as dying and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having
nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor6:9-10). Such is the spiritual
experience that grants true fulfilment and joy, which is found only in Christ.
We must have the faith that as long as we hold on to God’s promise, our service
to Him will meet with His favour.
As I count my blessings, I am
filled with thanksgiving. At the same time, I feel I really do not deserve the
grace that is upon me. I constantly remind myself that inevitably, there will
always be a battle between the Holy Spirit and the flesh. If we but relax for a
moment, our flesh will get the better of us. Around us, we can easily see many
weaknesses which displease us. In such situations, I remind myself to always
look at others’ virtues, to offer suggestions instead of criticising, to pray
instead of passing judgement and to encourage instead of opposing. Of course,
this is easier said than done. If we do not nurture ourselves spiritually and
pray consistently, neglect to examine ourselves daily and strive to do good, we may easily fall into the miserable state of murmuring
“0, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin!” To
secure a better tomorrow, we have to discipline ourselves and always examine
“Agree with God and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you” Uob 22:2 1). By planning our direction according
to God’s will, we will receive true peace and blessing. In all circumstances,
we trust that God’s arrangement is good, and accept them with faith. We should
also leave a good impression wherever we go according to God’s will so that we be good testimonies to God’s wonderful plans. So, we must
first be clear about what we are striving for: not for wealth but industry, not
authority but love, not status but humility.
When we are in Christ, our future
will not be like a mist. May we support one another as we move on to a better
Looking back, a humble vessel like
me has been richly blessed. In my 18 years of full-time ministry, I have had
the opportunity to participate in the teaching of theology for the past 14
years. I love this work and know very well its role as the foundation of one’s
faith. It is hoped that brethren in the church will esteem highly this aspect
of our faith so that we can grow sturdily in our spirituality and take up the
work to preach the gospel to the ends of the world.
The development of the church is
an important factor in God’s salvation plan. The true church raised in the last
days has to complete the work of reforming the religious beliefs of the world.
We have to preach the complete gospel to the ends of the world. This is not a
pompous claim but rather a commission of the Lord. The church therefore has to
nurture talent in various fields so as to be able to reach and propagate the
gospel to different religious groups, different races and different strata of
We have many of our trained
preachers participating in the work of world evangelism. But we still fall
short of the grace of God for the harvest is plenty and the labourers are few.
In fact, the results achieved do not tally with the grace that God has showered
upon us. There are a few reasons for this and these are also the very areas on
which we have to focus in the years to come.
Theological training must be extensive
The divine work today cannot be
completed solely by the efforts of full-time preachers. Although the church
periodically organises Bible classes for the general congregation, there is
still a need to have a more systematic theological training programme to
provide a solid foundation for the members’ faith.
By the guidance of God, when
theological training is extended to the congregation, preachers would have more
co-workers to push the Lord’s work to greater heights.
Theological training must be in-depth
Preachers can have tremendous
influence in the believers’ life of faith. If we wish to see more believers
obeying God, preachers themselves also need to improve on their own
spirituality. Only then can the church grow. When the Lord was on earth, He did
not forget to pray even in the midst of leading the disciples. Amidst the busy
schedule of pastoral work, preachers must find time to improve themselves. It
is essential for them to calm down and examine themselves and the work they
have done. They can also, with arrangements by the Theological Seminary, attend
Theological training should be multi-faceted
It is an unavoidable trend that
the church’s divine work becomes multi-faceted. Besides the present need for
preachers, literary workers, religious teachers and administrators, there will
in the future be a greater need for workers gifted in the areas of counselling,
languages, youth affairs and music. Hence the church should encourage believers
talented in these diverse areas to offer themselves. When we extend theological
training to these different areas, we would solve the problem of having to make
use of the same people for all different kinds of work.
The church has to expand her
resources in nurturing talents. This is crucial to her progress. Each and everyone of us should be concerned and pray for this
important work. The above are some of my humble observations. May we all work
together for a better tomorrow for the kingdom of God.