Dear Brethren,

On the third day of Chinese New Year, the Lord enabled me to see Lily Loh in SGH. She is suffering from acute renal failure and on dialysis for many years. Recently, her medical problem has complicated further by internal bleeding and a heart condition that has never cropped up in the past. Doctor has informed the family that Lily’s long term prognosis is not hopeful. Her family members are also informed to be prepared for a likely eventuality. Lily is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and, with her son Ted, worships in New Life BP Church. I was back to SGH on Wednesday after the last period in FEBC and shared with her from 1 Peter 1:6—8: “Why do Christians suffer?”.

Below are the excerpts of my sharing from the Holy Bible.

Human suffering is as long as the existence of the human life. When we go through an extended trial, we may feel that it is a form of injustice to us but the apostle Peter can teach us about our trials and why Christians do suffer.

1 Peter 1:6 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.”

The Christian life is not without trials. We may not appreciate them, but we need to be prepared when they come. Christians are not different from other people: we can fall sick; we have family problems; we face financial troubles and so on. To think that Christians are immune from trials is to be in for a rude awakening in that being Christians means more trials and tribulations to come. Our Lord died to save us from our sins, but not from our trials. There are many surprises in life and trials are surprises that will come alongside our lives from time to time. Man can be taken in by surprise, but nothing can take God by surprise. The fact that He knows every trial before it happens to us is the fact that He has already made a way for us to get out of it, isn’t it? Trust in the God who knows and holds the future for us.

1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Trials work against our faith such that we may doubt God’s ability to meet our need of wanting to be delivered. Peter says that gold has to go through fire to have all the impurities to be removed. The same is true in the life of a believer to go through the furnace of affliction to bring us to a closer relationship with God.

Peter reminds us that we are not yet home with God because Christ has not returned. Trials and tribulations that are part and parcel of our faith are working not against us but for our good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

1 Peter 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

As we face head on the storms of life, it is not what God can count on us that matters but what we can count on Him. We may not see Him but our unseen Saviour is with us through every trial. Like a Shepherd to His sheep, Jesus abides with those that are His. We need not any preacher to refer us to these familiar passages: “that He will never leave nor forsake us”; “My grace is sufficient for thee; for strength is made perfect in weakness.”

You may be in a trial now or you are about to go into one, but whatever the situation may turn out to be, you can count on the Lord Jesus Christ who said to His disciples, Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world.