Jan.23, 2022:Worship Service (Japanese) Cafe Church at Taipei City Message Title: "In times of trial"
Gospel John 16:33(NIV)
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

There are times when we are at a crossroads in our lives, facing various problems. Separation from loved ones, illness, accidents, disasters, unemployment, failures, financial difficulties, and so on.

We can overcome with experience, knowledge, and the encouragement of family and friends, but sometimes we are faced with a situation where we can't see our future, can't take a step forward.


Today, for a short time, I would like to share with you what to do in times of trial, with guidance from God.


We need to prepare for our safety in our life crises because of not having panic. Especially in the case of disasters, individuals, communities, and countries need to be well-prepared. Even if we do so, if we encounter an unexpected natural disaster, we will not be able to protect ourselves and will be caught up in a big disaster.

It is the same with health. Starting with the prevention, early diagnosis, early treatment, rehabilitation, and end-of-life care, we need to be careful and prepared throughout our lives. Now, we are facing a crisis in the world due to corona infection. Let us all cooperate to overcome this crisis.


I think it is the same with faith. We need to keep the Word of God in our hearts. However, if we don't make an effort to use the Word of God in our daily lives, we may end up becoming legalistic or failing to help those in need. Also, isn't it a weakness that we can honestly feel Jesus' love when things are going well, but when trials come, we lose gratitude?


In my opinion, it is more important to "trust in the faith of Jesus" than to try to strengthen our faith.

To do so, I think it is first necessary to reconfirm why God sent Jesus to this earth. Christian knows that to save mankind from sin, and to give them eternal life, Christ, the only begotten sinless Lord, had to go to the cross as a substitute for mankind.  It is God's will and Jesus' will that no one perishes but be saved.

Jesus was born into the world with this mission.

You and I have already been saved unconditionally by the blood of the cross. Salvation is not in the future, but in the past at that time.


The other thing I want to tell you today is that we should not use God just for our desires. No, I never thought of using God.

But when we pray, most of the time, including me, it's for requests. Prayer must be a dialogue with God, but isn't it always a one-sided request from us?

But please don't misunderstand what I said. We are allowed to ask God for anything we want.

However, if we don't have the resolve to follow God's will and the faith that God will always do what is best for us, no matter what the outcome, Christianity is no different than a religion of the blessings of eight million gods.


Let us look back again at the life of Jesus.


The angels told Mary and Joseph that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but it was no proof among the people.

They that time would have pointed fingers and accused Jesus behind his back about the secret of his birth. Was he wealthy, well-educated, and well-placed? Jesus's father, Joseph, died early, and He had to work hard to feed his mother and many siblings. 

At the age of 30, when Jesus was finally ready to go on His mission, Jesus was challenged by Satan in the wilderness and tempted by all the lusts of human nature.

Isn't it easy for us to say, "Jesus was able to do it because He was the son of God?" 


Many people at that time could believe in Jesus as the Son of God because they had seen His miracles, but they still left easily if it was not convenient for them. Even the disciples misunderstood Jesus' intentions and took pride in the privilege of being his disciples. Judas also betrayed Jesus, but didn't all the disciples leave Jesus and run away?

Jesus had trials is in the world as a flesh and blood human being.

That's why He understands our weaknesses, isn't it?


Jesus tried to convey the truth of His words over and over again.

He continued to heal the sick, give bread to the poor, and even bring Lazarus back to life in response to the people's requests, but the people did not accept Jesus. He did not have reward on earth in any way.


And in Gethsemane Jesus prayed, " Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. But not according to my will, but according to your will.”


We need to be more humble.

God is not just a person who listens to our requests.


I will end by sharing my testimony.

Eleven years ago in August, eight days after my 60th birthday, I suddenly suffered from heart failure and became unconscious, and was transported to the hospital by helicopter. Therefore, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease of unknown cause, pulmonary arterial hypertension. I was admitted to the hospital for five months but was told that I had only three months to live because there was no established treatment for the disease. And 10 days after I was hospitalized, a dam collapsed due to the heavy rains of Typhoon No. 12, flooding my house and causing us to lose all our belongings. It was a double whammy: I was incurably ill and my husband lost our house and all our possessions. 


I was grateful for the prayers of my family and many other people, but I had no peace, and the struggle never left me. I wanted to live more and work as a doctor and a pastor, but why, God? I mumbled to myself in prayer. I felt lonely. I was so upset that my faith was nowhere to be found. But I finally gave up, resigned myself to the fact that I accepted to die, and prayed that I would obey God's will.


Since we had lost our house, my husband found a new rented house, furnished it for the time being, and I left the hospital in my pajamas with my coat pulled over my head.

However, even after three months, the doctor's declaration did not come, and I continued to recuperate in a bedridden state for two years, with my husband supporting me in all aspects of my life while receiving 3 liters of oxygen at home around the clock. Gradually, I began to recover. However, seven years later, the situation became so bad that I thought it was finally time to die, but strangely enough, I was not upset anymore. I was so thankful that God had kept me alive for seven years. But God led me to a good doctor who prescribed me a new drug that was perfect for me. I am now in my 11th year and doing incredibly well. I spend my days thanking God and the people who prayed for me.


However, this is not all a happy ending. One day our bodies will perish.

But I am no longer afraid. Even when I walk through the valley of death alone, I can be sure that Jesus will be with me.


I want to propose this to those who are in the midst of trials right now.

I want to end this message by reading the words of Jesus together with you.

Gospel John 16:33
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jeremiah 29:11
 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Benediction: (Prayer of Blessing)
Isaiah 6:8
“Here am I. Send me!”

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all the people!