A megachurch pastor urged Christians to see God's works in the midst of times of danger, fear, and anxiety that we live in today.
"God performs signs which go beyond what we ask or think," said Pastor Tong Liu, senior pastor of River of Life Christian Church in the United States in a Sunday sermon in August.
"Signs are not necessarily what overturn the mountains or shake the heavens and earth, but often they are what you see in your life personally when God himself makes a way when you fail to find a way out and turn to Him."
The Bible tells about a widow whose husband was a disciple of the prophet. When the debtor came one day to take her two sons as slaves, the first thing she did was to bring her need to God through the prophet Elisha.
Pastor Liu said, "You might think this is the easiest thing to do, but it is not an easy act. We’re prone to rely on our own strength and will refuse to give up until all hope is gone. However, you, a child of God, need to remember that our God, who sits on the throne, is pleased to give you grace."
"The Lord said to the Samaritan woman next to the well, ‘You don't have to rack your brains trying to solve your problems.’ He explained, "God already has the answers, if you had asked Him earlier, He would have made the way for you earlier. Likewise, I deeply believe that this is also what God wants to say to us, if we had asked Him earlier, He would have opened the door for us quicker."
One of the reasons we failed to seek God sooner was because we were not sure God had the answers for us, he added.
"But as a Christian, you need to know that you have a loving heavenly Father." Pastor Liu Tong said, "Think of earthly fathers who have limited abilities but do their best to satisfy their children's need. Chinese parents, in particular, prepare almost everything for their children in advance: a crib is prepared before the child is born; a child's highchair before the child can eat; a walker before walk; a college fund is set aside before the child goes to school. Would not our earthly Father, who is imperfect, be more attentive to our needs than what we expect, let alone our Father in heaven?"
He continued, "What a precious promise is Psalm 138:8. It says that the LORD "will", not "may", "probably", or "perhaps". It will be done, not about others, but about you. The Lord knows about you and will do what is necessary concerning you. God is willing to make a way for you at the time you bring your need to Him."
"Another reason is pride. Although we often say the Lord's way is higher than ours, what we think in our hearts is that our own way is quite satisfying to us, so we are willing to choose our own way instead of His.
He said pride was a habitual reliance on oneself. When you had difficulties in your work, God had seen it for a long time. God was willing to be your strength and help as long as you came to Him in humility.
According to 2 Kings 4:2, instead of asking this widow what her family needed and lacked, Elisha asked what she had in here home.
"When we are in a difficult situation in life, we expect some help from outside. We always look to others to do something for us, hoping God to perform signs and lift us out of our difficulties," said Pastor Liu Tong. “Elisha reminded us once again that God's miracles always start with what we already have, just like the miracle of the five loaves and two fish," the pastor shared.
"When we get into trouble, if we only see our lack, what we don't have, we will be at a loss all our lives like Philip. However, once we can see and offer what we have, as Andrew did, God can use what we offer to make a sign."
"Elisha asked the widow what she had, and rather than saying she had nothing, she saw the only bottle of oil she had. From a human point of view, a bottle of oil is worthless. But when she offered it to God, the bottle appeared to be the beginning of a miracle."
As every sign shows God's guidance, God has given us many guidelines for a victorious life long ago in the form of the Bible.
He quoted 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. "‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ It tells us how to experience God’s will.”
"Sometimes, when you are faced with a difficult situation in life and don't know where to go, you need to come to God and ask Him to guide you."
Liu said, "God makes it very clear (through Jeremiah 33:3) that if we don't understand or don’t know some things, we can ask God. God will always answer ‘I will show you the way’. This verse makes it very clear that when we seek God, God will direct our paths. It is important that we don’t just take God's guidance as a mere reference, but obey it, for signs always happen when you obey."
When the widow did what Elisha said and poured the oil into the empty vessel, the miracle happened. The oil kept filling inside the empty vessel.
"It says here that she ‘stopped’, but not because the oil ran out." He stated, "but because there were no more vessels. God didn't stop performing signs unless there were no other empty vessels. In other words, the amount of faith the widow had to borrow empty vessels, in the beginning, determined the number of signs she experienced later. The capacity of your faith determines how many signs you can experience. Remember that never let your little faith limit what God can do”.
- Translated by Wylie Sun