North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200

2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

Unswerving Faith in Suffering!

By Rev. Gordon Siu

June 2, 2024

Is suffering the only way by which we can become a channel of grace for others? Do material wealth, good health and plain sailing make a God-pleasing life?

There is a sister who, having recovered from cancer, joined an organization for the care of cancer patients. Hardly had she imagined how her adversity would become a channel for helping and building up other people. However, we should not think that we must suffer before we can become a blessing for others. We need to make the most of our situations and all that God allows us to own. Above all, we need to have faith in this: that we do not suffer for no reason. We need to keep in view our God-given resources, including adversities, and turn them into channels of blessings for others. We should not reject what befalls us.

Did Naomi still cherish faith in God after all was lost?

When we examine Naomi’s spiritual journey, we can see that her faith had indeed been shaken. She said: “…the LORD’s hand has turned against me!” (Ruth 1:13) and “The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me” (1:21b). There are bound to be ups and downs in our faith in adversity. Do not be surprised. Do not worry over whether we lack faith. Turning to God should be our focus. Tell God about our worries and disbelief and pay attention to His works. Naomi’s faith was rekindled because she saw the hand of God at work. By God’s grace, they got food. God led Ruth to the field of Boaz and let her meet him. You have to watch how the hand of God works so your faith can be rekindled. Anybody who has gone through such experience would say: “I can continue to follow God not because I have faith or have anything to boast about. It is not because I am strong and have the ability to tackle adversities. It is because God has all along been helping me and rebuilding my faith.”

I know I should have faith in God. But one time God deliberately put me in adversity, and I lost faith after that. I even dared not take the plane for fear that God would deliberately make me catch COVID-19.

You mentioned “deliberately” two times. It seems that you think God wants to make things difficult for you. If we interpret “deliberately” as God has a plan behind, that would be closer to reality. It is my firm belief that all that befalls us have the purpose of God behind. If you face by faith what God “deliberately” allows, those experiences will become blessings in your life. But if you grumble along the way, rejecting what happens, then those things will no longer bless you. John Piper wrote an article entitled “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.” He believes that everything is led by God Himself. If he ignores the forging and growth in there from God, he will have wasted the adversity. So, if God gives you a second “deliberately,” and you avert it with all the ways you use to disobey God, you will lose the grace He wants you to have. Why not frankly tell God you are scared that the disaster will happen again. Then you continue to take the necessary preventive measures. In doing so, say to God: “Everything is in Your hands. If You want me to go through that again, I will do so, boldly.”

(This is an excerpt from Rev. Siu’s response in the Q&A Session of Winter Camp 2021 published in “A Dialogue between Rev. Siu and You (1),” NPAC Newsletter, May 2022.)