One day as I was driving home, I came upon a particular podcast by Pastor John Piper as he exhorted each minister to press on with the good work God entrusted to us all despite the difficulties we often face. This came as an encouraging call to my heart as he implored those who serve the Lord faithfully to press on despite the set backs, despite the pain; despite all hardships. Now if I can sum up the whole message- there was a resounding promise that Pastor John shared that encouraged me- “the best is yet to come.”
Such a profound promise and one that I stand to lay hold of in my 28th year of life; the best is yet to come. Now I know what that sounds like; it resounds as a fantasy that we tell ourselves when all seems lost. To a realist, most of what I would say would seem laughable but to those who know of the faith I lay hold off, I believe that it would stand As a wonderful reminder that all the good you’ve done was not laid to waste. That God sees your hurt, your pain, the love you exuded and the sacrifices you have experienced and He takes all of that into account as you fix your eyes on Him. It might be that no one appreciates the good you do; but God sees and you may not be able to understand the seed you have sown in the lives of all you have touched by God’s immeasurable grace that empowers you to do every good work; but be strong and take courage. Though our lives are poured as an offering to sate the thirst of men for the truth, do not be weakened.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
Consider it pure joy brethren when afflictions come, when troubles arise- since in our weakness- God’s power is seen. Though we are persecuted, cursed, torn down as all the good we’ve done is forgotten- be of good cheer and press on for we are following in the footsteps of Christ who despite the good He shined was beaten down; carrying the weight of the cross and bearing our sins as His blood was poured in order to appease the wrath of God as we are given a hope and a future; if we abide in Him. We ourselves are earthen vessels whose use is not on our rough, worn exterior but the truth that is embedded in our hearts as Christ’s life exudes in our bodies. For the pain we face does not compare the eternal weight of glory we will witness in the day of glory; thus as I exhort myself to press on, I call to you dear saint to do so as well.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,”
Unlike many of my previous letters of thanks, I deemed it necessary to write this letter in the hope that those who peruse will be encouraged by God’s great grace and faithfulness in my life. I have seen my self in the spotlight as an actor/singer; I have stood in the background as an unsung hero who does the nitty gritty work backstage; in this life I have been blessed to see the very best of people and sadly the very worst; and then God called me to His service with a simple call – to love unconditionally and press on to win the lost back to God. Initially it seemed simple, yet as years progressed; I realized the difficulty of this path. The sadness and much brokenness of Spirit but amidst the pain; there is unimaginable joy and hope. Each day I face in ministry; God has purposed that I experience; peace and fulfillment. I can’t express the extreme joy of seeing souls won to Christ; when change is not some partial reflection of emotion and truly a 180 degree turnaround. When repentance is our response to grace and as the response of our youths to the gospel is not a continues want for activities but a desire to evangelize and share the good news of God’s grace and the proper response to His kindness.
I am truly blessed and joyful as I celebrated 28 years of God’s great faithfulness; as such I celebrated the eve of my birthday proclaiming the word of God in the streets of Napindan Taguig as I marched with the youths to draw many to Christ. It was a fruitful day as we held our live event for the month of May entitled: “Sharing the Good News and Taho.”
We were met with many who desired to know Christ as we blessed them with Taho in abundance. As the sun started to set; I was able to inspect the docks where some of our youth who travel by boat make land. I was also able to see the beauty of the fields in Napindan and the colorful hues that the sun makes as it sets on the horizon.
What I did not expect was that after my message on loyalty to God and His redemption came the most heart warming surprise by our beloved youths. First came a poem, a dance number, and a giant card of gratefulness, blessings and prayers.
Afterward was a scrumptious feast that my family and dear brethren in the church lovingly bestowed. What a blessed day and a purposeful one; God in every sense revived me as a particular psalm came to heart:
Psalm 71:20 – “You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again.”
So if I have to give a conclusion to what I have seen in my 28 years of life, it would be this; it does not matter if all the good you do is forgotten, it doesn’t matter if life seems unfair, if the bonds you once held dear is broken; you are not called to cry out injustice or fill your heart with resentment or hate. This life is much more than triumphs and defeat, joy and sorrow. This life’s great purpose is to please God and to make much of Him; not being made much of. Don’t feed your ego with you accomplishments or by the goodness you once exuded. Don’t do good for approval or for a pat in the back; do good because God commands us to do so and take heart. Things may not seem well now but be strong and take courage for God’s best is yet to come.
Isaiah 40:30-31 – “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Glory to God, thank You Father for another year to serve You and Make much of You My King!
Pastor Lyle Lopez
Head Pastor of AHF Philippines
Missionary from Abundant Harvest Ministries/ COGOP