By Rosella Abenio
The Coronavirus pandemic, which has brought destruction to the world poses profound spiritual and real challenges to Christians everywhere. It is easy to let anxiety and worries overwhelm us; however, instead of indulging in fear and anxiety, we opt to focus on the assurance that God has everything under control.
Christian faith does not rest on what is seen by men nor what is temporary but on the all-sufficiency of Christ. As we look at Christians who stood with their faith steadfastly, we can see it for our ourselves just how much God is providing for us amid this drastic transition.
Keeping the faith during a job-hunting season
By: Ramil Gulle
Job hunting was a long and painful process for a fresh graduate like Ramil Gulle, a member of Evangel Family Church, Cagayan de Oro. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Food technology at USTP last December 2019.
His heart-wrenching-experience began when he had a reliance on a promised job opportunity offered to him that unfortunately never materialized. Devastated and crushed, he began having doubts about his future.
However, instead of grumbling with discouragement and worries amid the pandemic, where job hunting seemed bleak, he trusted God. It was in his waiting that Ramil learned more about God than if his prayer requests came through instantly. He invested his time and commitment to God even more. He began to spend time encouraging and nurturing the faith of a group of young people in the church. He did not give up in serving and obeying God regardless of his situation.
He waited for what seemed like an eternity before he started his job last March 2020, a week before a state of calamity due to the pandemic was declared over the nation. That experience taught him to never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
“It is truly a blessing from God to have a job amidst the pandemic. Not only that, but God also exceeded my expectations by giving me this kind of job. He has poured extra blessings in every area of my life. I’m blessed by God so I can also bless others,” said Ramil.
When our faith is being tested through a time of crisis, God has promised us that He will look after us and that He has our future in His hands. Ramil kept his faith during his job-hunting season. All glory to God!
Keeping the faith when God’s plan is beyond our conception
By Paul and Riza Dagoc
“With all these surprises and unexpected turnaround, I now know God wants me to stay. Bearing in mind this global crisis going abroad would be amiss decision to make, considering the recession and being away from your family when they needed you most in a pandemic-situation. Truly, I say now when God shuts the door it is because He will give you something much better than what you could think of. We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. We are humbled and thankful to God for His continuous guidance. We give back on the honor and glory to God!”
Upon seeing their secular friends who were successful abroad, who seemed to have a good life and better future, Paul and Riza Dagoc, planned for migration to Australia after the birth of their second baby,
“We had started processing our papers when I suddenly felt in my heart the absence of peace. Knowing that I would be temporarily separated from my family and the church that continues to mold and help me with my walk with God, a sense of uncertainty gripped me. Whenever I feel this way, I would refer to God for guidance. During my quiet time with the Lord, God impressed upon me the things He did for me in the past. Had it not been His favor and guidance; I would not have received the favor of men. He reminded me that my life story is unique and should not be compared to other people enjoying life abroad. My discernment grew as I asked God for guidance.” Paul shared.
As they sought the Lord for guidance and His will upon their lives, God has revealed Himself true to His promises. And knowing that God is working things out for their good, they decided to shelf their plans to migrate. True enough, God has shown His providence upon Paul’s family and turned the tide for them.
Incomprehensible things happened. The housing unit they applied for in Cagayan was approved instantly; the house was built even before they were done paying the full equity. The housing fund from PAG-IBIG that was supposed to be released in 2020 was turned over by May of 2019. Also, in the same season, Riza received a promotion as an AVP for HR and Admin in a private company, and not long after her promotion, an international company wanted to hire Paul on a Senior Management position. God opened the windows of heaven and poured out blessings to their family.
God’s plan for us may or may not be the plan we envisioned. We do not always understand how, when, or where God is taking us on this journey of life, but we can be certain that if we love Him and keep the faith it will be the best life we could ever live!
Keeping the faith when the money is tight
Is it possible to give generously to God and His works? Sometimes it is scary – especially when you’re going through financial hardship. But the Lord calls us to have faith!
During times of difficulties and financial distress, a true believer will not just talk about faith and trust but begin to live it.
Marlon first heard of tithing when he was in college and that was the time Evangel Family Church CDO welcomed him and shared with him the good news. His allowance at that time wasn’t that big but he had faith that God will sustain him and meet his needs. He has been tithing, giving mission pledges, and first fruit offerings for the last 8 years, and during that time, he has been blessed tremendously. He did not struggle to get a job as a newly licensed Architect. When he needed one thousand pesos for his expenses, God provided the exact amount. When he desired to give a pledge, God gave an increase in his income the same amount as his pledge.
“That was almost 8 years ago and I’ve always had enough and extra. When Jesus said, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom and all things will be added,’ I now understand what He meant. I figured that God knew what my expenses were. He also showed me that He is greater than all my needs.” Marlon added.
Even when he started teaching full-time at the University of Southern Technology of the Philippines this year, he continues to be faithful in giving of his tithes and faithfully supporting church projects and activities.
“I encourage everyone to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and don’t hold back giving your tithes. God does not need our money but requires our hearts. When the heart is right, He will gladly release the abundance that He promised,” stressed Marlon.
Marlon Suazo’s life is a living testament to keeping faith in God amid the financial crisis. He has been a faithful steward of God’s blessings as he never holds back his resources to the Lord out of and learned to trust God to provide for his needs. Due to his obedience and faith in God, no matter how tight his budget may be, it allowed him to experience the overflowing blessings of God upon His life.
Indeed, keeping our faith when money is tight produces faith and confidence in the rich provision of God. Although we are bombarded daily with circumstances that can cause doubt about our financial future, we must never doubt that God is in complete control.
“…And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:1