The Test of True Faith

 

Thank God! Because of His providence, the work of church construction proceeds smoothly. Preloading of the site has now been conducted for two months. The degree of soil compression achieved awaits reporting by the contracted company before the second stage can commence. Sewer connection works are also continuing as planned. As well, after months of conference and planning by the church building committee, our architect and various consultants, the design of the assembly hall has been completed and the bidding procedure concluded. On Monday, we received our architect’s analysis of the submitted bids. Because of the boom in the Greater Vancouver real estate market this year, construction companies have more business than they can handle. Within the allotted time, only 3 firms desired to submit bids. With regard to the church building, their contract amounts (including GST) are respectively $2,217,247, $2,220,250 and $2,323,307. Because the last company failed to supply adequate details, the architect could only use the bid books of the first 2 companies for comparison. There is only a $3,003 difference in their prices, and the proposed construction periods are 42 and 43 weeks respectively. The average construction cost comes to $181 per sq ft.

 

Based on these figures, the expenditure for the church building will be quite substantial. That is because the cost of construction has continually increased these past years, including the prices for materials and labour. The market demand for these components exceeds supply, pushing up building costs and extending construction periods. The church building committee is carrying on deliberations with the architect and the companies involved with respect to the entire job to find cutbacks. Also, they will delve into and evaluate the necessity of each job component, and examine the viability of in-house project management in the hopes of finding the most efficient, least expensive way to complete the construction. The church building committee will report to everyone the latest development and the final cost of construction in due course.

 

Perhaps brothers and sisters are concerned about this enormous building cost, and worried that it will be impossible to finish. I encourage everyone to continue relying on the Lord, and fortify your faith. From the present financial capability of the church, it may seem that the construction of the assembly hall is a very difficult matter for us. Yet this is precisely a precious opportunity to test our faith in God, the unity of the brothers and sisters, the persistence of our ardent petition and the willingness of our offerings. Dear brothers and sisters, this is a road of faith. Hardships are the litmus test of our faith in God. The greater and the more numerous the difficulties, the greater and the more fervent the necessity for our faith in God. Christian Alliance Church founder, A.B. Simpson once said, “Our God has boundless resources. The limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small. Our expectations are too limited.”

 

Monday morning during devotion, I read chapter 9 of the Book of Matthew. It recorded Jesus saying to the woman with the bleeding disease, “Your faith has healed you”. The woman’s ailment was immediately cured. Again when 2 blind men begged Jesus to heal them, He said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”. We received the gift of salvation by the grace of God and through our faith, and we must continually rely on grace and faith to live. God sometimes will resolve the difficulties we face according to the degree of our faith. Around 24 years ago, I was involved in the expansion plans of a Christian hospital. The initial estimated cost was $1,000,000. At the time, it was an astronomical sum to us. Later, through the ardent and concerted supplication of a group of Christian health workers, God provided us with sufficient funds in the nick of time. Even though the cost of the expansion works exceeded $4,000,000, we were able to complete the job without carrying any debt. I saw personally how God worked miracles through great and urgent difficulties for those who earnestly seek and rely on Him. Therefore I encourage everyone to seize this opportunity to learn the lesson of faith. Join together and fervently pray for the House of the Lord. Through your love of God, make your offerings freely and joyously so that the will of God can be accomplished.

 

By: Daniel To