The church has always been an important part of God’s mission to reach the poor and helpless. Yet people in the church often go through times of testing. Can we still reach those in need when we ourselves are experiencing setbacks from lending a helping hand?
In this interview, Bishop Juray Mora talks about being generous in times of testing and in times of abundance.
Can we bless others in any situation?
In times of testing, the purpose of God does not change. Even in times of abundance, the purpose of God does not change. We’re still called to be channels of God’s grace. It all starts with a desire to be used by God. God can still use us no matter how difficult our situation is. He can use us to be a blessing, proclaim the gospel, or reach out to someone, whether we’re on top of the world or whether we’re on the bottom.
How can we be in faith in times of testing?
Through years of reading Scripture, praying, and walking with God, I realized that the best way to respond to God is by faith. It’s through trusting God’s Word. If faith is not there, then I really don’t have a solution. This helped me realize that I should choose the path of faith. When my situation is overwhelming, I have a choice to trust someone who is bigger, more powerful, and more loving than anyone or anything I know.
The option to choose myself is always there, too. My limitations and incapacity are right before me always. Through the years, I experienced falling down many times, trying to find solutions my own way, and getting to a place of desperation where I already tried everything. In the past, I ended up praying, “Lord, sinubukan ko na. Wala talaga.” Then after getting to that point, I see God walk me out of the situation. He showed me why I had to go through the time of trying everything. But why not just go straight to God from the very beginning? You can ask Him for wisdom, strength, and solutions.
How should Christians respond to poverty?
The Scripture in 2 Corinthians ministers to me and challenges me. It talks about the Macedonian church. In trial and poverty, they still welled up in rich generosity.
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:1,2)
That’s an encouragement and a challenge to you as well. Your poverty or trial is not a hindrance for God’s grace to flow through you and touch others. Sometimes, we have our eyes too much on ourselves, and we think it’s the end of the world. But when we start to look at others and allow God to use us, we begin to realize how blessed we are and how much God can still use us. When we allow God to use us as a channel of His grace, there will always be more than enough that will be left for our own needs. At least that’s my experience. That keeps me going despite the difficulty we are facing.
Many years ago, my wife and I realized how powerful it is to be used by God to help others in a time of financial difficulty. We decided to set aside a certain amount every week, then we would pray and ask God, “Lord, somebody needs help. Somebody may need this amount. Lead us. Show us who. Show us where. We’ll take it there.” When we don’t get any leading from the Lord that week, we double the amount the next week.
I’ll never forget a time when I met a pastor from another church in our city. He drove a pedicab during the day to augment his income because his church was really poor. One day, I knocked on his door at 7:30 a.m. after bringing my son to school. I gave him a certain amount of money, and he looked at me with a shocked expression. He said, “Pastor, I just finished praying. I just asked God for this amount so I could pay my electricity bill, which is about to be cut off.” When I realized that, I got so excited. I went home and told my wife. “We heard God, and He used us to be a blessing.”
It’s amazing that our needs are met the same way, without us telling anyone and advertising our needs. Some people would call, text, and show up to the house saying, “The Lord told me to give you this.” It’s amazing how God has provided for our needs as we allow God to use us as a channel as well.
Bishop Juray Mora oversees our pastors as the director of Victory Ministers Association. He also serves as a preacher in Victory Ortigas. He has been married to Deah for 27 years, and they continue to believe God for greater things with their six kids—TJ, Iya, Sophia, Juliana, Celina, and Raymund.
Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.